This article was originally published on Kueez
Have you ever looked at a photo and just stared at it, too stunned to really respond or say anything, completely caught off guard by the shocking nature of it? It's hard to place these photos of natural and unnatural phenomena under just one category since there are all sorts of peculiar things happening here. They all show animals, humans, and things in all sorts of uncanny situations. But they all have one thing in common: the longer you stare at them, the more unsettled you will become. We could tell you all about it, but you should just take the plunge and see for yourself and take a look at these off guard photos. Just don't say we didn't warn you if you find yourself completely caught off guard….
"Owls Aren't Scary," Said No One Who Saw This Photo
This looks like an animal from a nightmare or a Harry Potter movie. Now while it might not be the scariest thing you've ever encountered, it definitely sends a chill up your spine. Would you believe this is an actual animal, though? It happens to be a wet owl; you probably never thought you'd read that sentence. This big-eyed creature looks like it has seen many things; the poor little guy.
This wet owl looks defeated like he just woke up in the morning after a restless night. "Deborah, please. It is six in the morning, and I haven't had my coffee yet." However if this owl saw himself in the mirror that day, he would probably be more caught off guard than anyone else.
Oh, You Thought Sharks Couldn't Get Creepier?
At first glance, this looks like an evil, sinister creature that people would be terrified to discover lurking underwater. Imagine you're swimming around, and this demonic villain pops out of the water, ready to steal your soul. It appears to have no eyes, just eyebrow indentations and extra sharp teeth that we want to run away from fast. Well, the truth is, it's a shark photographed upside down. However, that doesn't make it any less scary.
Sharks are already seen as one of the scariest animals on Earth, and seeing one upside down only makes it worse. If you want to catch someone off guard, just throw this picture at them without warning.
They're Out to Get You
Everyone can relate to this situation, it's the middle of the night, and you wake up; you're thirsty and tired, so you reach for the water bottle on your nightstand. But this time, it's not just a water bottle waiting for you. Two menacing shadows that appear to be little evil babies are staring at you. These demonic ghosts are threatening your ability to quench your thirst. Do you drink the water anyway or run for your life?
It's essential to get your eight cups of water in, but how are you supposed to do that if these creepy evil spirit babies watch over you?
The Real Reason Doctors Don't Do MRIs on Pregnant Women
If you're pregnant and need an MRI, maybe opt out of seeing what the baby looks like. It would be incredibly terrifying to realize you're incubating a demonic-looking alien. This is why doctors usually discourage MRIs during pregnancy; although there are no proven risks to you or the baby if you partake in it, it is horrifying to see what the fetus looks like. This image might be hard to unsee, so good luck.
Of course, this image is quite terrifying, but hopefully, this is something you never have to experience in your lifetime. As for the doctors that deal with these MRI scans all the time, so sorry for them.
The Devil Lives Inside This Kangaroo
People send you their warmest regards if you or your loved ones live in Australia. Australia can be a great place, home to The Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and known for amazing beaches and vegemite. Still, there is no denying it has some terrifying native species. Kangaroos are known to be aggressive, and this one was ready to scare these homeowners, waiting at their door, ready to catch someone off guard.
Imagine this: it's the middle of the night, you hear something rustling at your window or knocking on your door, and then you see this creature staring at you. No, no, no, time to move to a new country.
Be Grateful You're Not a Fish in Antarctica
The movie Happy Feet was based deep inside the icy land of Antarctica, all about an emperor penguin who was sweet and loved to dance. Just a little adorable animal who was making his way around town. But when you think of a cute penguin, this isn't the first picture that comes to mind. In fact, this is terrifying, and after seeing this, how can anyone be sure they like penguins?
Seeing this animal run towards you, mouth wide open, dozens of sharp teeth ready to devour is something no one should ever have to experience. Just be glad you're not a fish. This picture is good enough to be included in the top ten caught off guard memes list.
His Soul Left His Body
This image is of someone during a CT scan, and it indeed looks horrifying. It's almost as if their soul is leaving their body and the scan caught it at the perfect moment. Let's have another moment of silence for the MRI practitioner that had to see this, as the image probably petrified them. Though it might look like an exorcism, it is actually someone having a panic attack and moving too quickly in the middle of the scan.
A CT scan or MRI would be a nightmare for someone with claustrophobia. Next time you're up for a scan, don't move or be prepared to have your scan look precisely like this.
The Aliens Have Officially Arrived
Australia is supposed to be a beautiful place, with surfing, hot summer days, and beaches. But maybe it's not as much of a dreamland as people once thought. This horrifying insect calls Australia home and happens to be a moth that can also fly. The type of bug one could only imagine in their wildest nightmares, but no, this thing is real. It even looks like it has horns; this would definitely give someone a huger scare. Imagine seeing one of these moths in the middle of the night. No normal person could experience that without being caught completely off guard.
So creepy; it looks as if a demon butterfly and centipede mated. We expect seeing one would send shivers down our spine.
We'd Make a U-Turn
There's a particularly frightening feeling when you wash your face in the shower. Your eyes are closed, and sometimes, you suddenly feel panicked and think someone must be in the bathroom with you. But you can't do anything until you wash the soap off and open your eyes. Well, this image evokes that same niche feeling. It's a beautiful sight, yet you have no idea who is walking toward you.
This is a captivating scene of a bridge covered in so much fog and snow that it's left to your imagination to figure out what lies on the other side of the bridge.
Turtles Have Been Scamming Us
There's no way people knew all this time that turtles were not similar to snails. Didn't most of us assume turtles had a soft body protected by a hard shell? Well, apparently not. Turtles have actual bone structure and spinal cords attached to their shell! This looks outright spooky; seriously, what kind of sorcery is this? What a strange animal to walk this Earth; something out of a creepy Jurassic movie.
Sorry to ruin your day and the sweet, adorable image you had in your head of turtles. It's all wrong, and these animals are actually quite creepy as can be seen in this off guard picture.
These Are 6 Different People
Ready to be completely surprised and caught off guard? (That does technically reverse the meaning of caught off guard, since you were warned…but still) At first glance, this may seem like a photo collage of a cute couple posing with their baby; super harmless and adorable. However, it takes an interesting turn. These are actually twin brothers who married twin sisters and had children. Not only that - they also all chose to live together in the same house. Now that's suspicious; what if they mix up their babies or, even more worrisome, spouses?
Fun fact (depending on how you look at it): the toddlers here, who were born on the same day, are technically cousins but genetically brothers.
If Freddy Krueger Was a Cat
At first, this idea seemed so innocent, funny even. Throw a pancake on your cat's face with cutouts for the eyes and mouth; it will be so entertaining and hilarious. Little did they anticipate that it would turn into something so creepy. What was supposed to be a picture of their cute cat turned into a disturbing photo of an evil-looking creature. And this is why you should never put a facemask on a cat, unless you were considering it as a way to catch your friends and family off guard and scare them out of their underpants.
If this is what your feline friend looked like all the time, you surely would never be able to sleep out of fear for your life.
We Swear That's Not a Filter
Australia has great waves, giant bugs, scary kangaroos, and apparently fluorescent red air. Nope, this is not a filter; at one point, the skies really looked like this. It seems like it could be something straight out of an apocalyptic movie. However, it was a result of many wildfires occurring at that time that made the air incredibly polluted and bright red. What a terrifying and sad thing to experience.
This image looks like a still from a scary movie where a portal is about to open up in the sky, and the greatest evils are about to enter the world. Australia seems to be the country that would top the list of caught off guard memes. Just about everything about that country is either surprising, shocking, or downright terrifying. How do people survive living there?
She Cannot Feel Pain, Hunger, or Fatigue
This young girl was born with a rare condition in which she cannot feel sensations of physical pain. She rarely eats or sleeps because of her inability to feel hunger and tiredness. Therefore, when she got hit by a car at seven years old, initially, people were terrified for her life. But amazingly, she came out unscathed because of her weirdly superhero-like condition. It might sound like a dream, but living with this condition is actually quite scary and limiting.
Someone living with this disorder could potentially break their bones and not even notice. This is dangerous because it could lead to very complicated and life-threatening situations.
A Life-Risking Build
The group of men in this image is building a mountain road in China, and it looks absolutely terrifying. There's no way anyone with a fear of heights could come close to this road. Imagine being the crew that built the scaffolding these guys are walking on; you would have to be absolutely fearless. Props to them because the sight of this alone is enough to make most people's stomachs drop.
The guys building this road must constantly think, "Don't look down. Don't look down." This is one of the most anxiety-inducing images one could come across.
This Is Not a Picture of Raw Chicken
If you want to catch someone off guard, you can just show them a picture of a koala’s brain. This image might resemble a piece of top-quality raw chicken, but it couldn't be further from that. It happens to be a picture of a koala's brain. It's so creepy to see what is inside the heads of these furry little koala bears. They seem cuddly and adorable, yet they have the weirdest, fold-free brains. The smoothness is associated with low IQ, so it turns out koalas are pretty dumb.
After seeing this image, it's unclear if the bigger problem is never wanting to look at, cook, and eat chicken breast again or that koalas have no thoughts.
There's No Way Saturn's Hexagon Was Formed Naturally
A picture like this closeup of Saturn is a reminder of just how small and insignificant humans are. It forces one to realize that many things in space are still unexplored and undiscovered. This can be a very scary thought, especially for those with Astrophobia, who quite literally have a fear of deep space. Add to that the possibility that there are other living species out there, evil aliens of some sort, and things get too freaky to tolerate.
This surreal image captured Saturn's north pole, which is the shape of a hexagon and contains many storms and cyclones. Don’t be surprised or caught off guard if you soon find out that there was a stronger force behind this and that perhaps aliens do actually exist.
One Creepy Chick
This little chick was born with a rare genetic condition called Polymelia which results in more than the usual number of limbs. In this case, the chick still has wings in addition to its four legs, making it a chicken griffin. The little guy is disturbingly cute. It looks like it's a half frog and half chicken, which is creepy yet still sort of charming. We can't decide how we feel about it.
Hopefully, this chick grows up just fine and turns into a healthy chicken! Although we can't help but feel like he might be some sort of science experiment gone wrong.
This Steak Needs an Exorcism
Some people believe that when an animal dies and is served to humans as meat, its soul is trapped inside the carcass. Well, this would be a pretty good image to support that argument. Something appears trapped inside, and it doesn't look very appetizing. It would probably be a good idea to find something else to eat. If there's one thing to turn you vegan, it's this demon meat.
Is it a piece of edible red meat, or does it happen to be the devil's bacon? Who knows but probably not a good idea to eat this. If there was anything that could convince you to become a vegan or a vegetarian it would probably be this off guard photo of the devilish piece of meat.
The Future of Humans
Can you believe this is indeed a real human hand? Maybe this is the future of robotics. People could now turn into half cyborgs, half-humans just like those in The Terminator or Iron Man. Although this looks pretty creepy yet cool at the same time, we hate to break it to you, but it is just painted on someone's hand. It looks extremely real, though, and whoever painted it is incredibly skilled.
If you look closely at where the fingers are supposed to be, you can slightly see them. This remarkable paint job is fantastic and terrifying at the same time.
There's Something Lurking Out There
Someone took a photo of this, assuming it was a corn field and was frightened when they realized what they saw in the distance. It appears to be a hand reaching out for help. They attributed it to just a cornstalk swaying in the wind. Although what he failed to realize is that it's not a corn maze at all; it's wheat. So if it's not corn, the real question is, what is the hand doing there?
The most unsettling and terrifying feeling to overcome you. Looking out at a field and seeing a hand in the distance reaching out, would you go in and help?
The TV Suddenly Switched to This Screen
One night someone left Netflix running in their bedroom, and in the morning woke up to see this frozen on the screen. They snapped a picture, and people have been unsettled since seeing it. Genuinely terrifying, it seems like something that could only come from paranormal activity. Mainly because of those specific words stuck on the screen, "I'll settle for you." Best to hope it's a coincidence and assume it was just a glitch in their TV.
After seeing that, it is safe to say that it will probably be a while before they casually watch TV again and walk away with it still on.
For Just $30, She'll Wet Your Couch and Bring Maggots
You're walking around your neighborhood for a pleasant, relaxing stroll and see this poster. What do you think? Do you call for her unique service? This has to be one of the weirdest flyers ever posted on a tree. She offers to sit on someone's couch for twenty minutes and insists that afterward, it will be soaked and maggots will appear. This is disgusting and disturbing, so please, whatever you do, do not call her for this service.
It's unclear what the service from this flyer will cure, but either way, what a creep. Hopefully, it is just a joke, and no one will take it seriously.
"Please Join Us," Said the Cemetery
This sign was left on a cemetery gate and intended to send an intense message to anyone visiting or walking by. It is a common phrase used worldwide but still invokes an eerie feeling. It serves as a reminder that those who are living will eventually die. And those who are dead were once living. Therefore, don't run away from immortality; embrace it and acknowledge it is inevitable. What a note of encouragement.
It could be perceived as passive-aggressive and creepy, but it's better to interpret it as you must enjoy your life because you don't know what is coming in the future.
This Lives Beneath Us
Humans have explored space, yet almost eighty percent of the ocean remains untouched. Who knows what is swimming around down there? Well, one of those creepy creatures was found, and it's called the telescopefish. It's a terrifying deep-sea species that can swallow prey larger than itself! It lives way below the surface level in the sea world that humans don't see. This is so chilling; maybe deep sea exploration should probably just stop altogether.
This fish looks like it's on the brink of death. What an ugly and horrifying creature, don't be surprised if a telescope fish is in your nightmares tonight.
This Hospital Was Supposed to Be Abandoned
A hospital building was left empty and abandoned for ages but was adjacent to a new building still in use. So one day, someone was standing in the parking lot across the way from the abandoned hospital when they noticed a single light shining from a window. But this is impossible if no one is supposed to be inside. Naturally, terror and panic ensued, and the person couldn't do anything but hurry to snap a picture.
This is the kind of footage you see on ghost hunting shows or paranormal activity movies. But to experience it in real life is a whole other level of horror.
Just a Nighttime Joy Ride
Take a moment to study the picture; what do you see? This image looks like something out of a movie about demons living in enchanted forests. How can it possibly be real? Well, one user snapped this picture of a boar walking through the woods at night and noticed something on top of it afterward. It appears to be a devilish creature with wings and horns, riding the boar through the night.
People hoped that putting the photo in photoshop might help reveal any hidden details to prove it was fake. Unfortunately, that didn't work, and it appears as if the image is actual, which is absolutely terrifying.
What's Really Inside That Rice Cooker?
What's cooking inside this rice cooker? It looks as if it's spewing blood which is shocking. Almost as if someone is trying to hide something in it or cook something other than rice. What if it's a pet, human, or something of that nature? It sounds insane, but what else could be overflowing a rice cooker with a liquid that heavily resembles blood? Actually probably best not to even know; pretend you never saw this.
It would be petrifying if you were a roommate in this household and walked into the kitchen to see this. The real question here is, who's in there?
Have You Ever Seen a Possessed Dog?
People usually love animals, especially dogs. They're a man's best friend, cuddly, adorable, and always want your company. But this dog is different from most; it's the most effective guard dog, arguably too effective. It even scares away its owners. It looks like it's seen war and is ready to steal your soul by just peering into your eyes. This poor dog definitely needs an exorcism because something is off.
Most people are scared by loud, aggressive dogs who bark and chase them around. But this dog can do nothing but sit up and stare at you, and the evil is felt all around; what a petrifying sight.
Don't Close Your Eyes When You Shower
You know that terrible feeling when you are taking a shower, and you need to wash your face, so you close your eyes and soap is everywhere, and suddenly your stomach drops and your heart is beating. You feel paranoid and terrified that in this vulnerable state, something must be right outside of your shower curtain, waiting and preying on this exact moment to attack. Well, this shower will make your worst nightmares come true.
Not only is it a terrifying clown, but the clown is a shower itself! What a way to make your relaxing shower time absolutely appalling.
The Deep Sea Is a Whole Different World
Another creepy creature from way deep down in the sea. These fish are known as Big Eye Grenadier and live where the sunlight never shines. It is shocking to believe that this guy managed to catch a fish like this while out fishing. How it got to the surface is a mystery but bizarre, no doubt. Its eyes are as big as this guy's head, but it could be due to the pressure difference.
Big Eye Grenadier fish usually only stay deep down near the sea floor, so the chances of running into this are incredibly rare and odd.
This Cable Connects to... Nothing
Someone was walking through a playground when they noticed this freestanding stiff cable hanging, although it seemed connected to nothing. They admitted that they pulled the cable, and nothing happened, so what is the cable doing there? What a spooky mystery. It could be a rope for aliens parked right above the clouds before they slide down and start their attack on humankind. Maybe the guy should've climbed up and seen for himself.
Then again, who in their right mind would pull on the cable, let alone try and climb up to see what is on the other end? Either way, endless things could go wrong.
Living on the Edge
Carnivals are usually not creepy; they are fun and exciting. Young kids beg their parents to take them, and many teenagers have first dates here. They're full of games, food, rides, and friends; what more can you ask for? But if you look closely at this image, you'll see why this is terrifying and a huge mistake. Whoever built this carnival ride did so carelessly. This Ferris wheel is stacked on bricks and could fall at any moment.
They're lucky people came out unscathed after riding this. Not sure bricks can hold up the weight of an entire Ferris wheel with riders; it's like a scene out of the horror movie Final Destination.
A Guy Found His Tires Slashed and Then Saw This
A man in Portland, Oregon, returned to his car after a day of work to find this intimidating and scary note left on his car. All the tires on his car were slashed, and the ominous tone of the letter left him confused and terrified. However, this note left the creepy territory fast and entered the territory of horrifying and criminal really quick. Either the person who left the message is insane, or Mark needs to drive better.
Apparently, the driver, Mark, almost killed a cyclist who was able to track him down and decided this was his revenge for the near-death experience.
That's It, We're Never Doing Face Swap Again
Usually, using a face filter starts with very innocent intentions. People who are bored, sad, or want a good laugh, use a face filter to become briefly entertained. But what was supposed to be a wholesome moment quickly turned into a terrifying image? This poor baby had his face swapped with Thomas the Train from Thomas & Friends, and what it resulted in was something no one could have predicted.
The creepiest kid ever. It looks like a cursed image of a demonic child, ready to eat souls. Don't stare back too long, or else you're next.
They Played in a Real Life Squid Games
It is absolutely insane to think about how drastic times have changed. In this particular instance, those who were incarcerated for life had the opportunity to play for their lives literally. Of course, everyone wants to win when they play a game, but what was the real motivator here? If they won, they could push back their execution dates. A sick and disturbing game that is hard to believe was real.
This captures just how sick and twisted humans were; and how even now, the potential is still there. How terrifying to think that something like this is still possible.
This Church Has Statues of Those Who Kicked the Bucket There
An abandoned fourteenth-century church in a small village in the Czech Republic is home to many ghosts. The church has been around for centuries but has been abandoned since the 1960s when the roof fell through during a funeral. People mostly avoided this church because of all the life-size ghosts that are really sculptures. Thirty-two of these spooky shrines sit all over the church, but many believe they move around.
The frightening atmosphere is not very welcoming, yet many people travel worldwide just to see the ghosts for themselves. If you visit it, don't be alarmed if you see the sculptures moving about, it is haunted after all. At least you have been warned, so that when you do visit you won’t be completely caught off guard by the ghost-like atmosphere of this place.
Would You Dare Continue Walking Down This Street?
This resembles a scene right out of a chilling movie, dark and eerie. At first glance, it seems quiet, peaceful, maybe even beautiful. But after a few seconds, the panic sets in. What would you do if you were walking down a road and suddenly saw a creepy shadow in the distance? You need to move forward; do you run away, freeze in panic, face the unknown and walk toward the scary figure?
Despite how nice going on walks alone can be, this is something out of a horror film. You have no idea what's waiting around the corner.
A Sad Sight to See
This is an image of four children sitting on the front steps of their home with a sign that states they are for sale. The mother in the picture can be seen behind the kids hiding her face, presumably out of shame or the desire for anonymity. This took place in Chicago, USA, in 1948, and the situation's outcome is uncertain. But one thing for sure is how disturbing and heartbreaking it is.
Apparently, this was also quite common for people to sell their children during those years. Family members accused the mother of being paid to stage the photo. Nevertheless, it is still bizarre and sad.
"What Do You Want to Be When You Grow up? "
When you are a child, it's essential to have goals. In school, it is often encouraged to talk about what you look forward to in your future, what career you're interested in, and what your role models are. So when this kid had a school assignment to talk about what he wanted to do when he grew up, he didn't hold back. Although what he said was shocking and weird for a kid to say that young.
What was this kid watching or listening to when he came up with these answers? His teachers must have been concerned and pretty caught off guard after reading this. "I'll get rid of all the animals in the field, so they don't bother me...like skunks."
So, how do you feel after reading through this list of caught off guard photos? Did you feel surprised and shocked by the craziness that exists in the world? In case you want to share that feeling with someone else, or just mess with your friends and family and catch someone off guard, share this list with them and see what their reactions are.
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