The human brain can process an image in as little as 13 milliseconds, according to studies at a prestigious American research university. However, we're guessing the scientists doing that research weren't using images like the ones below. Get ready to look twice.
Careful about that cliff...
This shot, taken near Lake Powell, in Utah, is a little deceiving. Take a closer look, then read on to see what the photographer had to say.
"This canyon housed a pool of water that was sheltered from any wind, making it a perfect mirror for the canyon walls lit by the late afternoon sun," says Darrell Staggs. "This view creates the illusion of a hiker walking right along the edge of a cliff canyon wall. For additional interest, the image can also be viewed upside down, giving the illusion of a hiker in a large cavern."
The castle in the sky
Normally the Festung Hohensalzburg (that's the castle) sits above the picturesque Austrian city of Salzburg. But if you catch it on the right day, fog envelops the city, laying just low enough for the 14th-century fortress to stick out above the clouds. If you want an excuse to see one of the largest medieval fortress in Europe and walk in the clouds, this one's easy – you'll only need to climb about 85m of steps to see the sky.
This Red Bull Illume Image Quest shot, taken from almost direclty above the riders in a road bike race in France, shows off the cyclists' shadows much better than it does their actual bikes. But clearly the sun is running out – the shadows seem to be going just a touch faster.
Where’s the camera?
Take a second, and see if you can figure this one out. Got it?
Photographer Dan Vojtech explains: "This is rider Libor Podmol during our trip in the USA. I attached my Nikon D3 on Libor's handlebar, fixed with a clamp and a lot of duct tape, and fired it with a remote control. We did couple of photos but we couldn't check it or change any setup on camera, because it was under all the duct tape! The next day we printed the photo, attached it to Libor's helmet and did everything again."
We'd say it worked out.
When you go to Berlin, visiting the sea probably isn't the first thing on your mind... but if it is, you need only check out the famous Radisson Blu Hotel on Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse. Inside the hotel, guests marvel at the 25m-high aquarium. It holds 1,000,000 litres of water and houses 110 different species of marine life – that means more than 1,500 fish and other critters in the aquarium. And how do they clean it? A 900,000-litre per hour filtration system. You can even scuba-dive inside it.
Skating, which way?
Is this room flipped ninety degrees, or is Simon Stricker simply showing off his supreme skate skills? Let us know which one you think it is in the comments.
Chillin’ out, relaxin, maxin’ all cool
Pavel 'Pasha' Petkuns hangs out above the city streets in Istanbul, Turkey. While he may look like he's quite relaxed, he's actually engaged in the high-energy sport of freerunning, or parkour, where athletes use their surroundings to move in creative, unexpected ways. Check out Pavel running all over a couple Volvo Ocean Race boats.
Someone took this pic for the internet
It's not a secret – the internet simply loves cats. And that's why we love this pic of Erik Orgo on his BMX – seen through a cat's eyes. Our only question: how many snaps did it take to get kitty to hold still for this one?
A feat of Biblical proportions
This next shot is also an example of great timing (and we're not talking two millenia ago, either). Kiteboarder Maciek Kozierski lets his kite loose and does his best impression of Jesus on the Sea of Galilee (and yes, this picture is in fact from the Sea of Galilee).
An underwater waterfall
If you fly into Mauritius from the right angle, this is what you'll see: a waterfall pouring into the deep.
What is it, really? It's sand from the interior of the lagoon, flowing out towards the ocean. The altitude offers a new perspective – one that the mind needs a second to process.
Surfing the sky
Off the coast of Australia you'll find this incredible cloud formation – if you're there on the right day. The 100km-long tubular cloud forms when the weather is right, and when it does, it rolls across the Gulf of Carpentaria at speeds up to 60kph. To learm more about this amazing phenomenon, check out this video from Johnny Durand.