Look Closer: Mysterious Revelations in Rare Historical Photos

Let your inner detective run free as you examine these bizarre photographs that each reveal elements of the past that were overlooked for many years. The images and stories gathered here will take many things you think you know about history and flip them upside down. By the time you finish analyzing the last picture, you’ll have a whole new understanding of the world.

Each image that we’ve included here merits a long look. They’re genuinely terrific shots, but they also hold detailed stories within their frames, offering you a level of understanding that you will not discover in history books. Note that a few of these must-see chilling historical discoveries may be shocking to sensitive viewers.

A 1949 photo of a young woman walking into her family’s igloo

The Inuit community has long considered the frozen wilderness of the Northwest home. Before they began seeing and communicating with Westerners, the Inuits moved from one spot to another, setting up their ice homes any place they discovered a good spot to hunt.

Just one year after this photograph was captured, nearly everything about their lives changed. The young Inuit lady in this photo had no clue about the tragedy that was going to descend on her kin. This was likely one of the last occasions she would have the option to enter her home as a free Inuit lady. In 1950, the Canadian government migrated numerous Inuits to reservation-like places against their will.


Haunting, eight-foot-high bronze statue of King Arthur

Inspired by the legend of King Arthur, Rubin Eynon designed this bronze sculpture that stands at Tintagel Castle in North Cornwall. The haunting, eight-foot sculpture is intended to bring out a sense of mysticism and connection to the past. These are qualities that many people who explore the English countryside feel have slowly evaporated from the region.

This sculpture of a desolate ruler was such a huge endeavor for its maker that it took a helicopter to fly it to the highest point of the precipices to place it in its final resting place.

A man doing a “free solo” in Yosemite National Park

The man in the image is climbing master Alex Honnold, and he is doing what is known as a “free solo.” This photo catches one of the most hazardous and terrifying snapshots of his climb as he ascends without any ropes or protective equipment. His risky trip was caught in a chilling narrative that won an Academy Award.

“The first few steps were completely normal, as if I was walking on a narrow sidewalk in the sky. But once it narrowed I found myself inching along with my body glued to the wall, shuffling my feet and maintaining perfect posture. I could have looked down and seen my pack sitting at the base of the route, but it would have pitched me headfirst off the wall… The minute you freak out, you’re screwed,” Honnold explains.

An Elizabethan four-poster bed built for Sir John Radclyffe and Lady Anne Asshawe

Made for the wedding of Sir John Radclyffe and Lady Anne Asshawe during the 1570s, the structure is considered to be Britain’s oldest bed and the only remaining piece of furniture belonging to Salford’s Ordsall Hall. The bed disappeared around 1650 when the Hall changed hands. It remained missing for almost 300 years when it reappeared in the home of a man in Whalley Range, Manchester.

Nobody knows how he came into ownership of the bed, yet it was auctioned off in pieces to cover his death obligations. The bed was at long last reassembled in 1968 by Doctor Chris Douglas. Ordsall Hall purchased it for around £65,000 and finally brought it back to its home.

One of the biggest horses in history, circa 1930

How do you take care of a horse this huge? You show him off obviously. Brooklyn Supreme weighed around 3,200 pounds and had a circumference of 10 feet, making it difficult to truly do anything with him besides transforming him into a display. As discouraging as that sounds, Brooklyn Supreme enjoyed a decent life and loved being around kids.

“Brooklyn Supreme may be 3,200 pounds of solid, magnificent horse flesh, sinew, and brawn, but Brooklyn Supreme is a surprisingly gentle fellow whose greatest delight is stealing ice cream cones and goodies from unsuspecting little boys and girls,” reads one clipping about the giant horse.

God-like guardians at the Gateway in Australia

These impressive Grecian sculptures are just two of the numerous magical figures that can be seen in William Ricketts Sanctuary in Mount Dandenong, Australia. Motivated by the natives of his country, Ricketts utilized them as models for his work, a gigantic assortment of sculptures that introduced them as god-like stewards of the land.

As dreadful as these sculptures may seem, Ricketts did not intend to terrify anybody. His objective in their creation was to give individuals a spot to ponder nature and be unified with the world.

Princess Diana sitting on a private yacht

Captured just days before her shocking demise on August 31, 1997, this photograph of Princess Diana sitting on the diving board of Mohammed Al Fayed’s yacht shows the heartache that she endured as one of the most photographed women in the world.

The final weeks of her life were spent doing what she always did – enjoying a life of extravagance one day, and getting her hands dirty helping people the next. Toward the start of August, she was in Sarajevo battling for the expulsion of landmines. She chatted with casualties and troopers who were delighted to meet her. It’s ironic to imagine that her tragic demise happened in Paris, a city famous for celebrating life and love.

St. Colman’s Cathedral in Ireland

An obvious piece of the Cobb horizon, the St. Colman’s Cathedral sits atop the Irish coastline, offering stunning views of the Cork Harbor and the Atlantic. You can view the church from its most stunning angle, standing behind a series of vibrant houses.

If this photograph gives you Scooby-Doo vibes, you’re in good company. It would seem that the ancient church holds a Lovecraftian mystery that nobody should go digging into. This beautiful and slightly haunting work of art was finished in 1915 after decades of construction that began in 1868. Much of its financing came from Irish workers living in America and Australia.

A soldier’s face before and after the war

Evgeny Stepanovich Kobytev was a painter who graduated from the Kyiv State Institute in Ukraine before joining the military in World War II. In 1941, he was injured in battle and was placed into one of the most merciless German POW camps which killed 90,000 individuals. Kobytev endured two years of torture before getting away from the camp to rejoin the military.

He spent the last long stretches of the war battling against the Germans to free Ukraine. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, war transforms a person. Regardless of what films and TV shows tell us, war changes people drastically. It ages them and makes them look drained and as though the happiness has been wrung out of them.

The Cave of the Crystals in Mexico

The Cave of the Crystals in Chihuahua, Mexico might be a visual delight, but it’s also a dangerous place. Stretching 984 feet beneath the Earth’s surface, these monstrous gems stick out of the ground and the roof thanks to 1,000,000 years of continuous development.

Found in the year 2000, the cavern can reach temperatures of 113 degrees Fahrenheit, and its humidity is frequently at 100%. Stay down in this precious stone cavern long enough, and you risk liquid consolidating inside your lungs and suffocating you.

An 1880 Victorian dollhouse

Dollhouses of the seventeenth century are amazing in their degree of detail, but at the same time, they’re undeniably creepy. Much of the time, these dollhouses were intended to look like the homes in which the owners lived.

Known as the “Baby House,” these imitations of the proprietor’s house were intended to be only that – a “baby” variant of a house that flaunted the fortune of the proprietor as opposed to a toy to be enjoyed by a kid. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that dollhouses turned into a thing of play.

Ghost sculpture in Lake Como, Italy

The majority of visitors of Lake Como are probably heading there because of the cool waters and stunning views. None of these excited visitors are anticipating an encounter with a horrifying ghost. What about a scary ghost sculpture?

Sculpted of wood and placed at the Vezio Castle above Lake Como, the phantom is one of many captivating aspects connected to this palace. Existing since the Iron Age, it’s home to a small falconry, an olive nursery (a garden of olives), and prisons you can explore. With such a rich history, there may be more apparitions hanging around the place than the one visible in this picture.

Size of a human’s hand vs a polar bear’s paw

On the off chance that you at any point get yourself vis-à-vis with a polar bear, the only thing to do is run! These enormous creatures are not hesitant in eating up humans for a delectable lunch, and they truly don’t have any issue making you into mincemeat. One look at the size of their huge paws and you’ll understand how quick of a meal you’d be.

Did you know that a polar bear’s paws measure about 11.81 inches across and their claws are around 2 inches in length? Alongside their papillae (the dark footpads on the lower part of their paws) they have the ideal instruments for snatching and holding their prey. Essentially, if they get a hold of you, chances are you’re about to be a snack.

The Bailong Elevator in Zhangjiajie, China

This lift is as impressive as it is insane. Extending to 1,070 feet tall, the lift looms over the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan, China earning it the title of the world’s tallest elevator.

The lift opened in 2002, having started development in 1999. Every car can hold up to 50 travelers and can accommodate 4,900 kilograms. If you weren’t already concerned about the insane height that this lift can elevate you to, it’s worth mentioning that it’s been built in a region prone to earthquakes.

Freddie Mercury performing during Queen’s final tour

Freddie Mercury may appear victorious in this shot from one of Queen’s last shows, yet it’s terrifying to imagine that he’d be dead just three years later. The Magic Tour occurred in 1986 to support the “A Kind Of Magic” album. Months following the tour, the lead vocalist of the rock band was diagnosed with AIDS.

Though he pulled back on his live dates, Mercury’s appearance transformed from the fiery and swaggering vocalist to that of a withered man gradually creeping towards death. Tragically, Mercury was never open about his disease. He felt that the more the public knew about what he was going through, the more his loved ones would be nagged by the press.

Ballerina fountains in Poland

Designed by Małgorzata Chodakowska, these stunning Prima Ballerinas are constructed entirely of bronze. However, as the water streams out, creating their costumes, they appear to move on their own.

These statues use water to create the impression of movement, giving the bronze figures a human-like presence. When the artist was asked about what she intended to convey to the world with the mix of bronze and water, she clarified:

“My fountains spread the pure joy of life, combining the element of water with the raw material – bronze.”

A rainbow with a rain shaft in Carr, Colorado

Certainly, we’ve all seen rainbows, yet this is an inconceivably uncommon photograph of a rainbow joined by a rain shaft, which is a meteorological wonder.

Per NASA’s George Huffman, it’s rare to see rain shafts with microbursts, let alone a rainbow attached. He explained:

“Just as you don’t have a microburst with every rain shaft, you don’t necessarily have an identifiable rain shaft with every microburst. The really interesting dynamics of microbursts are a bit rare, and frequently not present in flooding rains.”

A 14th century Renaissance doorway

Imagine remodeling your home and discovering a wonderful Renaissance exterior covered up underneath the bland plasterboard. As wild as this sounds, it was not an absolute shock to the owners of this building. The city of Úbeda, Spain was once enveloped in Renaissance design. Still, you never imagine you’ll be lucky enough to stumble upon this sort of thing in your home.

Fortunately for this homeowner, he discovered an astonishing facade during his remodel. Presently, Úbeda has 48 historic landmarks and about a hundred additional structures of Renaissance design.

Third Class Menu from the Titanic

Before the Titanic dove into the North Atlantic Ocean, most of its occupants were enjoying a staggeringly pleasant time on the water. Though its demise in 1912 was a tragedy, the old menu from this ocean liner is spellbinding.

We realize that the class difference onboard the Titanic was clear, yet nothing made it more clear than the menu. As should be obvious, third class was served some fundamental staples: oats, “rice soup,” and dish meat in addition to other things. We’re sure the leap to first-class is outrageous.

A male Gharial carrying his babies

The gharial is more than just a wild-looking beast. It’s a predatory reptile that weighs over 2,000 pounds at a length of more than 12 feet. These terrifying creatures seldom leave the water and when they do, it’s only to warm themselves in the sun or make nests.

The lump on this gharial’s nose is alluded to as a “mud pot” by the Hindi people. Instead of pursuing their prey, gharials utilize their long, slender noses to recognize vibrations in the water. When they feel something draw near, they snap and swallow down their supper.

The stunning Great Pyramid of Giza

It’s difficult to truly comprehend the vastness of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Seeing it through a photograph will never be the same as standing at its base and gazing up at its magnificent form. It’s the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex in Cairo. Though it is one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, it is surprisingly flawless, given its age.

At 481 feet high, the Giza pyramid was contracted by Pharaoh Khufu. Made by human hands, it’s truly amazing that ancient individuals were able to build this thing so high. That sort of human creativity is likely why countless people believe that the Ancient Egyptians had extra-terrestrial assistance.

Rolls Royce interior

Considered one of the most beautifully designed vehicles ever, the inside of this 1926 Rolls Royce Phantom 1 is truly exceptional. It is completely upholstered with some genuinely perfect handicraft, and the interior framing looks like something you’d find inside a room from the early Edwardian period.

Gifted by Clarence Gasque to his better half, Maude, this castle on wheels offers more than just astonishing upholstery. It also includes many fine details, some of which you can spot if you look at the picture closely. Gasque bought the posh vehicle for £1,600 and spent an extra £5,000 on upgrades.

Jim Henson and his creepy creatures from the 1982 film The Dark Crystal

For ’80s kids, The Dark Crystal is one of those standards that there’s no getting over. Helmed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, The Dark Crystal was advertised as a family film. The puppet-based piece is delightfully mystical and follows Jen, the last surviving individual from the Gelflings race, as he goes out looking for “the shard” that will bring balance back to the universe.  

Not simply a kids’ film, this touchstone takes viewers through all manner of fascinating encounters, each one filled with deeper meaning. This was something Henson was skilled at infusing into his work.

Eltz Castle in Wierschem, Germany

This middle age mansion is found on the slopes of Germany and is one of only a handful of old castles that remain in its family line. Development didn’t start until the eleventh century and it didn’t appear in the state we see it in today until around 1540.

Even following many long periods of development, the Eltz family continued adding onto the palace. Nowadays, it’s mostly upkeep to ensure the medieval magnificence can still be enjoyed by modern visitors.

A library inside a neglected 19th-century Victorian mansion

There’s something innately dreadful about ancient Victorian homes. This is probably because so many horror stories have been set within their walls. There’s no denying that they look more and more terrifying the more they deteriorate.

This neglected library is genuinely creepy. However, it’s not difficult to see that with a little (alright, a ton) of real effort and a smidgen of TLC, it would be the ideal spot to sit and read after a long day at work. Sadly, it looks like even the roof needs a lot of work, so this wouldn’t be an easy undertaking.

Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France

France is known for the Eiffel Tower, and Paris has a reputation as the city of lights. However, one of the most frequented places in the nation lies far from the capital city. Mont Saint-Michel is a magical-looking island in Normandy that was probably settled by an Irish loner.

Today, a monastery sits at the top of this delightful scene. Planned in the eleventh century by William of Volpiano, the abbey has a Romanesque appeal to it, with the transept crossing at the tallest point of the mount.

The amazing Luray Caverns in Virginia

This underground cave is truly fascinating! You’re looking at a shot of the Luray Caverns in Virginia. This underground spectacle is surrounded by reflective pools, formations, and columns. Discovered in 1878 by five men who saw an outcropping of limestone that looked like a sinkhole, this cave was explored by candlelight following hours of digging. They discovered monstrous stone segments and hints of past human occupation.

Inside, guests can marvel at the astonishing combination of human and Earthly design, including the Great Stalacpipe Organ, an electrically activated lithophone that utilizes elastic hammers to beat against antiquated cave rock formations of changing size to deliver melodic tones.

The little goblin bats of Cuba

Bats have a terrible reputation as animals that live to drink blood and get messed up in our hair. However, these animals much prefer to hang out (in a real sense) and eat creepy crawlies. The tiny goblin bat is a perfect example of the innocence of these creatures.

Local to Cuba, these small bats go through the majority of their days in coconut trees, chasing creepy crawlies with an assortment of calls dependent on biosonar. Their whole body is just 2.8 centimeters long, they’re covered in soft fuzz, and they have around 28 adorable little teeth.

Odd book benches in Bulgaria

Isn’t it nice to have an entire afternoon to yourself to read your favorite book? It’s a calming way to take a breather from the demands of work. Shift that situation to a seat that looks like a giant book, and the whole thing would start to feel quite surreal.

Note that these benches weren’t introduced by some sort of maverick curator. They were fabricated and put in place by the OverHertz organization, a group that designs and sells book seats all through Bulgaria. Each book is unique, which implies that it’s feasible to read something new each day.

A river running between two tulip fields

If experiencing the beauty of nature means going to the Netherlands, then we’re in! Lisse can be found on the nation’s west end where you can see this waterway streaming between two tulip fields close to Haarlem and Leiden.

Famed for its magnificent blossoms – particularly the tulips – Lisse is the focal point of the Netherlands’ bulb-developing region. In addition to being a feast for the eyes, it’s host to the State Bulb School and Laboratory, and it’s the place where the nation holds its yearly flower exhibition.

Clerks on their electric-powered elevator desks

The workplaces of the Central Social Institution of Prague once held the world’s biggest vertical letter record, produced using floor to roof cabinets that covered over 4,000 square feet. The amazing structure had more than 3,000 drawers that needed to be accessible to clerks.

Ascending steps every few minutes to track down a particular document would take a lot of time. So instead, file clerks utilized electric-powered desks that could be directed towards the drawer they needed at the press of a button, just like something out of a Studio Ghibli film.

A hidden staircase leading to a secret room

A mysterious flight of stairs would seem out of place in a modern home, but for this 19th-century building, it fits right in. These ancient homes were created in such a mishmash way that they often have weird spaces and concealed zones that are simply asking to be investigated. Anybody putting a mysterious flight of stairs or room in their home most likely has a fascinating justification for doing such.

By what other means would you get to a mysterious room than via a mysterious flight of stairs? What do you imagine you might find when you reach the end? Whatever it is, we’d recommend bringing a handful of torches so you don’t get left in the dark.

A 3,370-year-old tree in Greece

The main source of life on the island of Crete is the olive. It does not just offer an enormous measure of income from imports but also ties into their lifestyle and East Cretan folklore. The olive is a piece of the island’s history and religion and a key part of social activity. It bodes well that they would venerate this old tree as it ties them back to their predecessors.

This antiquated European olive tree (the interpretation of its natural name) is 16 feet in diameter at its thickest point, and based on its yearly rings, it’s thought that the tree was planted between 1,350 and 1,100 BCE.

A gloomy photograph of Edinburgh

Traveling across Edinburgh would be a delight. The hilly capital of Scotland traces back to the Romans, and it’s been modified and invigorated since the finish of the first century AD, making it one of the most ancient sites on Earth.

Based on a terminated fountain of liquid magma, what’s currently known as “Arthur’s Seat” first erupted 350 million years prior. Needless to say, this spot, though moody in this particular photo, offers perhaps the most brilliant sceneries on the Scottish highlands.

A 114-year-old library in Munich

This beautiful library inside the Neues Rathaus in Munich inspires dreams of losing oneself amongst the books for quite a long time, with nothing to do but explore the walkways and the pages of the tomes on the shelves.

Constructed in 1905, the walls in this unique reading room stand almost 32 feet high. They’re adorned with plated iron touches at each possible point. With a winding flight of stairs leading to the upper levels, it’s no big surprise that visitors from across the world have searched for this spot. It’s even less surprising that they’re hesitant to leave, even after hours spent in its calming embrace.

Did we mention that this was a personal library for the mayor before World War II?

A beautiful mountain village located in Tibet

Tibet is famous for its excellent mountain ranges and wonderful vistas. Many of the nation’s local people prefer to live on the side of the tremendous mountain ranges. There’s no traffic at all, no brown haze, and nothing that shouts of the western world.

The way this village was built is mind-boggling. Though there is a proliferation of homes rising along the slope, none of them is exactly like the next. They’re all similar and yet unique, making this a beautiful sight to explore with your eyes.

The hauntingly beautiful Casa Batlló

The lovely lights of Casa Batlló radiate through the evening, yet there’s an unpleasant element to this structure in the focal point of Barcelona. Styled by Gaudí, Batlló is loaded with unusual circles and floor designs that don’t fit what most people are accustomed to.

The structure is home to few straight lines, and its exterior’s colors come from a mosaic composed of broken earthenware tiles that cover the external wall. In addition to its undeniable magnificence, local people think the structure has mysterious importance.

The incredible gate at the Elephant Tower in Denmark

Anybody visiting Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen, Denmark, will see these enormous rock elephants standing as gatekeepers outside the structure. They’ll also see the colossal insignias cut into their bodies.

The Elephant Gate was built in 1901 and became part of the Carlsberg Brewhouse. The establishment was started by Carl Jacobson to contend with his dad’s distillery, Carlsberg Brewery. At the time, the insignia on the elephants was intended to bring good luck and success to the young Jacobson in out-competing his father with his similarly named business.

A carpet made from 500,000 dahlia and begonia flowers at Grand Place, Brussels

That may look like an ordinary rug. However, in reality, it’s a carpet made from 500,000 dahlia and begonia blossoms. This exhibit of floral decadence occurs at the Grand Place in Brussels every two years. Set up by more than 100 volunteers, the floor covering is 252 feet in length and 78 feet wide and requires around four hours to assemble.

In 2018, the year this photograph was taken, the carpet’s theme was “Mexico,” which can be seen in the beautiful design. How they manage to make such a perfect creation out of flowers we can only imagine!

Circular Cottage – constructed by the same architect who designed Buckingham Palace

John Nash, Buckingham Palace’s architect, is the genius behind the Circular Cottage, an incredible 19th-century structure that’s still standing. The construction looks like something out of a fantasy. Indeed, this house feels like it might welcome a gathering of hobbits at any moment.

Blaise Hamlet is home to a whole host of storybook houses, with most of them more than 200 years old. The stunning homes were created to house the retired representatives of rich banker John Hartford, who owned Blaise Castle House in Henbury.