With the invention of Photoshop, it became easy to create photos that look amazingly real even though they’re not. These days, it can be hard to know if what you’re seeing is real and it’s natural to assume that every unrealistic-looking photo we see has been digitally altered and manipulated. However, there are still some pretty incredible things in the world that are mind-blowing even without Photoshop! Don’t trust your original assumptions – all of these photos are 100% real and unaltered.
Half of this forest wasn’t digitally painted red; it was burned by toxic mud.
This two-toned photo is interesting to look at, but it doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that could ever occur in nature. In fact, it looks like a digital shading exercise! Everything in the top half of the shot appears normal, but the bottom half looks a lot more sinister. It seems like someone took a torch to the ground and painted the tree trunks red, and it makes you wonder how the trees are still standing when their roots and trunks look like they’ve been completely destroyed!
Believe it or not, the red color of the trees and the ground was actually caused by a wave of toxic sludge that flooded a Hungarian town back in 2010. A large aluminum extraction facility near the town had a giant reservoir of toxic aluminum by-products inside its walls, a caustic substance known as “red mud”. The red mud was contained by a 20-foot-tall dam, but the dam burst and a million cubic meters of the slime rushed to flood the nearby town.
It must have been a terrifying sight; some of the waves were six and a half feet tall. Houses were ruined, cars were washed down the street, and the town was thrown into a panic. Most tragically, 10 people were killed and 150 more were seriously injured. It’s lucky someone captured this photo, because the incident was probably a one-time thing. The town affected by the flood has decided to give up dangerous chemical manufacturing in exchange for sustainable energy!