Stock photos are incredibly helpful for bloggers and website designers. Two-thirds of them are your standard generic photographs. You know, pictures of everyday events, like birthday parties, business meetings, and grocery shopping trips. Stock pictures are the elevator music of the photography world. You probably wouldn't want to frame them and hang them up in your home, but they still have their uses.
What's up with the remaining third of stock photos, you ask? Well, we'll tell you. They are super awkward. Stock photos are a veritable goldmine of WTF. While the vast majority of them are mild and benign, a growing percentage of these pictures are fantastically strange. And sometimes, they're less fantastically strange, and more uncomfortably strange. For some reason, this is especially the case when they have animals in them. We don't know why this is, but it's mega hilarious. So take a look at these 20 awkward stock photos featuring animals.
20 A relaxed pig is a happy pig
"Alright, Mr. Pig. Now I want you to clear your mind and listen to the music. That's right. Close your eyes and feel every muscle in your hairy swine body relax. Perfect. Wow, Mr. Pig. You've got a lot of stiffness in your neck. And it feels like you carry your stress in your shoulders, am I correct? There, that's better. You know, Mr. Pig, we could make a lot of progress if you come in three or four times a week. We could work on some of these tense muscles, and I could teach you some relaxation techniques. I'll have my receptionist pencil you in for Wednesday."
You might think that this is a really weird and hilarious stock image, but you'd be wrong. This is actually a promotional photo for Dr. Rhett Everard, pig masseuse. Admittedly, he was the only professional in his field, but even still, he was the best.
19 In a galaxy far, far away . . .
Huh. You know, the moon looks a lot different than we had anticipated. We just always figured that it was gray and full of craters. But it turns out that the moon is actually a back alley in Chicago. And, judging by this stock photo, some pretty shady sh*t goes on in that back alley. Looks like some of the occupants are on LSD. How else could you explain a horse dressed as a genie standing with an astronaut in front of a dumpster?
So, um. What was the photographer thinking when (s)he took this photo? Stock photos are supposed to have a purpose, right? They're supposed to be things like, "Dad playing with children in leaves," and, "Mom bakes cookies with daughter." Stock photos should be usable. No one needs photos of swami horses with cosmonauts. Or do they? We may never know. Actually, we don't really want to know.
18 Rabbits, firearms, and senior citizens
This stock photo may very well be useless and confusing. But if you think about it, this picture perfectly encapsulates what it must feel like to be a senior citizen. It shows us that, sure, grandma and grandpa may have no idea what's going on. But, hey, they're okay with that. In fact, it's great! Life is great! Everything is great! Being old is the best! Now, put that Flemish Giant on the coffee table, and let's break this shotgun in half! Life is too short not to do weird sh*t.
Can you say, "relationship goals?" This is exactly the sort of loving marriage that we hope to take part in some day. We hope that when we're old and gray, living out the golden years with the one we love, we'll be able to laugh and smile in spite of the fact that we have no idea what's going on.
17 DJ of the sea
Amazing! We had no idea that puffer fish had cigarettes for arms. We didn't even know that they could play tiny bongo drums. This is just incredible. Of course, we always suspected that members of the undersea kingdom had musical talent. We figured that out when we watched Disney's, The Little Mermaid. But it's still a remarkable thing to witness. We bet people have to pay big bucks to get access to this stock photo. The photographer is probably rolling in the royalties even as we speak.
For a minute there, we were wigging out because we thought that this puffer fish was breathing air and playing the drums. Freaking out seemed like a reasonable response to seeing a fish doing a drum solo, let alone out of water. But if you look closely, you can see that this puffer fish is actually stuffed. This appears to be some sort of amateurish taxidermy project. What a rip off!
16 Chocolate glazed "dog"nut with sprinkles
"They're fattening." "They're full of processed sugars and flours." "They'll give you cavities." Look, we don't care. We still love dogs. You can throw as many made up side effects at us as you want, but we ain't buyin' it. We're popping down to the Shipley's Dougnuts located inside the local PetSmart, and we're buying a dozen of these chocolate glazed "dog"nuts with sprinkles, stat. And there is nothing that you can do to stop us.
These "dog"nuts are a huge improvement on regular doughnuts. Obviously, the greatest thing about them is the fact they they come with a live dog—kind of like how store bought cupcakes come with a plastic ring on top. But another reason why these "dog"nuts are so much better than your average doughnut is because they have a ton of sprinkles. A dog and a bunch of colorful candy bits? Other breakfast pastries don't stand a chance!
15 Mighty Joe Young scores an interview
When Mighty Joe Young fell on hard times, he struggled to find work. No one wanted to employ a large gorilla, whether he knew sign language or not. For awhile, he drifted. However, he had basic handyman skills. He could repair small machines, do minor plumbing work, and landscape like nobody's business. This helped him find some odd jobs. It didn't bring in a ton of dough, but he always had enough money to cover his bills. Still, Joe was far from living comfortably.
Then, one day, after responding to a newspaper advertisement, Mighty Joe Young scored an interview with the regional manager of Monkey Business Inc. The position was parking lot attendant, but it had the potential to lead to receptionist, and possibly even sales associate. It sounded fishy to Mighty Joe, but he needed work. After what he thought was an awful interview, Joe got a call. The job was his. And today, Joe Young is the top sales associate at Monkey Business Inc.
14 Hello, my name is Jennifer. "Cow" can I help you today?
Wow. Working at Borden Dairy is tougher than we thought. We were considering applying for a customer service job there, but after seeing this strange stock photo, we just don't know if we're cut out for it. That is professional-level multitasking, right there. We can barely eat a Snickers bar on our way to the gym in the mornings. We highly doubt that we'll be able to advise customers while simultaneously milking Elsie. In fact, the thought that this is what customer service reps who work for dairies do, makes us supremely uncomfortable.
We might have to consider becoming lactose intolerant as a result of this photo. Oh, yes. It will be difficult at first. We'll have to stop buying pints of Ben and Jerry's. We'll have to throw out all of our chocolate and strawberry-flavored milks. We'll even have to wave goodbye to cheese and butter. But it's a price we're willing to pay if it means we never have to see this inexplicable stock photo ever again.
13 Jumanji II: Middle Management Mayhem
"Dammit, Phil! Would you quit screwing around with the Jumanji board? These employee reviews aren't going to write themselves!"
Actually, Phil has been trying to juggle his passion for rhinoceros training with his preexisting middle management job (at least, that's what we think is going on. We can't be sure). See, what Phil would really like to do is to be able to retire from corporate work and switch to training rhinos full-time. But he's pretty new to the rhino scene, so he's not able to support himself with his budding training business. He's having to hold onto his desk job part-time to help him pay for rhinoceros feed—which is surprisingly expensive, by the way.
Don't worry about Phil, though. He didn't make it to branch manager in eight months by being inept. Phil is a problem solver. He'll be a financially stable rhino trainer before the year is out. Mark our words.
12 Laundry Dog
Yeah, okay. So all of the other photos in this lineup have been completely pointless and totally incomprehensible. But this one actually makes sense. Obviously, a photograph of an Australian Shepherd covered in clothespins will come in very handy. This is the sort of all-purpose picture that bloggers, corporate executives, and website designers will get a ton of use out of.
Kid's birthday party? This stock photo will be perfect to put on the invitations. Planning a wedding? Replace every picture of the bride and groom with this photograph. Want to get back at the guy who pantsed you back in middle school? Send him framed copies of this picture everyday until he is slowly driven insane—wait, no. Don't do that. That's awful.
Still, the fact remains that the possibilities for this photograph are endless. Use it as your Facebook icon. Frame it and hang it in your home. Print out a copy and tape it to your face. Do it now, before it's too late.
Oh, yeah. This happens to us all of the time. We always get so excited when we get to the produce section of the grocery store that we end up buying way more fruit than we could possibly eat. As a result, it all goes bad. The red apples we bought turn into flounder. The oranges start to rot, and they turn into large-mouth bass. Our peaches and pears transform into cod and tuna. And, of course, all of our bananas get mushy, and morph into large anchovies.
It's a strange phenomenon. It's also worth noting that this odd occurrence never seems to affect vegetables, only overripe fruits. Scientists still don't know how it happens. Does the fruit become infected with some kind of parasitic fish spore? Or, is it a rare genetic mutation? Whatever the reason behind fish fruit, one thing is for certain—this is a weird stock photo.
10 Gus and the Geisha
She's a rebellious traditional Japanese entertainer with an appetite for adventure. He's a prim and proper toy poodle who just wants to keep his coat clean. Can these two roommates set aside their differences long enough to ride their motorcycle out of the black void that they're trapped in? Find out this fall, when Gus and the Geisha hits CBS!
Stock photos are made to fill a need. People need pictures of men and women reading nutrition labels. They need pictures of cute puppies doing cute puppy things. Pictures of flowers, insects, and food are also useful. But pictures of kimono-clad women with fluffy dogs on motorcycles? That is an incredibly specific subject to photograph, and we can't help but wonder how many people actually require a stock photo like this. Okay, so granted, we're glad that it exists because it's funny. But why does it exist? That's what we want to know.
9 Cats love root vegetables
Cats love carrots! You all remember the Bugs Bunny cartoons, right? That cat loved—no, wait. Bugs Bunny was a rabbit. Okay, scratch that. Hm. Well, then, why the heck is this naked man offering his fabulously fluffy kitty a carrot? It makes no sense. Moreover, why is this naked man naked? Maybe someone should tell him about the wonderful nakedness-hiding abilities of clothes.
This picture makes no sense. We inspected it from every angle, and it just gets weirder the longer you look at it. Okay, for real, what is it that these stock photographers are smoking? Obviously, you need to be on some kind of drug in order for these awkward photos to make sense. Because the fact that these photographers are taking these awkward stock photos proves that they are on drugs. Or, they might just be insane. Either way, someone needs to confiscate their cameras so we can all be spared from these weird ass pictures.
8 Dog lumberjack
"Okay, folks, so we've been crunching some numbers. You've all been doing phenomenal work. Really great. Keep it up. But there are a few areas we need to work on. According to the marketing guys downstairs, we need more pictures that make people say, "WTF." We need some good, quality photos that make people pull their hair out, laugh, cry, and question the meaning of life, all at once. We need more absurd photos. Think, naked guy by a fridge offering a carrot to a cat. Think fish-banana. Think astronaut getting a fortune reading from a horse dressed up like a genie. What I'm about to propose fits the bill, and will make people shout, "WTF!?!" from the top of their lungs. Two words: "dog lumberjack."
Funny, yes. Without a doubt, this picture is hilarious. But can this awkward stock photo truly be described as "useful." Hmmm. Nope. Not so much.
7 Holy water park
What is that happy religious lady doing in a pool full of goldfish? Well, that's "nun" of your business. Hahahaha!!! Oh, man. *Wipes eyes* You never saw that one coming!
What? You don't want us to say anything more, do you? Oh, okay. Fine. Just don't expect us to make anymore puns. That one took a lot out of us.
Most people think that nuns are pious, tight-lipped killjoys, who believe that having a good time is a sin. But this is false. Nuns can be pretty lively. Nuns just want to have fun. In fact, that was the original title of Cyndi Lauper's hit, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." We're not sure why she changed it, because the first title was waaaaaaaay better. Anyway, the next time you visit your local community pool, watch out for Sister Mary. She'll be praying for your mortal soul as she slays people with her killer diving moves.
6 Piglet hunter
You know, usually in these little description things, we try to make sense of what's going on in the photo above. We try give meaning to the nonsense captured in the highlighted picture. But as much as we would like to help you understand what is going on in this one, we can't. Sorry, but it just isn't possible. After all, if we were supposed to be able to explain this picture to you guys, we would have to understand it ourselves. And we don't.
The plain and simple fact is that we have no idea why this man is dressed up like Indiana Jones. We don't know why he has a pistol and a leather lash (was he whipping and nay nay-ing, perhaps?). We couldn't tell you why he has a canteen, or why he's wearing a fishing vest and hip waders. And we sure as heck don't know what that adorable floating piglet has to do with any of it.
5 Canine Crime
Sadly, this is the last known photo of Mildred and Gertrude Roverton. It was taken on the very night that they were murdered. Their friends and family members were overcome with grief as a result of the malicious crime. Neighbors said that the violence came as a complete shock, as such a thing had never happened before.
In what is described as one of the most infamous fake murder investigations in stock photography history, the police dogs who were assigned to the case were baffled by the inexplicable crime. There were no clues left behind at the scene of the murder. There were no suspects. There wasn't even a motive. The Roverton sisters were well-loved by everyone, had no enemies (or ex boyfriends), and they had no money to leave behind. The police dogs were without a lead. Then, they found this photo, and instantly, they realized—none of this is true, and we just made it all up.
4 Creole updo
See, now this is what happens when you choose to let Cajun chefs style your hair for your wedding. We can only wonder what her bridesmaids looked like. Yikes. Hopefully, this bride-to-be was able to get her money back from Jean Bolet's Cajun Cookin' And Hair Salon—or, at the very least, we hope that she got free crawfish and gumbo for life. It's only fair.
We have to say, though, that in spite of the fact that it is both uncomfortable and unattractive to wear crawfish on your head, this hairdo does go remarkably well with hot sauce. And if you can get your hands on some fried boudin balls, so much the better. But, yeah. We don't recommend walking down the aisle with crustaceans on your head. In fact, if you really want to play it safe, never put crustaceans on your head. People will think you're a stock photo-taking weirdo.
3 Hot chick on a motorcycle
*Gasp* Shield the eyes of your young! Spare their precious and innocent minds from this sexist, obscene, depraved image! What were we thinking when we decided to include this lewd piece of pornography in our awkward animal stock photos post? Turn back now before your mind, too, becomes corrupted!
Stock photo pornography viewers are going to be super disappointed when they type "hot chick on motorcycle" into their search box, and this is the picture that comes up. Everyone else, on the other hand, will be delighted. Look at that precious little chick! She is having such a nice time on her plastic mini dirt bike. What this stock photo doesn't show is how awesome her moves are. She can pull an incredible wheelie, and her slides and bunny hops are just outrageous. When you're done looking at the rest of the awkward animal stock photos in this lineup, you should totally check out her YouTube channel.
There's dogs in them thar hills! Forget precious metals—dogs are where it's at. If you could locate a mine full of corgis, bulldogs, and yorkies, we bet you would make a lot more money than if you found a plain Jane gold mine. Sure, rich conspiracy theorists will invest in the gold you stumbled upon when you were crouched over a stream, panning for nuggets in the middle of California in the mid 1800's. But when you find dogs, you've really hit it big, because everybody will invest in a puppy—not just wealthy cynics.
On a side note, we'd just like to warn viewers against doing yard work when the end times are so near. It's a really bad idea to try to tend to your garden just before the apocalypse hits. Clearly, those gray skies and dead trees are evidence that the end is nigh. This short shorts-wearing landscaper and his wheelbarrow dog better high tail it on out of there.
1 The buck stops here
It's hard climbing the corporate ladder when you're a deer (what with the cloven hooves, and all). Steve knew that if he wanted to make his way to the top, it would take commitment. He would have to give if he wanted to get. It was a risky choice, but Steve opted to have his hooves replaced with the hands of a strong, decisive man. His new hands made a statement. They said, "Yeah, I'm a deer with the hands of a person in a weird stock photo. But one day, I'm going to be your boss."
Steve had always believed that his hooves-to-hands procedure would intimidate people—and it did, just not in the way that he'd imagined. Instead of being impressed by his leadership, Steve's managers were freaked out by his man hands. In the end, Steve didn't make it to the position of CEO by being good at his job. He got the position because everyone was too afraid of him to turn him down.