For over three years, we’ve published our favorite photographs and pictures from around the world on a daily basis. We crunched the numbers to determine the most-viewed pictures and the results were fascinating given their breadth and depth in subjects. From the frightening to the humorous to the bizarre and enlightening, we present the 50 most popular pictures among them:
Asperatus Clouds Over New Zealand
This fascinatingly bizarre photograph garnered huge amount of online attention, where it was featured in several conspiracy-oriented websites that claimed it was evidence of government manipulation of the weather.
The Town Where Everyone Wears A Gas Mask
One of our favorite articles in the archives, The Town Where Everyone Wears A Gas Mask details life in Miyakejima, Japan, where an active volcano had spewed poisonous gas for the last two decades. Rather than leave, the 3,000 inhabitants decided to wear gas masks 24/7 so they could remain on the island.
The End Of The Earth
The Nullarbor Cliffs literally feel like the end of the earth, though they are really just the end of Australia.
The Design Of Eixample, Barcelona
Constructed in the early 20th century, Eixample is a district of the Spanish city of Barcelona known for the urban planning that divided the district into octagonal blocks. Influenced by a range of schools of architecture, Eixample Barcelona was designed in a grid pattern with long streets, wide avenues, and rounded street corners. Despite being in the center of a thriving European metropolis, the district provides improved living conditions for inhabitants including extensive sun light, improved ventilation, and more open green space for public use. And of course, the result from the grid-like structure is astounding from above:
Look closely; these images are not what they seem! Turning the human body into a dynamic canvas, the art of body painting has grown rapidly over the past 20 years, gaining popularity and acceptance along the way. Contrary to their title, body painters don’t use actual paint in their work, but high grade makeup. Like any other medium, themes run the gambit.
Some artists turn their subjects into chameleons, while others transform them into free standing sculptures. Competitions and festivals take place worldwide that cater to body painters of all levels of ability. The World Body Painting Festival is held annually in Pörtschach, Austria and features some of the most talented body artists from across the globe.
Tree Frog, by Johannes Stoetter, consists of five made-up bodies. Stoetter was crowned the 2012 World Body Painting champion, and is internationally known for his artistic skills with skin.
Even though body painters have switched their artistic medium from stiff canvas to more elastic skin, that does little to change the artist’s need for a stable, sturdy surface. With that in mind, artist Trina Merry aptly selects athletic models for her human sculpture/painting works. It’s not just for aesthetics; all models must be able to hold an often awkward and uncomfortable position for hours on end.
Japanese Artist Hikaru Cho (aka Chooo-San) has a keen eye for embedding a certain mechanistic realism into her body art. Blending the rigidity of zippers, screws and stitching with the flesh, Choo-San’s works are sometimes a bit unsettling.
Craig Tracy’s creations vary greatly in subject and style, but there is no question as to why he is one of the hottest and most-admired body painting artists around today. From his ‘Tiger’ project, created to help save the endangered South China tiger, to the stunning tree frog painted on a woman’s back, Tracy’s works never fail to impress. Here’s a YouTube video featuring the tiger body painting by Craig Tracy: (Disclaimer: contains some nudity.)