Unbelievable Photos Taken Seconds Before It All Goes Wrong

By Jake Schroeder

Life is a pretty risky, unpredictable adventure with surprises around every corner. There are so many things that could go horribly wrong on a given day. Thankfully, when potential disaster does comes knocking, things still have a chance of ending remarkably well.  Check out these 50 pulse-pounding images snapped moments before the unthinkable happens.

Unbelievable Photos Taken Seconds Before It All Goes Wrong

Uh-Oh Cargo Overboard

This cargo ship came so close to toppling over. The drivers of the rescue boats don’t look too concerned. Maybe the ship was more controlled than it looks to be in the picture. Believe it or not, it didn’t flip. No one was hurt, but it made for some insane photos.  Unbelievably, only four of those large shipping containers ended up in the water.

Uh-Oh Cargo Overboard

One Heck Of A Grand Finale

This pilot ejects himself right before his Harrier crashes in front of a huge audience at an air show. No one suffered injury. Some even thought it was a part of the show. That’d be one heck of a grand finale! The photographer should be rewarded for his bravery.

One Heck Of A Grand Finale

Granny And The Gator

Grandma sure is hip in her cut-off shorts and her pink spaghetti strap shirt. Of cours, she had to stop and take a selfie where this gator happened to be bedded down. He peeked his head up to give them a photobomb they’d remember their whole lives, and decided to retreat peacefully. Grandma wasn’t harmed, neither was the gator.

Granny And The Gator
Baddogneedsrottenhome

Swimming With The Whales

This whale came awfully close to realizing that humans don’t taste good. We’re all glad our ocean friend decided to stick to its diet of plankton and small crustaceans. It wouldn’t be unreasonable for these divers to play it safer from now on. Gosh, what a photo, though!

Swimming With The Whales
Swimming With The Whales

How’d He Land That?

Nigel Corner, driver in the Goodwood Revival of 1998, survived this brutal crash. In an interview with Motor Sports Magazine, he had this confession to make: “those old Ferraris are bloody strong, but if I’d been belted in I’d be a dead man now.” Who knew forgetting to put your safety belt on could actually save you in a crash?

How’d He Land That?
autooverload

Run! Gators!

This airboat ride had tourists freaking out when it dumped them into an alligator-infested swamp. The funny thing is, the tourists seemed to be calmer than the guide. Of course, she probably has more knowledge about exactly what they had just gotten themselves into. Gladly they all got out quickly and safely.

Run! Gators!
autooverload

That Was Close

A hilltop race ended abruptly when a car crashed into spectators. Everyone walked away safe, including the driver of the car. This photo is pretty unreal. The race car landed just shy of five feet from these three ladies, where it bounced off a rock and landed right-side-up.

That Was Close
autooverload

The Python Whisperer

This woman befriended a giant Burmese Python, known to swallow humans whole, and she’s completely peaceful. These things commonly eat crocodiles, so going swimming with one seems like a ludicrous idea. Maybe this pretty lady is the python whisperer, seeing as she wasn’t harmed at all by this thing.

The Python Whisperer
omglane

Coulrophobia

The fear of clowns is a real thing. And yes, even fully grown adults struggle with it. This poor baker is strolling happily along, completely unaware of what awaits him. Being startled is one thing, but being startled by your greatest fear brings the “freak out” to a whole new level. What a waste of good pastries.

Coulrophobia
Pixdaus

Daredevil Kid

Whoever this kid is, he seems to be enjoying himself. His face has, “look what I can do mom!” written all over it. His sister is definitely getting a kick out of her brother’s vulnerability. Though mom looks a bit concerned, she knows that it will end well, and it does. Unfortunately he didn’t get any cool battle scars out of it.

Daredevil Kid
Google

The Wandering Eye That Almost Cost Him An Eye

We get it. She’s pretty. But do you have to risk your life to get that last look? This poor guy greatly embarrassed himself by running into that pole. I’m sure he’ll tell you it was worth it. He probably even got a date out of it (probably not, though).

The Wandering Eye That Almost Cost Him An Eye
Trinixy

Titanic Role Play Fail

Maybe this couple thought it’d be cute to reenact a scene from Titanic. Whatever the reason, it epically failed as a seagull decided to swoop in and take a nip at this lady’s nose. They found it quite hilarious, but I’m sure the seagull was more inconvenienced than them.

Titanic Role Play Fail
Pagely

Water Burn

These are in fact water skis, just larger and supposedly safer. The guy who looks like he’s flying rather than skiing must’ve gotten a bit more of a jerk from whoever was driving the boat. Though this looks to be a definite collision, it actually wasn’t. He dropped off and walked away with some brutal burns.

Water Burn
Flickr

Shark Surf

This is Seth. He likes to take risks. He happened to know this shark was around and thought it’d be fun to surf anyways. The shark merely sniffed Seth out as a dog would, to see what he was. Both the shark and the Seth walked away without injury.

Shark Surf
lifehacklane

That’s One Cruel Joke, Guys

This lady was definitely freaked out by the fact that her husband was holding a sting ray to her back. No, nothing happened to her, but her reaction has made her famous. Her priceless expression has sparked the creation of many memes. With the recent passing of Steve Irwin, I’m sure she was extra sensitive, since we all learned how powerful the sting of those rays actually is.

That’s One Cruel Joke, Guys
inquistr

Gator Stand-Off

Officer Chuck Lamm holds a 6-foot alligator at gunpoint after it snuck up on him as he tried pulling someone over. The gator stared Officer Lamm down for 20 minutes before walking back to the water. As for the individual Officer Lamm wanted to pull over, well, he was long gone.

Gator Stand-Off
drunktiki

Not-So-Killer Whales

We all think of whales as harmless. It’s true, they probably won’t eat you, but property damage is a whole different story. For a killer whale to jump out of the water and land on a boat this small would mean instant destruction. Though these fishermen went for a nice swim, they lived to share their stories over dinner that night.

Not-So-Killer Whales
safetypro

Elephant Love

This couple seems so calm and collected despite the giant elephant about to pick up their car and toss it. He must have been just wanting to get acquainted because a few sniffs were all it took and the couple drove off. Did you know that elephants were this big? I mean, look at its legs, they are taller than the car those kids are in.

Elephant Love
omglane

Octopus Pack

An octopus can leave a person paralyzed and unable to breathe and swallow if it perceives a threat. For this couple, faking paralysis seemed to disarm the little guy and he was able to be extricated without any harm befalling the man. Next time you’re walking down the boardwalk of your favorite beach, watch out for this 8-legged beauty.

Octopus Pack
clipmass

Just A Little Nibble

Camels can be aggressive with one another and don’t usually display violent behavior towards humans. They even enjoy sniffing humans and will sometimes play with their hair. In this case, though, it looks like one camel was beyond frustrated and took his anger out on a pretty innocent tourist.

Just A Little Nibble
Recreo Viral

Pole Dancing On Public Transport

All pole dancers know that you should never pull any stunt with a drink in your hand! Hopefully, this guy knew the girl striking a pose. If not, then this is exactly the reason why many of us abhor public transportation to begin with: It’s full of weird people on crazy missions.

Pole Dancing On Public Transport
TCMag

A Furry Cat Rocket

If we could shoot our kitties out of big, silly cannons, this is surely what the furball projectiles would look like. With that look of determination, this critter must have been chasing after something seriously exciting. Felines don’t tend to exert themselves like this unless they think it’s worth it.

A Furry Cat Rocket
VSE42

Bee Stings Hurt The Bee

(Not so) fun facts: When a honey bee stings something, it can’t retrieve its barbed stinger. Instead, it has to fly away and leave not only its stinger, but part of its abdomen, digestive tract, muscles, and nerves. The honey bee promptly dies as a result of this abdominal rupture.

Bee Stings Hurt The Bee
Informativa

Dodgeball—Or Not

If you’ve ever been struck in your face while wearing glasses, you know exactly how much it hurts. Innocent frames of metal and plastic turn into weaponized assault garments. This woman might have a hilarious photo for a dating site now, but she won’t play contact sports with glasses ever again.

Dodgeball—Or Not
EbaumsWorld

Special Delivery!

The whole storks-deliver-babies wive’s tale goes back as far as Roman times. Over the centuries, many different cultures believed that storks brought good luck. The birds are also good parents and care for their offspring long after they learn to fly. Perhaps that’s where the old story comes from?

Special Delivery!
LikeMag

Duck! (Actually, It’s A Pigeon)

This photo is nothing short of a tried and true classic—there’s just something special about it. It looks exactly like the pigeon has targeted this child in particular for some sort of birdy, wasteful revenge.

(If you haven’t seen this photo before, you must be new to the internet. Welcome!)

Duck! (Actually, It’s A Pigeon)
WittyFeed

Sudden Doom

The timing of this photo is absolutely perfect. It had to have been taken a literal second before this car dove nose-first into the waters below. We know what you’re wondering, and no, there was no one in the car. This car was actually dropped into the lake from the sky. Why? Maybe a mob boss hiding evidence, or just extreme boredom.

Sudden Doom
kickvick

Taken Out At The Ballgame

Baseball games are so much fun, but if you’re close to home plate, you should really spend the majority of your time keeping an eye out for projectiles. Even when you’re clear across the stadium, you should still pay attention—home runs can easily send a baseball flying right into someone’s face.

Taken Out At The Ballgame
FFFOUND

THIS. IS. SPARTA!!!

Oh, bird fights—so tiny, hilarious, and cute. These two are different species, and it looks like they’re well aware of it. Why else would you boot someone who’s just trying to enjoy a seedy little snack? Mother Nature is beyond tough when you really think about it.

THIS. IS. SPARTA!!!
Imgur

A True Fairytale Wedding

Imagine being the wedding photographer in this scenario. You know you’ve got a hilarious photo opportunity, but you can’t really interrupt the proceedings because you don’t want to ruin the moment. Would you just shoot this and let the couple be surprised when you deliver the final set of photos?

A True Fairytale Wedding
TransPhoto

Walking On The Clouds

This is actually a great photo that shows what skydiving really feels like! Falling through clouds for sixty seconds is a sensation like no other. This guy’s clearly a professional if he’s striking poses in freefall, too. Advanced jumpers do all kinds of crazy challenging stunts in midair.

Walking On The Clouds
Flickr

Lurking In The Shadows

What did this guy think when he learned about the very much alive cougar behind him? This big cat is sizing up a potential meal in either the hunter, the elk, or both. Mountain lions aren’t the most aggressive animals out there, but when they’re hungry, they have been known to attack humans.

Lurking In The Shadows
Cyber Breeze

Ejected From Your Seat

People who ride horses for sport know very well that mishaps can result in very serious injury. If you think about it, it’s like riding a motorcycle—but the motorcycle is jumping up and down and has pretty skinny legs, considering how heavy it is. Actually, never mind. This might be freakier than riding a motorcycle.

Ejected From Your Seat
FunnyPhoto

Recoil Straight To The Eyes

Do you know what’s happening here? This woman should be shouldering that rifle instead of holding it over her eye socket like this. The recoil is going to punch that scope straight into her eyeball. Maybe, though, this shooter actually knows what she’s doing and isn’t worried about it?

Recoil Straight To The Eyes
Rire en Boite

Something Fishy Underwater

This photo makes you want to go snorkeling and try to capture a similar shot of your own, right? Think about how weird it feels to swim your way through a huge school of fish. It’s part live-action Spongebob Squarepants and part fishy photobomb—it’s definitely frame worthy.

Something Fishy Underwater
ThoughtCo

True Stealth Mode

If this pupper was aware of the kitty hanging from the doorframe, wouldn’t he be looking at it? This cat could drop at any time and give that poor dog a serious scare. On the other hand, maybe it’s such a standard occurrence that he doesn’t care.

True Stealth Mode
Top13

Minibike Problems

This is why it’s best to check the nuts and bolts that make up your bicycle, motorized or otherwise. He was probably dizzy from all of those donuts. Other than that, though, this guy probably escaped with less than a bruise. Gotta love the ultra-low clearance of a minibike.

Minibike Problems
keptelenseg

A Little Leggy

This photo really raises more than a few questions. Isn’t it strange to have a mirror finish on a waist-height bar? Why is this space as brightly lit as a family restaurant? Do the waitstaff know that this alt-leg phenomenon takes place, or are they entirely oblivious?

A Little Leggy
Rigolus

Is This Why Women Live Longer Than Men?
 

Seriously, guys? Using a front loader to hoist up a ladder and take down a tree? The lawnmower responsible for supporting this load is barely big enough to manage a front yard. Really, though, here’s to these guys and their determination. Someone out there has to make the bad decisions that the rest of us learn from!

Is This Why Women Live Longer Than Men
omofon

This One Can’t Be Real

This has to be Photoshopped, because what museum would house one of their pieces under plexiglass and another out in the open? Also, why would a museum allow guests to walk up to the pieces without having their pedestals bolted to the ground? There are so many questions behind this photo.

This One Can’t Be Real
Reader21

Conversation And Poolside Relaxation—Or Not

Lady, what are you doing standing right on the edge of a pool?! Maybe she’s had one mai-tai too many—or perhaps she knows exactly what she’s doing? Here’s hoping she didn’t have a cell phone in her pocket because that’s about to be gone.

Conversation And Poolside Relaxation—Or Not
Mmbiz

Deep Breathing

The pair responsible for posing and shooting this photo definitely planned it ahead of time. The end result is fantastic but frightening, because wouldn’t you end up with a face full of rocks and sand after this? Eh, whatever—sometimes you’ve just gotta do it for the Instagram. Namaste.

Deep Breathing
Pinterest

The Birthday Cake Fail

You haven’t felt disappointment until you’ve dropped a birthday cake that doesn’t belong to you. Bonus points if the cake is for a super special birthday, like the sweet sixteen sheet pictured here. If you get lucky, the person who’s celebrating their birthday will be able to laugh it off.

The Birthday Cake Fail
Fishki

Gotta Love The Attack Suit

It’s got to be really freaky to train police dogs. Even when you’re covered in a suit of armor, those first few attacks have to send your brain into panic mode. This type of training starts in the puppy stage, so that must make for a fun couple of years for the canine.

Gotta Love The Attack Suit
MainFun

A Poor Judgement Party

This could be some sort of Halloween party, but with the poor judgment behind bicycle riding over a bonfire, let’s assume it’s just a normal weekend for this squad. The depth of field seems to show that this guy didn’t land in the fire—but there’s still panic flashing through his body.

A Poor Judgement Party
EbaumsWorld

Showing Off A Lack Of Skills

These people must be at the end of a night filled with partying. Why else would you be posing with a thumbs up for a photo with a pizza? No matter what they’re doing, though, they hopefully had another pizza in the freezer for backup. Falling food always lands face down, and that’s a fact.

Showing Off A Lack Of Skills
Buzzly

Gymnastics And Pool Decks Don’t Mix

It looks like this guy was attempting some sort of backflip or somersault into the pool. The whole thing would probably look pretty great if it worked out in his favor, but he was hit with some bad luck instead. He probably ended up with a broken nose and hopefully kept all of his teeth.

Gymnastics And Pool Decks Don’t Mix
Votlina

It’s Going Down, I’m Yelling Timber

Yikes. This would be one of those heart-stopping moments of fear that we usually encounter at least once as drivers. What are you even supposed to do if this happens? If you’re lucky enough to get out of the way, probably get on the phone with your lawyer.

It’s Going Down, I’m Yelling Timber
ZakNEWS

Monkeying Around

This little creature was probably frustrated when this giant, billowing skirt blew up and biffed him in the face. He was also probably curious to know if the outfit would make for a comfortable umbrella of sorts. A nap was probably on the agenda once he was finished eating whatever fruit he’s got in his paws.

Monkeying Around
Sarcasm