This article was originally published on theimperfective and has been republished here with permission.
Perspective is such an important thing to have in this life because it can change everything. In order to gain a better understanding of the world around us, we often have to compare things to something else. From the actual size of a traffic light to what a size medium looked like in the 90s compared to today, these photos are sure to put things into context. These incredible compare and contrast photos will give you a whole new perspective on life, not to mention, will amp up your brain to learn more about our mysterious world. So sit back, grab some popcorn, and scroll down to see a list of interesting comparisons for your eyes to feast on. Enjoy!
“Two teddy bears, one has been kept in storage until today.”
The full post reads: “When my brother was born in 1985, my mother purchased two identical teddy bears. The one on the left has been my brother’s for 30 years, the one on the right has been kept in storage for my brother’s first child who was born today.” This is just too sweet for words and we can already feel the tears welling up in our eyes. But don’t worry, these are happy tears. This is such a kind and beautiful gesture that we would have never thought of doing, but we’re definitely saving this one for the future.
The moon compared to the USA
Have you ever wanted to know how big the moon is compared to the United States? We all know that the sun is an enormous, vibrant star in the sky, and many times larger than the earth, and some might assume the same about the moon since it’s also pretty big. However, this is clearly not the case, and someone made this size comparison to prove it. The moon is actually smaller in diameter than the US. This map allows us to truly grasp the sheer size of the moon and really puts things into perspective. And interestingly enough, the sun is so huge, you would be able to fill it with about 64.3 million Earth moons. That’s a lot of moons.
Yao Ming with Christina Aguilera and Shaq.
Most of us have seen the basketball player Yao Ming in photos and know that he is super tall. However, this picture of him next to two other well-known celebrities shows us just exactly how tall he really is.
“Tip of a needle made by man versus the tip of a bee stinger made by Mother Nature.”
Many people have a fear of needles, and it’s pretty understandable. Who wants sharp things poking into them? Not us, thank you. However, this side by side images makes needles look almost harmless compared to the sharp, jagged bee stinger.
B2 Stealth Bomber compared to a falcon.
This photo just goes to show that Mother Nature is truly the world’s greatest designer. As advanced as our technology becomes, humanity can still only attempt to copy nature’s creations.
Son and father, out shopping.
We don’t all resemble our parents that much. Sometimes we look really different than them, and people think we’re adopted. However, this case is truly extreme and shows that nature works in very mysterious ways.
This is how many earths could fit inside the sun.
The sun is one of those things that looks really tiny to us but is actually unbelievably large. It’s honestly almost unimaginable how large it is. That’s why this person kindly created a visual representation of how many earths could fit inside the sun, just to give us an idea of how large it truly is.
“The size of a tornado compared to the size of wind turbines.”
It’s pretty common knowledge that tornados are really, really big. Most of us have only seen them in movies though, and have never actually come face-to-face with one in real life (thankfully.) So just for scale, we can see some wind turbines in the bottom right corner, and they look absolutely tiny.
“The difference between a small and medium orange juice at McDonald’s.”
Anyone who ordered the large orange juice at McDonald’s is probably feeling a little cheated right now. And we totally get that. But it’s always good to know these things for next time.
25 years after the Berlin Wall came down, the difference in types of light bulbs can still be seen from space.
The Berlin Wall divided West Berlin from East Berlin from 1961 until 1989. When the wall came down, the city united once again, but clearly, there are still reminders from the old days, as one half of the city still has a different lighting system.
“Two skinny cats and one chunky one.”
We’re sure all three of the cats are equally adorable, but for some reason, we just want to scoop up the heavier one right now and give it a squeeze. Just judging by its deep footprints, we can imagine he must be super cute and chunky.
Before and after pics of a street in Surf City, NC After Hurricane Florence
If anyone didn’t realize exactly how powerful nature can be, just take a quick look at this photo and you’ll understand. This was just a normal street with homes and grass until a hurricane came along and turned it into something else entirely.
Human skeleton compared to gorilla skeleton.
Sometimes side by side images show our differences, and sometimes they show our similarities. This photo definitely falls into the second category, as it makes us realize exactly how similar we are to this amazing mammal.
“Living next to the ocean, here’s the comparison between the outside and inside doorknob.”
Most of our doorknobs look exactly the same on the outside and the inside of the door. However, those who live next to the ocean have a situation that looks more like this. Clearly, the minerals in the ocean breeze are way stronger than we realize.
“The day after Asher was adopted in 2012 vs today.”
Dogs don’t know how to lie. They’re totally innocent, and we can always see their feelings showing on their faces. This side by side perfectly shows the difference between a dog who’s scared and a dog who is happy and trusts his humans.
“The difference 100 years makes.”
There are many ways we can see how our society has become technologically advanced. All we have to do is compare the way Times Square looks now to the way it looked in 1950. Or, we can just look at this car parked next to a horse and buggy carriage. That works too.
Traffic lights aren’t as small as they seem.
This is one is definitely throwing us off. Seeing a traffic light in comparison to a human makes us wonder exactly how big things really are. There are so many things we think we know so well that look totally different upon closer inspection. It’s all about perspective.
The difference between $10,000 in 1’s vs 100’s
Let’s be real for a second – we wouldn’t say no to a cool $10,000 in any amount. We don’t really care if it’s Washington or Benjamin on the bill. However, we can’t deny that the same amount looks very different in one-dollar bills and in hundred-dollar bills. One of these would be very awkward to carry around in your purse.
NBA player comparing hands with a tiny reporter.
We don’t stop and think about it a lot, but it’s pretty crazy that some people are 5 feet tall while others are close to 8 feet tall. It’s pretty amazing the way our bodies adapt in different ways due to our environment and other factors, which is clear from this photo of two very different-sized human beings.
“Triceratops (left) and elephant (right) bones with me for scale.”
It’s a pretty well-known fact that dinosaurs were some of the largest creatures to have ever lived. And elephants are right behind them. However, for anyone who needs proof, here’s a side-by-side comparison of a fully grown human and one single bone from each creature.
“Both are age 13.”
These two friends are proof that people come in all different shapes and sizes. No one can understand how nature works, and why we all grow at different paces. However, that mystery is part of the beauty of life.
“3 Generations. Guess who’s who?”
Um…which one is grandma? We honestly don’t know. These three ladies are each beautiful in their own way, regardless of age. While the older and younger generations might seem totally different, this photo shows that we are more alike than we think.
Bacteria spread without a mask vs wearing a mask
This is pretty wild. These Petri dishes show what it would look like if two coughs were spread. The left dish is bacteria spread without wearing a mask while the dish on the right is bacteria spread while wearing a mask. Sometimes we don’t realize just how much germs can spread.
McDonald’s logo progression over the years
It’s crazy to think about how the famous McDonald’s logo we are so used to seeing wasn’t always the way it looked. From the 1940s up until today, the logo has gone through quite a bit of change. As a company grows and flourishes, the brand identity changes too, so it only makes sense that the logo gets modified as well. From color pallets to different shapes, their logo was constantly evolving.
Women’s size 9 vs men’s 18
Of course, the average man is bigger than the average woman. This is a fact. However, looking at our hands and feet is probably the best way to see this.
“Smoker vs non-smoker.”
This person walked by two windows next to each other and just had to take a picture. It’s pretty clear what’s so interesting about this comparison. Try to guess which one is which. It’s not hard.
Female basketball players vs the cheerleaders.
Every team of basketball players needs a team of cheerleaders to root for them. This photo shows the striking difference between these two different athletes’ body types.
“These people had two very different nights.”
Luckily, someone saw this hilarious sight while waiting in line at the supermarket and just had to share it. “12 pieces of fried chicken & whiskey versus 12 pink tulips & cupcakes. Happy Valentine’s Day! Yes, I took this photo myself at Ralph’s in West Hollywood on Valentine’s Day.”
“My 1.5-year-old phone case vs a brand new one.”
Yikes. Those of us who are super into cleanliness are definitely cringing at this one. Apparently, no matter how well we take care of our stuff, there’s no way we can preserve them as good as new, and they will definitely be a totally different color two years later.
“Two lines at the food court. Ouch.”
This makes us want to get in line at Taco Bell just so that this comparison isn’t so crazy. We’ll admit Chipotle is really good, so we can totally understand why there are a ton of people in line. But when we’re hungry, a burrito is a burrito.
“The difference 11 days can make for this maple tree.”
The world is full of cool comparisons that make us think twice, but the best place to look is always in nature. It just never fails to surprise us. We human beings don’t change much in 11 days (except maybe our moods) but it looks like trees certainly do.
“Coming home vs leaving.”
Anyone who owns a dog knows these two faces way too well. But even for those of us who don’t own a furry friend, we are totally getting the feels for this sweet, sweet doggo who just wants to play with his owner all day long. Literally all day, every day.
“Same sign, different day…”
There are two types of people in this world. Some people like hot, sunny summer days. And some people prefer cold snowy winter days. Well, this comparison of a sign on two different days shows both kinds of weather – and a really big difference in the height of the sign…
Barbie’s proportions compared to an average 19-year-old’s.
This one is honestly pretty crazy. Many of us grew up playing with Barbie dolls but never realized how unrealistic their bodies are compared to real women’s bodies. This comparison gives us a pretty good idea, by comparing a Barbie’s proportions to an average 19-year-old woman’s.
“This week vs last week.”
Sometimes we don’t realize how quickly the seasons change, since time seems to move pretty slowly most of the time. However, there are some things that give us a little clue, and this stunning transformation is one of them.
“Spotted at a museum. Nature is wild.”
Nature is full of surprises, and things are often very different from the way they appear. We imagine sharks to be these huge, clever predators and perhaps one of the largest creatures in the ocean. But interestingly, a dolphin’s brain is many times larger.
“My mom’s phone from 1998 vs. my phone from 2018.”
Let’s be real for a second, your mom’s phone was all the rage back in 1998. However, today, that giant phone is literally considered an antique and can probably be donated to a museum exhibit on ancient artifacts from the 20th century.
“I never realized how huge camels were until I was standing right next to one.”
This girl might have thought she knew how big camels are, but she was clearly surprised to find that they are much bigger than she actually thought. And this camel is sitting down…just imagine how big it would be if it was standing. Typically, camels reach a height of 6 feet or more, weighing anywhere between 400-600 pounds.
“Movie vs Reality…”
Sometimes things look really great in movies and TV shows, and then not so great in reality. The “circle of life” scene from The Lion King is clearly one of those things, judging by this very unimpressed kitty.
Barcelona during the day vs during the night.
When we imagine what a city looks like, we normally picture images that we see on travel blogs and in movies. However, we don’t normally imagine the city from high above, like the way this photographer captured it. The difference between night and day has never been clearer.
The size difference in my legs after an injury and putting no weight on one for 3 months.
This comparison just goes to shows what a difference three months can make in altering your body. The plus side of that is the same holds true for getting weight as it does for being sedentary. With just 3 months of training, you’d be amazed at the difference in your body.
The world’s smallest computer compared to a grain of rice.
In these modern times, technology is pretty advanced, and our gadgets are only getting tinier and tinier. Just so that we understand exactly how incredible our technology is, yes, that tiny thing on the right is actually a computer, just like the ones we use every day. Rice for scale.
“Chinese explorer Zheng He’s ship compared to Christopher Columbus’. They both lived in the same era.”
Wow. This fact is pretty crazy, mostly because we all grew up learning in history class about Christopher Columbus and his Santa Maria ship, but not once did we learn about this guy, who was sailing the world at the same time, but with a much bigger ship.
Water VS Air VS Earth Ratio On Our Planet
Water and air feel as if they are infinitely abundant on our planet, but the truth is that they are far more scarce than we even imagine. This useful graphic shows us just how little of either resource we actually have.
The Blue Of This McDonald’s Sign Compared To The Arizona Sky
McDonald’s is as instantly recognizable as your own mother, always appearing with their golden arches. But this McDonald’s in Arizona has a turquoise arch. The reason is that the laws in the town state that the building mustn’t distract from the scenery so the arches were painted blue to blend in with the sky.
“A candle burning on earth compared to a candle burning in space.”
This comparison clearly shows the effect that gravity has on things. The candle on the left is a normal candle burning on earth. The one on the right is a candle burning in microgravity gravity on the International Space Station. In low gravity, the flame doesn’t really rise at all.
“From two months old to almost 2 years.”
Only a few months old, this wolf looks like it could be a puppy, and it doubled in size as it reached two years of age. That’s definitely no cute puppy anymore. We aren’t sure if we would have him as a pet, but this woman doesn’t seem to be frightened by its size.
“Modern tomato vs one grown from 150-yr-old seeds.”
Who’s hungry? The tomato on the left looks pretty much like the average kind we would find in a supermarket. The other tomato however is a totally different story. Clearly, just like us, seeds (and the plants that grow from them) have evolved with time.
Barbie Through The Years
The last 20 years of Barbie has seen the icon doll transforming dramatically. The last 2 decades of the doll’s existence have seen her changing from a troll-loving young lady, to what could be best described as a country music star, and to finally to a Stepford wife lookalike, to name only a few.
“The price of 12 pieces of chalk at Target vs my college bookstore.”
Someone spotted this ridiculous price difference and just had to share it on social media. “At Target, a pack of twelve pieces of chalk is being sold for 99 cents. At the college bookstore, it is priced at almost twelve dollars. That is one dollar per piece of chalk!”
“Michigan – the view at 9 am vs 11 am.”
This is what the lake in Michigan looks like at 9:00 am versus at 11:00 am. The difference just 2 hours can make in the weather is pretty incredible.
“The same but different.”
Someone spotted these three friends from behind and just had to snap a photo. The physical differences between them are a reminder of how diverse we all are and the fact that friendship comes in all shapes and sizes.
The world’s largest aircraft Compared to people
Airlander 10 is a prototype for the world’s largest aircraft. Helium is primarily used to make this baby float, and it is planned to be able to fly higher than aircraft created so far.
A comparison of different kinds of nipples
Did you know there was more than one kind of nipple type? Neither did we. This old chart gives us a bit of insight into the eight kinds (eight!) of nipples so we have this wonderful new knowledge. Which one on there matches you?
“Ben & Jerry’s has larger pint sizes than Haagen-Dazs”
Everyone loves ice cream. There are so many flavors out there, it could be hard to find your absolute favorite. But having more ice cream in your pint might sway your decision. Haagan-Dazs lowered their ‘pint-size from 16 to 14 ounces. We don’t know about you, but we would rather more than less. So the next time we’re in the freezer aisle, we know which one we’re going for.
With mom vs dad
LOL. This comparison perfectly shows the difference between mom’s parenting skills and dad’s slightly more questionable parenting skills. Honestly, the child looks happy either way, and that’s all that matters.
“Two NYC buildings before and after and cleaning.”
This photo shows two side by side buildings, before and after a power-washing. Back in the day, New York used to be a much dirtier city, as the entire Northeast region was running on coal plants.
“I’ve had this cup for 20 years. Today, I found a new one at a flea market.”
This person was browsing through a flea market when they stumbled upon a brand new version of their beloved cup and just had to share it with the internet: “I’ve had this Burger King collectible cup for 20 years. Today, I found a new one in the box at a flea market.”
“The life cycle of a penny.”
In case anyone wanted to see what the passage of time looks like, here it is. Someone very kindly arranged these pennies from old to new, and the result is eye-opening. as well as a reminder of how everything changes.
“Japan’s highest bridge height compared to Godzilla.”
This sign was spotted by someone on a bridge in Japan and they just had to snap a photo. Just in case any tourists were wondering how tall the bridge they’re standing on is, all they need to know is that Godzilla could easily walk under it.
The difference between American Froot Loops and British Froot Loops is too sad to stomach.
Look we don’t want to throw any shade at any nationality’s favorite breakfast cereal, but seriously, what’s going on with those British Froot Loops? They look so… sad. Sorry, someone’s going to have to tell the queen about this one. We’ll have the American version any day.
“My parents moved a rug for the first time in years. This is what 16 yrs of sunlight does to hardware floors.”
We tend to go about our busy days without noticing the little things that change around us, both when it comes to people and things. Luckily, someone snapped this photo, which shows the difference that 16 years can make.
“The height difference between these two girls at a party.”
These two friends are rock-solid proof that friendship comes in all shapes and sizes. It all depends upon who we connect with – and sometimes that person just happens to be a foot taller than us.
“My Maine Coon cat vs a regular-sized cat.”
Not all cats were created equally fluffy, and this is clear from the above photo. This person saw her cat lying next to another cat, and just had to snap a photo to show us the amazing diversity of these two cats, even though they are from the same species.
“So eagle claws are basically the same size as bear claws.”
We already knew eagles are pretty big for birds, but this chart shows us exactly how powerful this predator truly is, and why it should never be underestimated.
“This is the ceiling of the smoking room at Washington-Dulles airport.”
In case anyone was wondering about the effects of smoking, the difference between these two ceilings perfectly displays this. It’s pretty easy to figure out which one is which.
“At the beach vs cleaning feet after.”
Honestly, this dog is beyond relatable and we don’t blame him for looking super sad in the shower. We all know the feeling of coming home after a long fun day at the beach and then realizing we’re totally coated in sand, which doesn’t come off easily.
“this is a non-smokers lung vs. a smokers lung.”
If you were every curious to know what our lungs look like, they are supposed to be pink and flexible enough to squeeze. From this image it’s obvious to see that after smoking for many years, our lungs can turn black. Smoking isn’t an easy habit to quit, but this sure is an eye-opener.
“I cracked open a store-bought egg and a fresh farm egg. I was shocked by the difference.”
So after conducting extensive scientific research (i.e. we Googled it), we found out that fresh farm eggs supposedly have less cholesterol and saturated fat than regular store-bought eggs. They also have more nutrients! That’s it, we’re adopting a chicken just for those sweet, nutritious eggs.
Fluffy corgi vs regular coat.
This photo shows that even two dogs who are EXACTLY the same species and breed can look quite different. Just like humans, no two animals are alike, and our appearances all depend on our environment and genetics. Both dogs are equally cute, though.
“What we see vs what birds see.”
We often forget that different species see things quite differently. For example, birds can see ultraviolet light, while human beings can’t. This means that many parts of birds’ lives are much more colorful than ours.
“First day of primary school vs last day of teacher training.”
That little boy on the left was clearly very excited to go get an education. Around 20-something years later, he looks equally excited to give the next generation the same amazing education that he got.