We live on an incredibly beautiful planet. With amazing beaches, vibrant rainforests, stunning sunsets, green pastures filled with wildflowers and mountains topped with fresh white snow, there are no limits to the beauty Earth possesses. But while the planet certainly has a number of scenic spots and moments, it also has its fair share of less than beautiful places. And those are what we are here to celebrate today.

Who needs another stunning photo of the Grand Canyon or the Swiss Alps? We know what those look like. If you’re here to see the parking lots of a strip mall in the Midwest United States or a portable toilet on the side of a highway, we’ve got the perfect list for you. We’ve gone through this subreddit that features members sarcastically sharing bad Earth pics to find the best photos that highlight the worst parts our world. Enjoy seeing all of these views that most of us would leave our cameras off for, and be sure to upvote all of the pics you find astonishingly ugly. Then let us know in the comments what “amazing” parts of our Earth you would like to showcase in your photography. And if you’re looking for even more photography that certainly would not make it into National Geographic after finishing this list, check out this Bored Panda piece next.

#1

Deadly Croc Sunning Itself On The Banks Of The Yarra In Melbourne Cbd

Deadly Croc Sunning Itself On The Banks Of The Yarra In Melbourne Cbd

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That other Panda
Community Member
2 months ago

THIS CROC JUST KILLED ME: Death by bad fashion sense

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This subreddit dedicated to bad Earth pics was created in 2012 and has gained over 22k members since then. Some of the photos feature sarcastic captions about what beautiful scenery they are capturing, while others actually highlight beautiful backdrops and sunsets tainted by parking lots and telephone poles in the forefront. Any photos of Earth are welcome in this subreddit, as long as they are not actually good enough to be featured background images on a new laptop. (You know the ones.)

Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but there are a few places that we can all agree are stunning. Even if you have no plans to ever see the Seven Natural Wonders, you can’t deny that sites like the Victoria Falls, the Great Barrier Reef, and Mount Everest are special. But why are there so many ugly cities? According to Alain de Botton, a London-based writer and author of The Architecture of Happiness, calling a city attractive might not even be subjective. There might be certain criteria that a city can meet to make it more or less beautiful. 

#2

A Breathtaking View From My Office

A Breathtaking View From My Office

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Isabella
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Maybe it's time to upgrade your ""Window"! 😁

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#3

A Beautiful Sunset

A Beautiful Sunset

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Falcon
Community Member
2 months ago

You might want to stop on the side of the road to admire it more. 😁

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There is nothing wrong with a city being known for something other than its looks. If every place in the world was as stunning as Florence or Kyoto, they would not seem as special. But as Alain de Botton outlines in his book, there are six principles a city must follow to be deemed attractive. The first being order, or “some degree of uniformity among buildings”. Next, he mentions visible life. People must be out and about doing things, walking their dogs, having picnics, etc. Compactness also adds value to a city’s appearance. If everything is too spread out, the open space makes the city feel less lively. Similarly, coziness and mystery help as well, meaning there should be many streets with some “unexpected turns here and there”. Scale is also important to de Botton, as he says structures should be no larger than five stories high, unless they are particularly monumental buildings. And lastly, local color is important, meaning that the city’s color scheme should reflect its culture or a sense of place.     

#4

Everything Is Bigger And More Beautiful In Texas

Everything Is Bigger And More Beautiful In Texas

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Bored Retsuko
Community Member
2 months ago

Friendly reminder: downvotes are NOT dislike buttons. Downvoting a comment just because you don't agree = not cool. If a comment gets downvoted, its author will get banned from the site. So please downvote only in case of obvious spam ("how to make cash") or if someone is literally harrassing a fellow panda

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#5

A Breathtaking View Of Shanghai

A Breathtaking View Of Shanghai

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Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
2 months ago

I would rather not take that breath!

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#6

The Original Mona Lisa, In All Her Glory

The Original Mona Lisa, In All Her Glory

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Hphizzle
Community Member
2 months ago

My favorite part of seeing that in person was the young British child behind me saying in a disappointed voice “It’s not that big.” “It’s not very colorful.” 100% agree with you little man.

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De Botton believes that all of these principles should be considered by city planners. But as Nancy Mitchell points out in a piece for Apartment Therapy, de Botton’s ideas overlap with urban planner Jane Jacobs’ four qualities of successful city neighborhoods. Jacobs’ qualities include a mixture of primary uses, short blocks, a mixture of buildings of different ages, and density. 

She notes the importance of a mixture of primary uses, so there is more than one appealing reason to visit or live in a certain city. If there are attractive neighborhoods, successful businesses, unique restaurants, tourist attractions, and cute local shops, a city has successfully accomplished this quality. Short blocks are self-explanatory, but they make it easier to get around and support many businesses at once. If a shop or restaurant is too far away, it may deter residents from making the trek. Or if it’s out of sight, it is likely to be out of mind as well. But having short blocks allows residents to have access to many things at once and makes them more likely to engage with their community.

#7

I Just Visited A Friend In Paris. He Has Quite A View From His Sh*tter

I Just Visited A Friend In Paris. He Has Quite A View From His Sh*tter

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Kayla J
Community Member
2 months ago

That kind of selling point probably adds an extra 0 on its cost/rent

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#8

Travelled 3 Hours By Bus To See Mt. Fuji And Got This Incredible Shot

Travelled 3 Hours By Bus To See Mt. Fuji And Got This Incredible Shot

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Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
2 months ago

At least there are some trees.

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#9

Amazing View Of The Alps In Switzerland

Amazing View Of The Alps In Switzerland

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Ange Marsden
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

So that's what busses do on their day off

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A mixture of buildings of different ages was not an aesthetic choice of Jacobs, but rather more of a financial tactic. She believed that if a building is older and has less expensive rent than new structures, certain companies would be able to conduct their business without being pushed out by rising rent prices. She wanted to prevent older, more traditional businesses from having to close down, taking a piece of the city’s history with them.

Density is also self-explanatory, but it’s helpful for several reasons. First, it allows businesses and restaurants to thrive when there are enough patrons to keep them afloat. It also allows for more diversity when a city has a larger number of people and is likely to attract even more. Dense cities are also better for the environment as residents are less reliant on cars for transportation when everything is close by.  

#10

A Breathtaking View Of A Frozen Waterfall In New York

A Breathtaking View Of A Frozen Waterfall In New York

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PickleRick
Community Member
2 months ago

HA!😂

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#11

Canoeing Through Open Waters

Canoeing Through Open Waters

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I I
Community Member
2 months ago

sad picture , we're disgusting

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#12

This Is It, My Lifelong Dream: Going To The United States Of America. My Arrival In New York City. Here Pictured, The Glorious NYC Skyline

This Is It, My Lifelong Dream: Going To The United States Of America. My Arrival In New York City. Here Pictured, The Glorious NYC Skyline

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PalmKitty
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

More clear than my future

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De Botton and Jacobs had different reasons for favoring similar features in a city, but it is encouraging to hear that whether a city planner focuses on aesthetics or the success of a city neighborhood, they will probably kill two birds with one stone. Time and time again, however, we see modern cities built to be cheaper, uglier versions of their predecessors. And why is that? The School of Life broke down some of their theories as to why modern cities are such eyesores in this piece, the first being what they call “The War on Beauty”.

They explain that hundreds of years ago, it was understood that when an architect designed a building, they would strive to make it functional and beautiful. However, more recently, functionalism seems to have become the sole priority for many designers. “The concept of beauty had been rendered old-fashioned, it smelt elitist and wooly. No one could any more complain that beauty was missing from the world without sounding soft-headed,” The School of Life writes. “Modernity became ugly because it forgot how to articulate that beauty is, in the end, as much of a necessity for a building as a functioning.”

#13

Tallest Mountain In Kansas: Mt Sunflower

Tallest Mountain In Kansas: Mt Sunflower

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Birgit M
Community Member
2 months ago

I really like this pic!

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#14

I Was Sick For 10 Days In Kashmir, India. At Least I Could Capture The View From My Hotel Window

I Was Sick For 10 Days In Kashmir, India. At Least I Could Capture The View From My Hotel Window

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Frances M
Community Member
2 months ago

And the dog nursing it’s puppies 🐶

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#15

I Heard You Guys Might Like My Aerial Photo Of London

I Heard You Guys Might Like My Aerial Photo Of London

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Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
2 months ago

That looks just about right!

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The School of Life also theorizes that no one understands what is attractive anyway. Many assume that in the premodern world, there were strict rules about what features made a building attractive, but over time, people started to disagree. Different styles like Gothic, Islamic, Chinese, Alpine and Thai architecture emerged and debates ensued about what was best. Eventually, objective standards went out the window, and it was not clear what was even ugly anymore, property developers had their way with creating bland, characterless buildings. “Cities grew ever uglier, but no one was allowed to say that there was such a thing as ‘ugliness’,” The School of Life notes. “After all, isn’t taste just a very very personal thing?”

#16

The Electric Company Cut Away An Ugly Tree For Some Beautiful Power Lines

The Electric Company Cut Away An Ugly Tree For Some Beautiful Power Lines

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Nor
Community Member
2 months ago

Grateful they didn t chop the whole tree down, like they normally do

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#17

A Truly Inspiring View Of The Great British Woodland

A Truly Inspiring View Of The Great British Woodland

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STress
Community Member
2 months ago

Well, someone has to fertilize the ground from time to time...

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#18

Glacier National Park, Walmart

Glacier National Park, Walmart

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C C
Community Member
2 months ago

Is it on sale at Walmart?

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Originality is another theory The School of Life puts forward for why modern architecture is so sad to look at. They explain that for most of history, architects did not feel the need to be unique or reinvent the wheel. They worked together with a team, and various districts of any given city looked cohesive. But eventually, the age of individualism began, and architects began thinking that big, bold choices were the way to go when designing buildings. “To ask an architect to fit in with everyone else was as stifling as asking a poet to type out the tax code,” The School of Life writes. Then some of the ugliest buildings in the world came about: Sky Tower in Taiwan, Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi, The Sharp Centre in Toronto, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. While these structures can get credit for creativity, I'm personally not a believer in the idea that all publicity is good. 

#19

A Lovely Floating Island On A Lake In Japan

A Lovely Floating Island On A Lake In Japan

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Kayla J
Community Member
2 months ago

I am only commenting in hopes someone will interact with it and remind me after my brain is fried from the heat tomorrow to come back and see if anyone knows the story behind this. It looks man made and not just like trash thrown in the water and I'd love to know more.

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#20

Beautiful Mountain View In China

Beautiful Mountain View In China

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Glitterati
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Spent 8 weeks backpacking in Oct and Nov in China and saw the actual sky once in Yangzhou. I really missed seeing blue and real air. Was a cool experience nonetheless, but certainly dystopian in places.

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#21

Stunning Hq View Of Venus As Seen From A Verdant Field

Stunning Hq View Of Venus As Seen From A Verdant Field

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Deborah Harris
Community Member
2 months ago

I see what you did there :P

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Sprawl is another reason cities might be becoming uglier. This makes sense with Alain de Botton’s requirements for attractive cities, as compactness is one of them. While suburbs have grown rampant and tightly organized cities are becoming a thing of the past, sprawl has made our cities less attractive as well. With so much space taken up by roads, parking lots and cars, cute, cozy, compact cities have become harder to find. It is much less enjoyable to have to drive 20 minutes on a highway and pass dozens of ugly billboards than to walk 20 minutes and pass dozens of people, cafes and shops.   

#22

Tree Adds Natural Beauty To Downtown Area

Tree Adds Natural Beauty To Downtown Area

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Ange Marsden
Community Member
2 months ago

It'll grow on you

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#23

Stunning View Of Lake Michigan From Downtown Chicago

Stunning View Of Lake Michigan From Downtown Chicago

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Eric Law
Community Member
2 months ago

Same is happening in the seaport district of Boston. They're building high-rises right at the water's edge, so nobody else has a view. :^(

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#24

Butthole Mountain

Butthole Mountain

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Maya Baggins
Community Member
2 months ago

Dog gives 0 f*cks about your pic of the mountains. He is an astrodog showing you a close up on Uranus

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Another reason The School of Life notes for why cities have become so ugly is that we are no longer required to use only local resources. Once upon a time, it was impossible to source materials from other places and cities had to look locally. This gave cities character and unique features that could not be found anywhere else in the world. However, today, many cities look indistinguishable from one another. Almost everyone has access to the same resources, and unless an architect makes a brilliantly ugly building in the name of originality, your city might not stand out among many others. 

#25

Spectacular View Of The Water From My Room

Spectacular View Of The Water From My Room

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Deborah Harris
Community Member
2 months ago

hey not fair ..this was every room in the UK the last few days :P

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#26

So Beautiful I Had To Stop And Take A Picture

So Beautiful I Had To Stop And Take A Picture

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That other Panda
Community Member
2 months ago

There’s a story behind this one…

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#27

One Of The Most Iconic Man Made Structures In The World, Behold The Magnificence Of The Cristo Redentor, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

One Of The Most Iconic Man Made Structures In The World, Behold The Magnificence Of The Cristo Redentor, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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KiT
Community Member
2 months ago

Truly mystical

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We hope you're enjoying this list of the most spectacular views the world has to offer. You might even be getting inspiration for when you plan your next vacation. The gorgeous views of parking lots, gas stations, portable toilets and airports are just begging for you to come visit. Keep upvoting the photos that amaze you the most, and then let us know in the comments what the most brilliant view in your hometown is. And if you'd like to celebrate the wonders of our world even more after finishing this list, you can check out the bad Earth pics subreddit right here.

#28

Thought-Provoking Street Art In Vancouver, Canada

Thought-Provoking Street Art In Vancouver, Canada

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PickleRick
Community Member
2 months ago

That piece could promote a movement.

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#29

The Beautiful Chattahoochee River

The Beautiful Chattahoochee River

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Firstname Lastname
Community Member
2 months ago

At first my brain read this as "Chocolate" river, and given the color, accepted that.

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#30

The Awe-Inspiring Colosseum

The Awe-Inspiring Colosseum

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That other Panda
Community Member
2 months ago

I dunno why you’re hiding behind a dumpster but okay

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#31

Beautiful Rainbow In South Boston

Beautiful Rainbow In South Boston

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KiT
Community Member
2 months ago

It's an interesting pic

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#32

Just Got Back From Paris, The Mountains Almost Look Like They Were Added In With Ms Paint. So Beautiful

Just Got Back From Paris, The Mountains Almost Look Like They Were Added In With Ms Paint. So Beautiful

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Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
2 months ago

You could have fooled me!

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#33

Beautiful Picture Of Hong Kong

Beautiful Picture Of Hong Kong

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D Battle II
Community Member
2 months ago

I call shenanigans!

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#34

Outstanding View Of Machu-Picchu, One Of The 7 Wonders Of The World

Outstanding View Of Machu-Picchu, One Of The 7 Wonders Of The World

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Down With Agent Hedgehog!
Community Member
2 months ago

Giant finger?

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#35

Beautiful View From My Hotel In Thailand! I Could Sit Here For Hours

Beautiful View From My Hotel In Thailand! I Could Sit Here For Hours

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ggus44
Community Member
2 months ago

Looks like someone else could sit there for hours too (I hope he is just sitting there 😅)

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#36

Picture I Took Of San Francisco From The Golden Gate Bridge

Picture I Took Of San Francisco From The Golden Gate Bridge

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europaleta
Community Member
2 months ago

I love the skyscrapers you caught there.

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#37

The Recent Snow Melt Has Revealed Dog S**t Island

The Recent Snow Melt Has Revealed Dog S**t Island

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Chris Jones
Community Member
2 months ago

I'm a dog owner... PICK IT UP!

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#38

Walked 0.00004 Miles In 68° Heat To Get This Picture For You All

Walked 0.00004 Miles In 68° Heat To Get This Picture For You All

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Pittsburgh rare
Community Member
2 months ago

I like it. Unironically

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#39

The Majesty Of Nature

The Majesty Of Nature

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Gemma jones
Community Member
2 months ago

why are people taking photos of their dog on the toilet, bit invasive and when you gotta go to the loo you gotta go,

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#40

Ohio Landscape Completely Untouched By Man. Breathtaking

Ohio Landscape Completely Untouched By Man. Breathtaking

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Joel Blue
Community Member
2 months ago

Newcomers town exit off 77. To be fair they have a Taco Bell now too.

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Note: this post originally had 72 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.