What we see isn’t always what we get. Come to think of it, what we believe isn’t always what’s true, either. The moment you put on your detective hat and start investigating what things are made of, you might be in for a surprise. For mysterious things lie just beneath the surface of other things. Things that might shock and astonish you! Things that will astound and amaze you! [Queue fireworks]
Bored Panda has compiled a list of strange, weird, and unexpected things found inside common and seemingly ordinary objects. Scroll down, upvote your favorite photos, and let us know in the comments whether you’ve seen anything like this with your own eyes!
We’re willing to bet that we’ve got your curiosity and your attention. So when you’re done looking through this post, check out our articles about the unseen side of objects being revealed once they’re cut in half and our list of rare photos that reveal the unseen side of things. These photos changed how we understand the world; we hope they’ll change yours, too.
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Some of the photos that blew our collective Panda hive mind included the crab inside the mussel, the sad cactus inside the happy cactus, as well as the teeny-tiny mandarin orange inside of its bigger sibling. Oh, and the rock inside of another rock was simply genius: great sense of humor, O Great Flying Spaghetti Monster.
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When we think of things inside of other things, our minds usually wander to one thing. Don’t deny it, you probably had the same thought, too. That’s right! Matryoshka dolls, also known as Babushka or nesting dolls!
According to the Nesting Dolls website, the very first set of Russian nesting dolls was crafted by woodworker Vasilii Zvyozdochkin and painted by artist Sergei Malyutin in 1890. They named their creation “matryoshka” which means “little matron” but also known as the Rooster Girl because of the traditionally depicted black rooster she holds in her arms.
Matryoshka dolls became widely popular in 1900 after they won a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, France. Their rise to stardom meant that they started to be exported all over the world. They continue to be popular to this day.
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Speaking of Russian nesting dolls, Bored Panda spoke about them with Cassie Burgess of the Golden Cockerel shop that specializes in Russian gifts and souvenirs. We wanted to hear their opinion about why so many people continue to be fascinated by Nesting Dolls.
Here's what she Burgess had to say: "We hear everyday from our visitors that mom, grandma, or a dear friend had a set of Matryoshkas that was a favorite toy from their childhood, so when they walk into our Gallery they feel again the sheer delight of that cherished playtime. Seems today the fascination has changed over the years to include folks with a true love for the handmade nature of the craft and the carvers and artists still creating this type of art."
The Golden Cockerel shop is over two decades old now. "Having grown up during the Cold War, owner Walton Conway traveled to Russia in the early 1990s to create friendships with Russians and break down Russian-American barriers. He opened the business to strengthen ties between the two countries and to share Russian talents and delights with the rest of the world. It has been a fascinating journey over 25 years," Burgess told Bored Panda about the history of the store.
"Bringing New World business standards to an Old World cottage industry continues to provide constant challenges. Getting the turners and artisans to fill orders consistently and reliably can be vexing! Through it all, Matryoshka keeps her handmade charm and continues to delight young and old, as one doll opens to another and other. We like to think of the Russian doll as an onion with many layers that makes one smile instead of cry."
According to Burgess, the most elaborate set of custom Nesting Dolls they've done is the Hong Kong Celebrity Matryoshka made up of 76 pieces! It was so big that the first doll stood at just over 3 feet. "Owner Roman Karkachev traveled to Hong Kong for the presentation of this master work," Burgess said.