Life is full of surprises. Of course, we can't pick and choose; one day they come in the form of an arrowhead in a dried up stream, the next it's a death mask under the bedroom floor. We just have to keep our eyes open. That's the only thing in our power, really.

Luckily, the subreddit r/MildlyInteresting has plenty of perfect examples that good things happen when we do. Many of its 19 million members have shared photos of unexpected finds they came across pretty much everywhere you can imagine.

Continue scrolling to check out the ones that have impressed us at Bored Panda the most and fire up our earlier publication for more astonishing discoveries.

#2

Geologist Finds Rare Formation Inside Rock That Looks Exactly Like Cookie Monster On Sesame Street

Geologist Finds Rare Formation Inside Rock That Looks Exactly Like Cookie Monster On Sesame Street

holyfruits Report

A surprises might sound like something insignificant but even good scientists search for them, as well as coincidences and mistakes. With a little curiosity and perseverance, they can turn unexpected incidents into new insights.

As author Isaac Asimov once wrote, "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but, 'That's funny ... '"

Take Carlos Jared, for example. One time, he was doing fieldwork in the jungles of southwest Brazil and picked up a harmless-looking frog. The frog twisted and thrashed, butting Jared's hand with his head. Excruciating pain spread up Jared's arm, and for the next five hours, he remained in agony.

He had inadvertently discovered that frogs can be venomous.

Even though many amphibians secrete toxins through their skin, the frog Jared picked up — Greening's frog — was the first discovered to actually force those toxins into a predator's bloodstream. When attacked, it retracts the skin around its upper lip, revealing bony spines; Jared and collaborator Edmund Brodie discovered that a gland at the base of each spine produces toxic mucus that is twice as potent as the venom of a Brazilian pit viper.

#3

Found This On A Bench In Margate UK This Weekend

Found This On A Bench In Margate UK This Weekend

"Dedicated to - HAYDEN KAYS. Forever missed by his friends and family. - He's not dead yet. He's just become increasingly anti-social."

lookthatwayplease Report

rumade
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hayden Kays is an artist from London. This is typical of his style!

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#4

Gifted A Bonsai Tree, Found An Egg Near The Trunk - This Little One Hatched From It Today

Gifted A Bonsai Tree, Found An Egg Near The Trunk - This Little One Hatched From It Today

krohner5 Report

#5

You Never Know What You Will Find When You Pick Up A Shell At Honeymoon Beach, Florida. Little Dude Was Put Safely Back In The Water

You Never Know What You Will Find When You Pick Up A Shell At Honeymoon Beach, Florida. Little Dude Was Put Safely Back In The Water

crinnoire Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nice! They don’t live much more than a year. Such cool critters. Thanks for taking it back to safety

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Also, did you know that blue is a notoriously tricky pigment? Turns out, the stone originally used to produce blue paint was once worth more than gold. So naturally, humans tried to manufacture the blues they needed ... and got mixed results. The dyes and paints they came up with often turned out to be poisonous, expensive, impermanent — or all three.

Mas Subramanian wasn't at all interested in all of this. In the department of chemistry at Oregon State University, he was looking for materials with novel magnetic properties to use in advanced computer hard drives. He would mix up likely chemicals and bake them in a furnace at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (around 1093 degrees Celsius). However, when he added manganese oxide to the recipe, he got a colorful surprise — a pile of bright blue powder.

The new pigment is stable and nontoxic. It reflects infrared radiation, so it might help keep buildings and vehicles cool. Subramanian is working with paint manufacturers and energy conservation companies to develop the product.

#6

Went On A Walk, Fogged Up My Glasses, And Found This

Went On A Walk, Fogged Up My Glasses, And Found This

CoryClears Report

#7

Found Amethyst Pieces In A New Gravel Driveway

Found Amethyst Pieces In A New Gravel Driveway

fluffmcstuffins Report

Vorknkx
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I found similar rocks when I was a kid - in a small parking lot covered with gravel. Never realized they were amethysts.

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#8

I Came In My Kitchen To Find A Lizard Using A Sponge As A Raft In The Sink (I Live In New Mexico)

I Came In My Kitchen To Find A Lizard Using A Sponge As A Raft In The Sink (I Live In New Mexico)

bassmansrc Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I looked it up, it’s either a Sonoran or Chihuahua Spotted Whiptail. TOO CUTE!!!

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In the book Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected, Tania Luna and Leeann Renninger argue that surprise, whether good or bad, is important for bringing vitality to our lives.

Turns out, surprise works on the dopamine system in our brains, helping us to focus our attention and inspiring us to look at our situation in new ways. Luna and Renninger highlight four stages of the surprise response:

  • Freeze—when we are stopped in our tracks because of the unexpected;
  • Find—when we get hooked into trying to understand what’s going on/how this happened;
  • Shift—when we begin to shift our perspectives, based on conflicting findings;
  • Share—when we feel the pull to share our surprises with others.

We can even “hack” each stage to encourage more surprise in our lives. For example, when we are in the “find” phase, it can help us to adopt a stance of curiosity, asking questions rather than looking for answers right away, which can lead to worldview shifts.

#9

This Pixelated Leaf I Found

This Pixelated Leaf I Found

ThumYorky Report

#10

Found This 'Veiled Lady' Mushroom On A Hike This Morning Near Seoul, South Korea

Found This 'Veiled Lady' Mushroom On A Hike This Morning Near Seoul, South Korea

Spudnut Report

#11

Older Roman Mosaic Under A Layer Of Less Older Roman Mosaic - Found In Greece

Older Roman Mosaic Under A Layer Of Less Older Roman Mosaic - Found In Greece

IASIPxIASIP Report

Guy MacGregor
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A normal day in the office. This kind of thing happen literally every day in Italy.

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Yes, negative surprises are much more challenging than positive ones, but Luna and Renninger believe that we can avoid them—they are a natural part of life. So it is better to find ways to cope with these negative surprises than to resist them.

Being open to uncertainty, learning how to reframe negative experiences in more positive ways, and nurturing stable relationships are all tools we can use to recover from life's curveballs more easily.

#12

This Little Door I Found In The Trunk Of A Tree While Walking In Lowell

This Little Door I Found In The Trunk Of A Tree While Walking In Lowell

noffxpring Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There is a guy in Golden Gate park who has been making these. I love em.

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#13

We Just Found Kittens In The Bushes Near Our House

We Just Found Kittens In The Bushes Near Our House

ATimeHoody Report

Giles McArdell
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Report them for littering! ... Sorry, I'll let myself out.

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#14

Found While Out Deer Hunting In The Middle Of Nowhere

Found While Out Deer Hunting In The Middle Of Nowhere

TakenAHike Report

#15

It Has Been Family Lore That My Grandmother Had A Pet Raccoon Named Smokey. I Didn’t Believe It Until I Found Photographic Evidence. Late 40’s Or Early 50’s

It Has Been Family Lore That My Grandmother Had A Pet Raccoon Named Smokey. I Didn’t Believe It Until I Found Photographic Evidence. Late 40’s Or Early 50’s

Neville1989 Report

#16

Found A Tiny Greenhouse In The Woods

Found A Tiny Greenhouse In The Woods

A_Fungus_Chungus Report

#17

This Caterpillar I Found

This Caterpillar I Found

KittyKarin Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar. It will morph into a beautiful butterfly

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#18

This Morning I Found A Bat Sleeping In My Window... Inside The Screen

This Morning I Found A Bat Sleeping In My Window... Inside The Screen

mugglesport Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Awwww. Hope it’s okay and you are as well

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#19

This Purple Mushroom I Found

This Purple Mushroom I Found

grobnerual Report

#20

Found An Unopened PS1 In My Grandfather's Attic

Found An Unopened PS1 In My Grandfather's Attic

ydntkme Report

Jyri Hakola
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So.. in the Christmas of 1997 you ended up to the naughty list ?

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#21

A Cast Iron Cauldron I Found Buried In My Forest

A Cast Iron Cauldron I Found Buried In My Forest

BoosterSqueak Report

#22

I Came Across These Theropod Tracks While Fly Fishing In Leander, Texas

I Came Across These Theropod Tracks While Fly Fishing In Leander, Texas

Pondernautics Report

Walking On Sunshine
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Leander, Texas, now there's a name I haven't heard in forever! Outside of Austin.

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#23

Old Cars Becoming The River Bank

Old Cars Becoming The River Bank

Smartyandfarty Report

#24

This Massive Bald Eagle Feather I Found

This Massive Bald Eagle Feather I Found

Gone333 Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like a turkey vulture feather, could be wrong. Hope it’s a bald Eagle one, if so don’t take it home

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#25

Clam Covered Mannequin Head That Washed Up On Shore

Clam Covered Mannequin Head That Washed Up On Shore

reddit.com Report

Marc
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Maybe it's just me, but that gives me a bit of a shiver...

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#26

My Dog Found A Huge Bone At The Beach Today

My Dog Found A Huge Bone At The Beach Today

stellar6388 Report

#27

In 1945 My Great Grandmother Wrote Her Name In A Sidewalk. We Found It Again. She Is 93

In 1945 My Great Grandmother Wrote Her Name In A Sidewalk. We Found It Again. She Is 93

ChemEngecca Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Grandma, you wild child you!!

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#28

Megalodon Teeth I Found Diving In 90 FSW Off The Coast Of North Carolina

Megalodon Teeth I Found Diving In 90 FSW Off The Coast Of North Carolina

weelittleplatypus Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Very very cool (I am also very very envious)

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#29

My Mom's Purse Was Stolen In The 80s At A Hiking Trailhead. Today Someone Messenged Her That They Found It Deep In The Woods. The Leather Was All Destroyed

My Mom's Purse Was Stolen In The 80s At A Hiking Trailhead. Today Someone Messenged Her That They Found It Deep In The Woods. The Leather Was All Destroyed

CanisPecuarius Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My first thought on finding something like this would be "murder victim"

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#30

Surreal Moment Today. I Went To Oaks, PA "Too Many Games" Expo. Found My Gameboy From Early 2000’s

Surreal Moment Today. I Went To Oaks, PA "Too Many Games" Expo. Found My Gameboy From Early 2000’s

2scott2handle Report

Vorknkx
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would have bought it on the spot, if it were mine. I have a great fondness for old memories and mementos.

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#31

A Roman Road Discovered While Excavating For A New McDonald's In Marino, Italy. They Incorporated A Glass Floor In The Restaurant After Excavations Were Complete

A Roman Road Discovered While Excavating For A New McDonald's In Marino, Italy. They Incorporated A Glass Floor In The Restaurant After Excavations Were Complete

jacklsd Report

#32

This Strawberry I Found Is Shaped Like A Perfect Flower

This Strawberry I Found Is Shaped Like A Perfect Flower

marti_628 Report

#33

Woman Finds Sunken Message In Bottle From 1926 Addressed To One George Morrow, The Internet Helps Find Surviving Relatives

Woman Finds Sunken Message In Bottle From 1926 Addressed To One George Morrow, The Internet Helps Find Surviving Relatives

boredpanda.com , Nautical North Family Adventures Report

#34

This Giant Dandelion I Found On My Walk Today

This Giant Dandelion I Found On My Walk Today

blood_omen Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not dandelion, Salisfy plant, cool either way

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#35

My Mom And Uncle Found A USAF Target Drone On The Beach

My Mom And Uncle Found A USAF Target Drone On The Beach

coolmanjack Report

Spankathon
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would take it home and half bury it in my front garden as though it's crashed.

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#36

This Rattlesnake Was Found Bathing In The Puddle Created From A Cow Hoofprint

This Rattlesnake Was Found Bathing In The Puddle Created From A Cow Hoofprint

zherper Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Prairie or Western Diamondback. Beautiful

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#37

Found An Arrowhead In A Dried Up Stream

Found An Arrowhead In A Dried Up Stream

awkwardlytallguy Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It looks a bit on the newer side. These are mass produced in this day and age. Although that one has some good facet work, especially on the sides, look up a local flintknappers organization, they might be able to tell you more about it. If the rock is local etc

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#38

My Son Found This At Goodwill And It Really Takes Me Back

My Son Found This At Goodwill And It Really Takes Me Back

ShakeYouLikeHaiti Report

Desert Solitaire
Community Member
11 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

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#39

I Found This Plant Growing Out Of The Concrete

I Found This Plant Growing Out Of The Concrete

superchargedautism Report

Marc
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's wild weed, which grows in many, many places. Actually, it is so low on THC, that smoking a chocolate cookie would probably have a bigger effect on you.

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#40

A Gold Bar With Mint Marks, Recovered From The Spanish Treasure Ship 'Atocha' Which Sank In 1622

A Gold Bar With Mint Marks, Recovered From The Spanish Treasure Ship 'Atocha' Which Sank In 1622

GaGator43 Report

#41

Found Some Old Newspapers In My Grandpa’s Basement

Found Some Old Newspapers In My Grandpa’s Basement

Iteration-k Report

Laura Jackson
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would absolutely LOVE to have newspapers from this era. My son is a huge US history buff with WWII being his main focus. He has 2 papers framed from the Vietnam War, one from the Korean War, and 4-5 from Desert Storm where I saved those as a teenager. Something like this would just make his decade!

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#42

Found This Outside. Someone's Day Will Be Ruined

Found This Outside. Someone's Day Will Be Ruined

Fay_B Report

#43

Friend Bought A N64 Game, Found This Inside

Friend Bought A N64 Game, Found This Inside

For those of you wondering, he was taking this game apart to use the back on his JP copy of Mario Kart so he could take it to a friend’s house with unmodded N64's. As to why he didn’t hear the pills loose shaking around, they were stuck to the sides with double-sided tape. You can see that in the image. The tape itself also looks old. He bought the game a year or so ago, but the game itself was made in the late 90s so who knows how long this has been sitting in there.

goodpeopleskills Report

#44

We Found A Missile While Out Blueberry Picking

We Found A Missile While Out Blueberry Picking

Halfkid Report

May
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Might want to step away from that one

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#45

Found An E Than Survived The Recycling Process On The Cardboard We Use At Work

Found An E Than Survived The Recycling Process On The Cardboard We Use At Work

GodNasua Report

#46

I Found A Pile Of Walnuts In My Car Engine

I Found A Pile Of Walnuts In My Car Engine

Yguy2000 Report

#47

My Friend Was Cleaning Out Her Grandma's Belongings And Found This Old School Kit From The 70s

My Friend Was Cleaning Out Her Grandma's Belongings And Found This Old School Kit From The 70s

hmoonves Report

Kimi Tomminello
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Grandma was a lot of fun back in the day 😂😂😂😂

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#48

I Found A Diamond In My Shoe While Working Out

I Found A Diamond In My Shoe While Working Out

Fassbenderr Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#49

A Plane Crash I Hiked To In North Carolina

A Plane Crash I Hiked To In North Carolina

L3N1B Report

#50

I Found A Box Of My Dads 30-35 - Year - Old Sodas There Are Probably 50 In There And I Thought It Would Be Cool To Share

I Found A Box Of My Dads 30-35 - Year - Old Sodas There Are Probably 50 In There And I Thought It Would Be Cool To Share

mitmatgamesyt Report

Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There are collectors, might be worth some bucks

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Note: this post originally had 180 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.