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They Did What?: 

15 funny stock photos that will never get used

We like stock photography. If we didn’t use it, we’d have to spend an awful lot of time trotting around the globe taking blurry photos of everything we talk about from Russian squirrels to Jim Carrey. Join us in this celebration of funny stock photos, where the creepy, disturbing and downright ‘what the hell, man’ come up with alarming regularity.

Let’s jump right in there with the creepy:

1. Full length portrait of a scared young female trying to runaway from mature man with butterfly net


There’s so many things we love about this particular piece of art. There’s the incredibly detailed name that explains both everything and nothing at the same time. There’s the creepy expressionlessness of the pursuer. There’s the fact that the butterfly net is clearly ill-suited to the job in question. But you know what I personally love most about it? That I’ve never been asked to write a piece where I think ‘aha – I have just the stock image’ with this in mind.


2. Two men on sofa, one reading book and other wearing wrestling mask


Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, Alistair Baker, for this outstanding piece of art. It tells a tale, doesn’t it? “We never talk anymore”, the wrestler seems to be saying, as the book reading man pretends to be engrossed in his dry historical read on the causes of the Crimean War. “Let’s go out tonight”, pleads the wrestler, unpeturbed. The book reading man wearily puts down his tome, and with sad eyes intones the words the wrestler feared more than any opponent in the whole of his 14 year career in the ring: “we need to talk”. Powerful stuff, Alistair Baker. Powerful stuff.


3. The Hunter


A haunting image from CactuSoup. This piece really raises more questions than it answers: what did the woman do to upset the snarling man? Who taught the man how to snarl? Why is the rope clearly not tied? Why has the man felt the need to gag someone he thinks is a reindeer? All of these questions need answers, and alas I’m not the man to give them.


4. Cows jumping on pogo sticks


“Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it: the pogo stick business is struggling,” began the sharp suited executive. He felt a slight tightening in his throat but continued “we need a brave new strategy to take pogoing to the 21st century and to get the kids off their iPhones and hippety-hop”. He gripped the presentation notes tightly, as the big reveal approached. “Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the new face of pogo: Bluebell!” he exclaimed, pressing the button to unleash the slide that would make or break his career. Mostly break, it turned out.


5. Watermelon Mask and Human Eyes For Halloween


“And you’re sure this is the way to get my big break into acting?” asked Charles, eying the crudely divided piece of fruit with some hesitation. “Of course,” replied the photographer, with one eye on the clock. “Now, can you do it scarier – this is supposed to be a Halloween shoot after all,” he added. “Well without wanting to be difficult, there’s only so scary I can be with a piece of fruit in front of my face”, replied Charles with the slightest undertone of sass. “Marlon Brando would make it work!” snapped back the photographer. Charles picked up the piece of fruit, took one final breath and closed his eyes slowly. “I’m ready.”


6. Wishes


Our favorite thing about this photo is the extremely minimalist title. ‘Wishes’: what else do you need to say, other than that, really? Doesn’t the picture just speak for itself?


7. The great motivator dangling carrots


The attention to detail in this particular vignette is astounding. Not only is there two laptops and a cup of coffee in view, there’s also some very faintly drawn graphs on the whiteboard at the back of the room. Presumably the X axis is each month, and the Y axis documents the number of carrots brought to the meeting by the mad-as-a-bag-of-spiders manager.


8. Woman with angry red apple


We’ve all been there, haven’t we? You take an overly aggressive bite out of your Granny Smith apple, and the particles are so closely compressed that your mouth and the bit of apple actually swap places. No wonder this artist felt the need to document the phenomenon for use throughout the web. Incidentally, at the time of writing is for sale – and if you do buy the domain, we have just the piece of stock photography for you…


9. Watch addicted


It’s nice to know that The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth has found modeling work on the back of the movie’s success. Must be the luscious full set of hair he now sports.


10. Another one bites the dust


The only slightly tasteful reason we can think for the macabre vignette is if the cadaver is actually just sleeping, and the nurse has played an elaborate prank with somebody’s holiday luggage label around the toe and a white sheet on top of them. But that’s a very specific need for stock photography…


11. Man wearing a mouse costume got trapped


How far would you go to land a gig as a professional model? Would you put on a frankly ridiculous mouse costume? Would you allow yourself to be photographed wearing it for millions to see? You would? Okay, but would you allow someone to stick your lip in a mouse trap for a few bucks? That’s really the point which separates the men from the boys.


12. Fat bad boy with sausage


Years later, lying on a psychiatrist’s couch, Tom would try to explain his pathological aversion to sausages. In a flash, a vision came to him – the image of a boy tugging on a string of large, plastic looking sausages, an air of focussed concentration on his tweenage face. He dismisses it. “I’m not that boy, anymore,” he mutters slowly.


13. Skull


In a scientific breakthrough to rival splitting the atom, researchers have discovered the little voice in your head is actually real. In this case, the voice in the head of the unfortunate skull was informing the owner to purchase a dream house, a bright pink Cadillac and track down some dude called ‘Ken’.


14. In with both feet


The thing about ‘foot in mouth’ syndrome, is it’s usually your own foot, and typically the head is attached at the time. Pretty sure it’s only a matter of time before this grizzly end is depicted in Game of Thrones.


And finally…

15. Group of scientists examine chicken in laboratory


“Don’t worry – we’ve got a group of experts working round the Cock on this one.” (Yes, yes I know it’s actually a hen, but the pun wouldn’t work otherwise, would it – and look, you’ve ruined the moment now. Just forget it.)


For more funny stock photos to delight you throughout your day, be sure to follow @Stockfinds on Twitter. It’s not about stock markets, we promise.

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