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15 Science Stock Photos That Are So Ridiculous They’re Hilarious

a two-photo collage. on the left there is a group of scientists looking carefully at a chicken. on the right there is a scientist with an extravagant hair-do.

Hold on to your Bunsen burners, because things are about to get strange around here!

For those not familiar with stock photos, they’re those generic yet professionally-taken photographs that media outlets use to illustrate stories and articles both on the web and in print. They’re usually pretty basic, but sometimes photographers don’t seem to understand the assignment and wind up creating some truly bizarre images. When it comes to science-themed stock photos, it’s almost like they don’t know the first thing about what scientist actually do!

1. College professor Dr. Kit Chapman of the University of Falmouth in Cornwall, England recently asked his Twitter followers to vote on a very important scientific poll: What’s the world’s worst science stock photo?

2. There were four rounds to his unofficial competition. In the second round, we were treated to a group of scientists who’ve never seen a chicken before.

3. More than 500,000 people wound up casting a vote in the poll.

4. As promised, these pictures were odd…

5. Admittedly, some of the jokes went over our non-scientific heads.

6. But most are pretty self-explanatory, like this syringe-injected chicken pic that won round 2.

7. It’s hard to imagine when anyone would need to use an image like this.

8. Or why you’d ever need to listen to grass through a stethoscope.

9. Sometimes, the problem is obvious.

10. Other times, the images are just hilariously vague.

11. These two lab techs with mismatched safety gear won round 3.

12. If it were up to us, the pyromaniac scientist would have won, but oh well.

13. Maybe we should have paid closer attention in science class?

14. Just think, that model took a lot of time to look this way.

15. Dr. Big Thumb and his assistant won round 4.

After all the votes were cast, Dr. Chapman revealed the ultimate winner. Drumroll, please…

That’s right, the lady soldering the motherboard (#1 on this list) was the big winner. How did more people not vote for the syringe chicken? Guess it’s a STEM thing, so we wouldn’t understand.

Which stock image gets your vote? Share this story to start the conversation!

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