Drones have been all the rage in recent years and have given us the ability to own pieces of technology that were once the preserve of bigshots in the military. But today you can't even go down to your local park or walk through a major city without seeing at least one of those weird-looking objects hovering above your head.
Not only is this pretty cool in itself, but the recreational purposes of these high-quality cameras also allow the owner unparalleled views miles from their homes allowing everything from the bizarre and spectacular to be captured. Here are 30 crazy examples.
1. Gulliver's Travels
This drone image offers up a bird’s-eye view of a field in Edinburgh, Scotland that sees a formation in the ground take on the mold of Gulliver the Gentle Giant. It was designed by a convicted murderer and infamous gangster called Jimmy Boyle when he was a prisoner at Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow.
The statue was opened to the public in 1976 and soon became a popular spot for local children until it was removed in 2011.
2. Surfs up
Australia is a dangerous place full of diverse but deadly wildlife, so of course, we couldn't write an article on drones and not include a photo in Australia involving a shark and a rad surfer. Captured by drone user Bo Bridges, the photographer has long been fascinated with capturing the daring elements that come from those who brave the infamous Australian waters.
It's soon apparent after just one look at the photo that the blurry blackness in the bottom left isn't a photographic blimp but a lurking shark close to the paddle board of Bridges’ friend Wayne.
3. Hungry Hippos
This amazing photo of a group of hippos grouping together was a standout entry at Dronestagram's 2018 drone photography awards.
Martin Sanchez, the author of the image, said, "This by far was the highlight of my trip to Tanzania. I giant hippo party which was super VIP. But I knew exactly how to get in. Something they couldn’t resist. A game of Hungry Hungry Hippos!"
4. A crocodile's lunch
This crocodile captured in East New Britain has a pig dangling from its mouth.
Crocodiles in the area are infamous for luring both dogs and pigs into the water and eventually, their stomachs.
5. Erupting volcano
We can understand that an active volcano would pique the curiosity of this drone owner as they are safe at home while the drone is within meters of the world's hottest fluid. The study of magma attracts scientists and geologists all over the world with one pictured looking over the debris and pointing at the lava.
The innermost layer of the earth is believed to have a temperature of approximately 7,000-8000 °C.
6. Leaping for joy
This glorious photo taken off the coast of Panama is truly delightful. Like all of us intrepid travellers, spotting a whale mid-jump is one of the most wonderful experiences you can have, and thanks to drone technology, capturing amazing moments like these are made that little bit easier.
The photo isn't half bad either.
7. Kalediscope fields
This awesome photo is yet another example of the good drones can do in spreading the beauty of our planet! Captured in Voorhout, Holland, the picture offers a beautiful mishmash of color.
Contrasting delightfully with the clear blue sky, these kaleidoscope of colors provide a phantasmagoric snapshot of Earth and its many natural wonders.
8. Polar bear leaps across the melting ice
This powerful image was the Grand Prize winner of 2017's Skypixel awards. Taken on a Phantom 4 Pro, the compelling photo sees a leaping polar bear make its way through the eroding landscape.
The talented photographer Florian Ledoux said he hoped the image would act as cautionary tale to future generations. "Dear future generation, I hope we will still be able to see the Arctic wildlife as we do now. It is threatened as the environment is changing. I was able to witness many scenes of wildlife and I can guarantee you this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Incredible and unique shot above a polar bear in Nunavut, Baffin area during wildlife reportage in Nunavut and Greenland."
9. Bird's life
Capturing a winged marvel's journey mid-flight, the bird doesn't seem to be in the least bit phased by the unusual object floating in the sky.
If you're going to buy a drone, then you'd be getting great value for your money if you managed to capture images such as these.
10. Drying noodles in the sun
This beautiful photo captures the everyday workings of a restaurant worker drying noodles on a series of racks on a hot summer's day.
Captioning the image, the photographer said, "On October 5, 2017, villagers in Xiashi Town, Kaili City, Guizhou Province, were busy drying noodles."
11. Mercury tower
Alexey Goncharov had made a habit of taking his drone to cool spots before work and capturing the extraordinary in the everyday mundanity of working Moscow life.
The 36-years-old physicist and employee at Moscow State University said of his most popular photo, “I liked the way their work looked from that perspective. They seemed to wash the city itself, not just the building's windows," Goncharov eloquently said.
12. Iceland from above
This stunning aerial image offers a remarkable snapshot into a diverse and magical landscape that attracts millions of visitors to Iceland each year. A wondrous place, brimming with lunar-like landscapes, bucolic countryside, mythical hot springs, enchanting waterfalls, and much, much more, this photo proves why you need to visit Iceland in your lifetime.
However, this image is 12 separate photos that have been put together to make one incredible image.
13. Dubai from above
What was once a small fishing port in the Arabian Desert has fast become a premier city. Some view it as a city hellbent on being unashamedly ostentatious. An example of visionary planning, others might say.
However you view the City of Gold, there's no denying its multifaceted qualities. One only has to look up at the imposing skyscrapers and ongoing construction to know that Dubai's decadent metropolis is only in its infancy.
14. Wandering camels
Allowing for the utmost pixel quality, the vast swathes of sand appear reminiscent of powdered cinnamon as the remnants of camel's footprints stick out in white from their treck across the dunes.
15. Taking the long way home
This nailbiting aerial look at tightrope walker doing his thing amidst the stunning urban landscape paints a compelling portrait of man and nature in today's new world order of commerce and technology.
His steel nerves give us one of the greatest drone photos ever taken.
16. Inle Lake
A lone fisherman works the sun-dappled waters of Inle Lake. As well as rowing his boat with his leg, he manages to catch fish at the same time.
An accompanying caption to this photo reads, "An Intha fisherman sets up his net to fish as he paddles his boat with a unique leg-rowing technique in Mayanmar’s Inle Lake."
A wonderful photo that sees the incoming tide clash against the white dress of the female muse spawns a terrific mermaid-like image.
Speaking about the photo, the author said, "This is my Taiwan film, Hualien's coastline is steep cliffs and secluded sea, steep terrain, step by step is the deep sea. I've always wanted a special perspective, so try my best to try that as Mavic flies over the coastline, I find the waves on the coast flashes beautifully between dark grey gravel and turquoise water, dark and light. The contrast was very strong.
When the waves fell toward the shore and retreated, they showed a vast and euphemistic shape, reminding me of the tail end of the whale, and finished the work. I pressed the shutter when the spray and the skirt were handed over to make the skirt and the sea wave blend together and have a sense of extension, leaving the work with an attachment and a similar space. With this idea, I shot a series of compositions in different forms continuously. The whole process was very exciting. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day. If it is sunny, the overall color of the works will be even more gorgeous."
18. Flying high
Diving off the edge of a waterfall and breaking a Guinness World Record in the process, this photographer wanted to capture the incredible achievement from above.
"He is over sixty," the photographer said. "He is the world record holder for the Guinness waterfall diving. In China's famous spout of the Yellow River and the great falls of the water tower in Heilongjiang province, he surprised the world with his leap. In the air, his action stretches the beautiful. Freeze the moment of the shock; take this leap into eternity."
19. Infinite Road
Photographer Calin Stan has been taken photos for over 10 years and even owns his own photography business. In the last few years he has also taken up the burgeoning trend of drone photography. In this photo, Stan captured the Cheia DN1A road that leads to Transylvania Romania.
He comically said that the view was the one "Count Dracula himself saw on his nocturnal flight."
20. Say cheese!
A bunch of children smile for the drone as the pilot lifts it skywards on its journey to capture the weird and beautiful things that occupy our great planet.
Drones would do well to capture photos like these.
21. Pablo Bayona's pool
Packed to the rafters during a competition which drew many local swimmers vying for glory in the Colombian city of Cúcuta, Bayona's photo was featured on the popular Instagram page, Dronestagram.
"Instead of taking the same photo as always, it occurred to me to fly my drone to try to achieve something different..." he said.
22. Chernobyl ruins
Chernobyl, along with the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, remains the worse nuclear disaster in recorded human history. 31 people lost their lives while countless others suffered long-term defects from the radioactive particles that spread over vast swathes of Eastern Europe.
Resultantly and almost expectedly, the town soon became nothing but a mirage of lost objects, broken homes and empty stretches of desolate wasteland as shown by this brave drone user.
23. Heaven on Earth
Scintillating landscape surrounds this the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Italy as it lays buried deep within the clouds.
The author of this brilliant image is Francesco Cattuto, who no doubt has a drone that is capable of capturing some of the very best photos you'll see this year.
24. Drones and walks
Most people don't take a drone with them on a day out in the woods, but that's drone specialist Micheal L B. Rasmussen makes it a habit and it's a good job he does otherwise he wouldn't have captured this bucolic snapshot.
With fresh greens surrounding an aqua blue lake, this colour rich photo is almost reminiscent of the works of color enthusiast and world-renowned painter, Pierre Bonnard.
25. Burj Al Arab
Due to the rapid surge in construction, one of every four construction cranes in the world can be found in Dubai, making it a haven for drone owners keen to capture that Instagram-ready snapshot from the heavens.
While the Burj Al Arab is a remarkable example of architectural ingenuity, Dubai's largest skyscraper is also the world's highest. Indeed The Burj Khalifa, which stands at 2,717 feet, took five years to build after construction started in 2004. With 164 floors, the world's highest nightclub can be found on the 144th level while the world's highest restaurant can be reached on the 122nd floor.
26. Knocking on Heaven's door
Photos don't get more ecclesial than these. This breathtaking image of a cathedral appears to have a low cloud covering the majority of its structure as nearby buildings decorate the background.
The sky is also a bright blue with scattered clouds taking on the appearance of scoops of ice cream. This only adds to the magical feeling captured in the photo.
27. Central Park in winter
New York's Central Park is lovely and a place the city's residents flock to when the urban jungle gets too overwhelming.
In the winter months, however, the area comes to life, with picturesque snow decorating the entire landscape.
28. Purple world
With scenery this breathtaking, it seems almost strange that someone would want to capture it from afar but drone technology enables users to admire sights like these without ever setting foot outside.
With a crimson-purple complementing the rugged, evening sands, this sunset is almost an ode to the magical wonders of dawn.
29. Sun's out... parasols out
This charming image sees splashes of color as blues yellows and tawny sand combine for an effortless feel-good vibe.
Taken by Karolis Janulis and featured on Dronestagram, the image was taken at the Playa de Amadores beach in the Spanish hotspot of Gran Canaria.
30. Clowning around
Saving the weirdest and creepiest till last, we're not sure if this is a prank but either way this image looks terrifying. Captured in a rustic cornfield in Huntsville, Alabama, the drone was seemingly minding its own business and trying to find out if there's any reason to stay in dreary old Alabama when up pops a nightmarish man with clown makeup. As the drone closes in, the clown is startled and runs into the woods.
The image looks pretty staged and almost as bad as the clown's red hair but you never know...