7 Things We’ve All Heard of But Never Seen

5 months ago

There are words we often hear in the news or even use ourselves but cannot visualize. We just have a very vague idea of what the objects they stand for look like.

Bright Side decided to give some clarity to these mysterious things.

Black box

Paradoxically, a black box nowadays is usually an orange sphere. There are several versions as to why it got its name:

  • The first flight recorders were black and rectangular.
  • Because of their mystique: their contents remain secret for almost everyone.
  • The first recorders used to get covered in black soot after a plane crashed.


Everyone is aware of what the famous DNA spiral looks like. But few people know that it can be seen with the naked eye due to the length of the molecule.

To do that, you need to prepare a certain solution (you can do it at home — see the instructions here). The DNA will turn into threadlike strands that can be wound around a skewer or dried into a fibrous substance like the one in the photo.


Mastodons were huge woolly animals with trunks and massive tusks. These giants lived on our planet even before mammoths.

In fact, they resembled mammoths very closely, and the layman could easily confuse these two mammals.


Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, sharing a border with Spain.

This is quite an interesting place: a piece of land with an area of only 2.6 square miles (6.8 sq km) where you can speak English, pay in pounds, and see Africa beyond the Strait of Gibraltar. Gibraltar is also the only place in Europe where monkeys live in the wild.


To be more precise, bitcoins don’t look like anything: they are a digital currency with no physical equivalent.

However, since 2011, the company Casascius Bitcoin Mint has been issuing "cash bitcoins." The coins bear an address and a key hidden under a hologram.

These tokens and cards are used for cash payments. They are also an object of keen numismatic interest.

Elephant tail

At the mention of an elephant’s tail, many of us think of something thin and indiscernible. As it turns out, the tail of an elephant is covered with long bristles, much like a brush. Africans use these hairs to make bracelets.

The Large Hadron Collider

The world’s largest experimental facility is located next to Geneva, on the border of Switzerland and France. It can’t be seen from above since it is below the ground.

To put it crudely, the collider is a 17 mile (27 km) long closed pipe where elementary particles are accelerated and collided to see them decay into even smaller fragments.

Preview photo credit CallMeKudu/reddit


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