Most of us went through a phase in childhood where we became obsessed with how things work. Taking things apart and examining them from the inside can grow into a lifelong hobby for some.
Seeing an object from the inside can give you a whole new perspective on the item itself. You might even learn a little about the item, or be inspired to find it a whole new use. In some cases, it can almost feel a bit naughty to see part of an object not usually exposed to view.
Whatever your reason for seeking them out, images of items cut open are fascinating. They play upon that childhood urge to tear something apart to see what it looks like from the inside. Thankfully, we no longer need to destroy our parent’s possessions.
World-class photographers and internet amateurs alike share our curiosity and have done the hard work for us. Take a look at these fourteen items in a whole new way; sliced.
1. Nautilus Shell
A nautilus is a mollusk found primarily in the Indian Ocean, the western part of the Pacific Ocean, and the waterways connecting the two. Nautilidae have existed in their current form for millions of years without evolving, leading many scientists to dub them “living fossils”.
Nautilidae are easily identified thanks to their involute or convoluted shells that are generally smooth and contain raised and lowered areas. When threatened, Nautilidae can retreat into their shells close the opening off using their tentacles. The shell itself is incredibly tough and resistant to external pressure, becoming damaged only at 2,600 feet below the surface.
Keep reading to learn more about this shell’s stunning interior.
The interior of a nautilus shell is a lot more complex and detailed than one would think. It is filled with small chambers, sometimes as many as thirty per shell, and lined with mother-of-pearl. The shell grows with the nautilus. As the shell grows, the creature slides into the next chamber, which will be larger than the last. Empty chambers are closed off, with the air trapped inside used for buoyancy.
The inside of the shell is certainly eye catching. The nautilus shell is one of the best examples of the logarithmic spiral in nature. Simply put, a logarithmic spiral is a spiral curve with certain self-similar properties. These spirals are frequently found in nature and are stunning examples of natural symmetry.
Ever wondered what was inside the heart of America’s game? Click ‘Next’ to find out.
2. A Baseball
Baseball seems to have been around forever. Even historians are not sure when the beloved game originated. We do know that artwork dating back to the thirteenth century depicts children playing a game with balls and a stick., and there was mention of the sport in British publication from 1744. Regardless of its origins, it is one of the most popular games played today.
In the early days of the sport, the size, weight, and materials used to make the balls were unregulated. Eventually, a national baseball league was formed, and with it came rules about the permitted types of balls used.
Want to know what dwells beneath the cowhide? Keep reading to see.
The performance of the ball depends on the materials used in its construction. In the early days, everything from rubber to fish eyes was used as the ball’s core. The drastic change in materials from one ball to the next means that performance was wildly unpredictable. Teams were able to get an unfair advantage by practicing with the same ball used in games, while their opponents faced a steep learning curve.
The inside of a baseball looks almost like the inside of a birch tree, with its rubber or cork center, thick yarn wrapping, and deceptively thin cowhide cover. After seeing the inside, can you believe you spent your time tossing it around instead of taking it apart?
Never made it to the center of your jawbreaker? Click ‘Next’ to see what lurked inside.
Jawbreakers, or Gobstoppers as they are also commonly called, are everyone’s favorite candy that no one seems to be able to finish. They are essentially made with sugar and food coloring and are incredibly hard. While they vary in size, most tend to be close to one inch or so in diameter. These types of candies are not meant to be chewed, but instead to be sucked on until they dissolve.
Jawbreakers can be traced back to a candy store opened in Chicago in the early 1900s by an Italian immigrant. Despite the passage of over a century, they remain incredibly popular, especially among children.
What do layers upon layers of colored sugar look like? Keep reading to find out.
Making a jawbreaker is a deceptively slow process, often taking several weeks and a lot of careful planning. They get their colorful spirals from the layers of liquid sugar poured over a pressed sugar ball core. In some cases, the exterior layers are flavored as well as colored. Each layer has to cool before the manufacture can add another layer.
The process of making a jawbreaker is called “hot panning”, and involves a special pan created just for this purpose. Individuals who add the sugar and monitor the pans are called “panners”. While a lot of the manufacturing process has been somewhat automated, human workers are still needed to ensure the panning process works.
Fireworks were created to ward away evil spirits. Click ‘Next’ to see what they look like inside.
Almost everybody loves a stunning light show. They were originally invented in seventh-century China and were initially used to scare off evil spirits. Now, fireworks are used to celebrate everything from the start of a new year and occasions of national importance to weddings.
Fireworks displays have always been an art form. It is being recognized as such now more than ever, with competitions held across the globe. One of the most famous and prestigious ones is the Montreal Fireworks Festival, which takes place annually in Quebec, Canada. Other examples include Trofeu Vila de Blanes, held in Spain, and the Macau International Fireworks Display, which takes place over five beautiful nights in China.
Fireworks create beautiful displays across the evening sky. Keep reading to find out how they do it.
A lot of the beauty and mystery surrounding those beautiful pyrotechnic displays dissipates when you see a firecracker cut in half. Generally speaking, they are made using a pasteboard tube filled with various types of explosive material. In some cases, two or three tubes are bound together, to make a more visually impressive display. A lot of planning typically goes into large displays, including the particular chemical composition of each firework.
Due to their easily combustible nature, the purchase and possession of fireworks are usually restricted in most areas. Safety teams are usually on standby for larger, public displays to ensure that burns and other wounds do not occur.
A grenade cut in half looks surprisingly beautiful. Click ‘Next’ to take a look.
Grenade is a broad term that refers to any small bomb, usually, one that can be easily thrown by hand. These weapons are typically set to explode upon impact or after a specified period. Grenades have been used more or less consistently since their introduction to warfare in the eighth century.
The modern grenade was developed in the early twentieth century, due to their usefulness in trench warfare. Manufactures aimed to make a grenade that was light yet powerful and would be stable in friendly hands. Some safety changes and improvements, as well as the introduction of lighter materials, have changed the way grenades are now made.
The inside of a grenade is almost like a whole new world. Keep reading to take a look.
The interior of a grenade is deceptively beautiful. In a pineapple grenade, the hollow bumps look almost like beehives. When live, the whole inner chamber, including those tiny cavities along the side, is filled with an explosive or chemical. There is a small, threaded hole that will run from the interior chamber to the top of the grenade. This hole would typically house a fuse in a live grenade.
The safety lever is usually released after an individual throws the grenade. This act pushes the striker into the primer. In turn, this lights the fuse. Once the fuse is burnt down to the detonator, the grenade will explode.
Bocce is one of Italy’s most beloved sports. Click ‘Next’ to learn more about it.
6. Bocce Ball
Bocce is a beloved Italian export, popular in areas around the world rich in Italian migrants. It is exceptionally popular in areas of the United States, Australia, and South America, as well as in its native Italy. Where it was once played primarily by Italian immigrants, it has been introduced to ball sports enthusiasts the world over.
The game is traditionally played on soil and asphalt courts using perfectly spherical balls. It can be played with two individuals, or with competing teams. Usually, the game is played until one party, or team receives a predetermined amount of points, typically between seven and twelve.
There are many ways to make a bocce ball. Keep reading to find out more.
Bocce balls can be made from just about anything, including wood, stone, rubber or various metals. Enthusiasts and those who play competitively typically insist on balls made with higher quality materials. Balls made with a hard plastic resign are the standard for competitions, and usually preferred by those skilled at the sport.
Generally speaking, all bocce balls have a foam core. Ones that are of a higher quality are then put into a mold and doused in liquid resign. Once the resin hardens, the surface is painted and polished to the buyer’s or seller’s tastes.
Aloe Vera is a versatile plant. Click ‘Next’ to see what this helpful plant looks like on the inside.
7. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is an incredibly versatile plant, used the world over for many medicinal, agricultural, decorative, and holistic purposes. Aloe is most famous for it’s ability to moisturize and heal the skin, making it a common ingredient in cosmetic products and first aid products alike.
Historical data showing Aloe Vera used as a treatment for many different health issues goes back to the sixteenth century, BC. It has been and continues to be a staple of traditional and holistic medicine in countries across the globe.
Keep reading to see the miniature world inside an Aloe Vera leaf.
The cross section of any leaf will always provide a fascinating look at the inner workings of plant life. The Aloe Vera leaf is no different. Its interesting internal structure remains the same across each species of Aloe Vera, with the aloin, mucilage, and gel in the same basic location and shape across each species.
Growing miniature worlds like the ones inside Aloe leaves is a bit challenging. The Aloe Vera plant demands sandy, almost dry conditions, and will shrivel if given too much water. Experts recommend putting them in sunny and bright spots around your home or office but keeping a close eye on them. If they get too much sun or UV light, the leaves may burn.
The inside of a toothpaste tube is surprisingly fascinating. Click ‘Next’ to check it out.
Toothpaste is a pretty important part of any daily oral hygiene routine. It contains components designed to help keep your teeth clean, your breath fresh, and bacteria dead. Since there are a few potentially dangerous chemicals present, including fluoride, toothpaste should never be swallowed.
Despite being critically important to oral health, toothpaste as we know it was not invented until the ninth century. Popularized throughout Spain, it was described as having a good taste and working quite well. Since then, people have been tinkering with the formula, adding and taking away chemicals as technology improves.
Ever wondered how those bands of color stay separate? Keep reading to find out.
Some toothpaste tubes separate colored elements by having them in a different part of the tube, and relying on fluid mechanics to ensure they come out evenly. Others are packaged with the paste arranged in that particular way. Since the tube is airtight, the paste stays in the same basic shape as consumers squeeze it out, because there is no room for it to mix.
The little bands of color themselves often represent a different feature of the toothpaste. For example, the white portion may be the general paste, while extra or bonus whitening features may be represented by bands of blue or green.
Did you know that golf balls are hiding an incredibly beautiful interior? Click ‘Next’ to take a look.
9. Golf Balls
Golf has been around for centuries, probably dating back to at least the fourteenth century. Historians believe that the first golf balls were likely made out of leather and cow hair. As time progressed, ball makers began painting them white. Golf balls were initially incredibly expensive, the equivalent of about ten to fifteen dollars each.
Dimpling was introduced in the 1900s, as a way for players to obtain control over the direction of the ball. Liquid cores were discontinued in the 1920s, replaced with a solid core. Now there are more than a dozen different types of golf balls available for purchase, all tailored toward different uses and skill level.
Keep reading to see the out of this world beauty of a golf ball cross section.
Quite surprisingly, given their relatively simple composition, golf balls reveal a lot of hidden beauty when sliced in half. In fact, when photographed against a dark background they look like tiny planets. The beautiful colors making up the main part of each ball are its core. The type of core will depend on the price point and the intended use of the ball. The color is usually incidental.
Modern golf balls are made using a rubber or synthetic rubber core injected with hot plastic. These injections give the ball its dimpled appearance. Different manufacturers use different types of cores. As a result, the golf ball from one brand’s interior may look entirely different from another brand’s.
How does locking your front door keep you safe? Click ‘Next’ to find out.
10. A Lock
Locks are one of the greatest inventions ever made. They keep you, your belongings, and your family safe. Most of us never fail to lock the door before we leave the house, nor do we forget to secure the car door. Keeping ourselves, and the people we care about safe is always important.
The inner workings of a door lock are surprisingly complex but well designed. They allow for easy access to and from your home, car, or office, without extending that same ease of access to others.
Keep reading to find out how locks actually work.
Learning how a lock works can be a bit tricky, in particular for those who lack technical terminology. However, once you see a cross section of a lock matched up with a key, it becomes incredibly easy to figure out how the mechanism works.
Simply put, the lock has a number of small pins, arranged in pairs, inside. When you push in the corresponding key, its notches will force the pins to rise up, allowing for the whole mechanism to turn. Inserting the wrong key, even if it seems to fit the door, will have no impact on the pins, preventing the lock from turning.
Bullets look deceptively benign when sliced in half. Click ‘Next’ to take a look.
The use of bullets predates the invention of firearms. Historians speculate that bullets may have seen their first use as a crossbow projectile and sling-weapon ammunition. Early bullets were shaped from stone or made using clay.
The way bullets were made changed dramatically once firearms became popular. They could not be self-propelled, leading to the development of casings and propellants. The shape of the bullets themselves remained round until the early eighteen hundreds when the more familiar cone-like shape was introduced.
The cross section of a bullet looks more like a bag of coffee beans. Keep reading to see more.
Bullets are one of the most interesting things to inspect as a cross section. When cut in half, they look like something else entirely. The gunpowder almost resembles coffee grinds, with the bullet as a lid and the casing as its container.
Different makes of bullets will look slightly different when cut in half. However, the primary components of these projectiles are consistent across all models. Aside from the bullet itself, there will always be a hard metal casing, gunpowder or cordite, and a primer for ignition.
Zippo is one of the world’s most famous lighter brands. Click ‘Next’ to see its inner workings.
Zippo lighters were first manufactured over eighty years ago. Originally intended for commercial purposes, the company briefly devoted all manufacturing efforts for military use. They returned to commercial production shortly after the end of World War II.
Since then, they have become wildly popular among civilians and the military alike. There are thousands of different styles and models from which to choose on the market, all of which are made in the United States. There was a factory in Niagara, Canada for a brief period of time, but it has since closed.
Ever wonder how a Zippo lighter actually works? Keep reading to learn more.
Zippo lighters have a surprisingly large number of internal parts, all of which are vital for its smooth operation. Even cross section photos, as fascinating as they are, fail to show each and every part. Generally speaking, you can quickly pick out the cotton, the wick and the flint spring.
The lighter fluid fills the chamber in the middle, soaking the cotton and the wick. When the striker is flicked, the wheel turns the flint, which ignites the wick and produces the flame. Once the lid closes, the flame extinguishes.
Do you enjoy indulging with a cigar? Click ‘Next’ to see what you are really smoking.
Cigars, despite the inherent health risks, are incredibly prominent in popular culture and modern society. They are synonymous with luxury, wealth and class. Often used as a celebratory treat, they are frequently smoked after events like graduations, promotions, or the birth of a child.
While they have seen ebbs and flows in terms of overall popularity, they remain popular among their target market. Interestingly, even though the public more favorably views cigars than cigarettes, cigars are smoked far less frequently. This could be because most people see them as a way to celebrate a special occasion and not for every day use.
Keep reading to see a sliced cigar, without damaging your own.
When sliced open, a cigar resembles a small tube of tea leaves. The outermost layer consists of wrapper tobacco, which will dictate the overall flavor of the cigar. As a result, this is usually the most expensive component. The interior of a cigar is made of tobacco leaves, bound together with binder leaves.
A considerable amount of skill is needed to roll a perfect cigar. Too much pressure results in a tighter cigar, which is harder to smoke. A cigar that is rolled too loosely will burn too fast.
Ever wondered what meteorites bring with them when they come to earth? Click ‘Next’ to find out.
14. A Meteorite
Meteorites are solid pieces of space debris that come from other, larger objects such as comets or asteroids. They originate in space, and fall to the earth in one piece, without getting burnt off or broken apart during their descent through the Earth’s atmosphere.
The Fukang meteorite fell to the Earth in 2000, near Fukang, China. It was happened upon by a hiker, who frequently used it as a spot to rest before becoming curious about the metal deposits on its exterior. Scientists in the United States later confirmed that the “rock” was a meteorite.
Keep reading to see the stunning interior of the Fukang meteorite.
The Fukang meteorite is four and a half billion years old. The olivine crystals embedded into the unusual honeycomb shape of nickel and iron give the meteorite its unearthly beauty.
Since its discovery in 2000, it has been divided into a number of different smaller parts. Many of the thinner slices have been auctioned off across the globe, giving lucky buyers the ability to hold a bit of space in their pockets.