10 Scientifically Inaccurate Stock Photos

Take a break from trying to find that PERFECT image to laugh at the very endeavor.

By C&EN Media Group

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Science is awash with stock photos. Often, they’re accurate depictions of our industry, and had someone with a basic grasp of the sciences behind the lens – BUT that’s not why we’re here today. Every once in a while, when the one person with a STEM degree is out-of-office and production is left up to the new intern, stock photo companies put out science images that are mind-blowingly inaccurate. Here, we present to you our curated list: 10 of the most inexplicable stock photos known to science.


A common theme emerges in the science stock photo industry: they seem to be convinced that GMOs are made by injecting various kinds of food coloring into corn.


Apparently, this is best performed by a cybernetic Prince backup dancer. The more you know!


Seeing a trend?


This photo also leaves one with so many questions. Why are we now using reverse-grip for our GMO activities? Why do orange goggles better protect the eyes from orange things? What WILL that orange become??


Once you isolate your GMO super-Orange extract, be sure to analyze it on your equally baffling diagnostic readout!



If we were new to science marketing, and someone asked us to draw “electromagnetism,” we would probably draw this.



Handling protection: gloves, check
Eye protection: goggles, check
Full-body protection: Meh, lace tank top should do the trick



On the topic of women in the lab…


Don’t you all wear heels and miniskirts at the bench?


When science needs to get out of the lab, get some inspiration from amber waves of grain…



Why is this the most interesting lab rooster in the world?


Two possibilities:
1) This (decidedly male) rooster just laid eggs
2) Said rooster just began clucking out string theory postulates


For those with kids, they’d agree this is perhaps the most scientifically inaccurate image ever created – someone having fun with her flu shot.



This bears repeating: the production of genetically modified food usually doesn’t involve injecting red food coloring into your sweet potato.


But you guys, the lettuce is okay.

We want to hear from you:

Have you come across ridiculous stock photos depicting scientific research all wrong? Have YOU purchased the wrong stock photo? (Let’s be honest, we’ve done it.) Don’t suffer alone! Share in the comments or on twitter with the hashtag #sciencestockphoto

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