Play Travel Photo Roulette #48 – Theme is “What the?!”

We’re excited to say we’re hosting round #48 of Travel Photo Roulette!

For each round a new theme is chosen, and independent travel bloggers are asked to submit their photos. Then a winner is chosen to host (and judge) the following round on their website!

Do you have a photo to enter? It’s EASY and you get a shot at hosting this very popular contest on your site!

Don’t have a photo to enter? Check in often to see some amazing photographs – by the world’s best independent travel bloggers – and  please, PLEASE, PLEASE help us pick a winner by leaving a comment about your favorite shot!

SUBMIT YOUR PHOTO OR COMMENT HERE!


Our winning photo!

We’re excited to say we’re hosting round #48 of Travel Photo Roulette! Thank you so much to Bridges and Balloons for choosing our photo of this duo enjoying the “Excellent Splendour of the Universe” in The Galapagos Islands.

Travel Photo Roulette was started by Jeremy at Living the Dream almost two years ago as a way for travel bloggers to showcase their best photography.

For each round a new theme is chosen, and independent travel bloggers are asked to submit their photos. Then a winner is chosen to host (and judge) the following round on their website.



This Week’s Theme is:

WHAT THE ?!
Click here to see the winners


Here’s some inspiration:

Human Bone Church, Czech Repubic
This macabre church in the Czech Republic is decorated with human bones. WHAT THE ?!
Dancing on horseback during Courir de Mardi Gras in Rural Louisiana
In rural Louisiana, at 5 AM, men get dressed up, liquored up & dance on horses for Mardi Gras. Then they chase chickens.
The World's Largest Ball of Paint
In Indiana, this man turned a baseball into The World’s Largest Ball of Paint
How Guinea Pig is served in Peru
Here’s how guinea pig is served in Peru. WHAT THE ?!

Everyone who travels has those WHAT THE ?! moments. It can be in nature, or the most unnatural of occurrences. Sometimes it’s as simple as a funny sign, a wacky name of a town, a weird food or an unfortunate piece of art. All nomads find themselves in cultural situations that can cause us to do a double-take, make us uncomfortable or feel completely out of our element. Moments like that are our favorites. Show us yours!



How Travel Photo Roulette works

The rules are simple. The hosting blogger is the chosen winner of the previous round. The new host chooses a theme for the next round and bloggers can submit a single entry based on how they interpret the theme. The time frame for submissions is one week. At the end of the week, the host blogger chooses the winner for that round and said winner repeats the process on their own blog. Readers can always try and sway the host via comments during the contest, but the host is free to give as little or as much weight to people’s opinions as they wish.

The rules for Travel Photo Roulette

1) One submission per blog (so sites that have 2+ authors only get one entry).
2) No photoshopping allowed unless specifically called for! Cropping and correction for red-eye or camera flaws are ok, however. Minor edits are totally fine for this round if you think it improves your image.
3) Abstract submissions welcomed as long as it fits within the interpretation of the chosen phrase. Remember, the hosting blogger chooses the winner, so if they cannot understand the submission, you might not win!
4) Keep phrases general so that all bloggers can participate. Specific items like “Eiffel Tower” should be avoided but rather made open-ended like “monuments.” For variety, it is okay to say focused things such as “monuments at night” in which most of us have pictures of.
6) Abstract thoughts are appreciated, but keep it within the realm that all readers will understand. No “Kafka-esque”, but “Overlooking Creation” is able to be interpreted by all.
7) No obscene pictures or phrases allowed. Suggestive phrases and photography can be accepted, but please keep it within reason.
8) After a sufficient period of time, phrases can be reused, however new photos must be submitted. Keep the ideas and photos fresh!
9) Pictures from your entire portfolio are fair to submit. You do not have to take the photo within the week of the contest period to submit it.
10) Most importantly, ALL PHOTOS MUST BE YOUR OWN.
11) And last but not the least, talk about Photo Roulette! When tweeting about it, don’t forget to use the #PhotoRoulette hashtag.


How to submit

Entering is easy. Just leave a comment below with a link to the image you’d like to submit and a caption or description of the image to help flesh it out. Once you’ve added your comment, we’ll add the image to the submissions. Don’t forget to check back during the week to see the other submissions and join the conversation by leaving comments for others. We’d love to hear what you think.

The contest runs for a week, starting September 8th and ending September 16 (Sunday to Sunday). The winner will be announced within a few days of the end of the contest and the selected blogger will then host round #49.

Please do your best to keep your images to a medium size and be aware that anything larger than 700px wide will be reduced in size to fit our site layout.

Past Photo Roulette winners and hosts

The following is a list of the previously played rounds of the game and the hosting blogger for each. This list also doubles as a winners’ table as each topic host won the preceding round. Click the host’s link to go directly to that entry to see some stunning photographs from the chosen term/phrase.

1. Nov 4–10, 2010 – Living the Dream – “Animals”
2. Nov 17–24, 2010 – Skinny Backpacker – “Road Signs”
3. Nov 29–Dec 6, 2010 – Dream a Little Dream – “Street Art”
4. Dec 8–15, 2010 – Flashpacker HQ – “Festival”
5. Dec 17–24, 2010 – Over Yonderlust – “Landmarks”
6. Dec 26–Jan 2, 2011 – Don’t Ever Look Back – “Beaches”
7. Jan 5–12, 2011 – ThePlanetD – “Portraits”
8. Jan 15–22, 2011 – Travel with a Mate – “Motion”
9. Jan 26–Feb 3, 2011 – Johnny Vagabond – “Water”
10. Feb 8–15, 2011 – Ken Kaminesky – “Urban”
11. Feb 21–27, 2011 – Travels of Adam – “Friday Night”
12. Mar 7–13, 2011 – Itchy Feet Chronicles – “The Journey”
13. Mar 19– 25, 2011 – Brendan’s Adventures – “Changing Seasons”
14. Apr 4–10, 2011 – Shutterfeet – “Storytelling”
15. Apr 13–21, 2011 – 10 Times One – “Piousness”
16. Apr 26–May 4, 2011 – Beached Eskimo – “Learning”
17. May 21–27, 2011 – Travel Junkies – “Architecture”
18. Jun 1–7, 2011 – Destination World – “Transportation”
19. Jun 8–15, 2011 – Living the Dream – “Paradise”
20. Jun 21-28, 2011 – Vagabond Quest – “Clothes”
21. Jul 4-11, 2011 – The Unframed World – “Symmetry”
22. Jul 16-25, 2011 – Beached Eskimo – “Home”
23. Jul 31 – Aug 7, 2011 – BackPackerBanter – “Inspiration”
24. Aug 14 – 21, 2011 – WanderingTrader – “Darkness”
25. Aug 28 – Sep 4, 2011 – Finding the Universe – “Tranquillity”
26. Sep 12 – 19, 2011 – Fearful Adventurer – “Food”
27. Sep 23 – 30, 2011 – Adventures of a GoodMan – “City”
28. Oct 06 – 13, 2011 – Globe-Trekking.com – “Reflections”
29. Oct 17 – 24, 2011 – Scene With A Hart – ”Framing”
30. Nov 9 – 16, 2011 – Vagabond Quest – “Silhouettes”
31. Nov 26 – Dec 3, 2011 – Hecktic Travels – “Music”
32. Dec 11 – Dec 18, 2011 – Globetrotter Girls – “Love”
33. Dec 25 – Jan 1st, 2012– Man on the lam – “Humor”
34. January 8 – Jan 15 – My Walkabout – “Winter”
35. Jan 15 – Jan 22 – The Art of Slow Travel – “Blue”
36. Feb 6 – Feb 13 – Ten Times One – “Depth of Field”
37. Feb 22 – Feb 29 – Runaway Juno – “My Glorious Digital Nomad Moment”
38. March 7 – March 14 – Nomadbiba – “Sunshine”
39. March 24 – 31 – Travel With Kat – “Local Character”
40. April 10th – 16th – The Travel Bunny – “Street Scene”
41. April 23rd – April 30th – Adventure Crow – “Spirit of the Country”
42. May 7th – 14th – Food Travel Bliss – “Evening”
43. May 17th – May 24th – Matt Gibson – “Adventure”
44. May 30th – June 6th – Flashpacker HQ – “Once In A Lifetime”
45. July 23rd – July 30th – Skinny Backpacker – “Surreal”
46. August 10th – August 17th – 2away – “Smile”
47.
Aug 27 – Sept 2 – Bridges and Balloons – “Excellent Splendour of the Universe”
48. Sept
8 – Sept 15, 2012 – The GypsyNester – “What the ?!”

Don’t forget to talk about #PhotoRoulette! Here’s a sample tweet:

I entered my best “What the ?!” photo to this week’s Travel #PhotoRoulette! Check it out! http://su.pr/19bsdX

Hit us with your best shot! We can’t wait to see your submissions. Good luck everyone!

The Entries!

#27 From Shane at The Working Traveller: I’d long forgotten the real name of this temple in Malaysia, instead, somewhat disrespectfully, remembering it as the Nazi Buddha Turtle Temple. This photo partly suggests why:
Nazi Buddha Turtle Temple

#26 From Gerard at GQ trippin: Blurry shot taken from Thailand’s Songkran celebration. Q shooting at the SWAT team? What the?!
Swat Spray by Gerard of GQ Trippin

#25 From Melissa at Melissa To and Fro: While perusing a local market in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I stumbled upon this bizarre egg variation. Yuck!!
Horse Pee Eggs fro Melissa of Melissa To and Fro

#24 From Adrian B. at Travel to Sun: The Merry Cemetery from Săpânţa (Maramureş County, Romania) is a unique place where colored funeral crosses carry cheerful lyrics and paintings inspired by memorable moments in the life of the deceased:
The Merry Cemetery by Adrian B. of Travel to Sun

#23 From Zara at Backpack ME: For all the traveling racists out there, beware that IN Thailand, the pick-pockets are NON THAI! That’s right.. the locals are aaaalways goodie, goodie!
Racist Thai Sign by Zara of Backpack ME

#22 From Clare at Earth Travel Unlimited: South Africa is a fabulous country and home to much quirkiness. Frequently, you’ll find entrepreneurs advertising their services (typically builders, painters, pest removal etc) via home-made signs fixed to lamp-posts, road signs etc. We’ve seen many hilarious signs, but this one certainly had us going “What the…???”.
Husband For Night by Clare of Earth Travel Unlimited

#21 From Suzanne at Boomeresque: These were the “helpful” instructions we were given to enter the “onsen” (communal bath) at our hotel in Takamatsu, Japan.
Helpful Instruction by Suzanne at Boomeresque

#20 From Noah at Somewhere or Bust: I said “WHAT THE?!” when this kid passed by me on a beach in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. I chased after him for this photo.
I Could be your Daughter by Noah of Somewhere or Bust

#19 From Kat at Travel With Kat: At a Jola Festval in The Gambia, men were striking themselves with knives, broken bottles and razor blades but not actually cutting themselves at all!
Jola Knives by Kat at Travel With Kat

#18 From Hannah at Love. Play. Work: ‘WHAT THE…’ was certainly the words coming out of my mouth, but also everyone in the boat watching me too! Big thanks to our Oregon home exchange neighbours for taking us out on the lake.
Han Flying by Hannah at Love. Play. Work

#17 From Cam at Traveling Canucks: This street performer in Bernkastel-Kues, Germany had me saying “What the…?!”
Floating Street Performer by Cam of Traveling Canucks

#16 From Jade at Our Oyster: While hitchhiking the North Island of New Zealand we got dropped off in a small town where the main roads fork. We were careful not to get too close to any of the resident rabies goats though!
Rabies Goat by Jade of Our Oyster

#15 From Raymond at Man On The Lam: This is from the Gopher Hole Museum in Torrington, Alberta, CANADA. Basically, it’s a museum filled with stuffed dead gophers. This one was my fave…
Old Tyme Music Gophers by Ramond of Man On The Lam

#14 From Micki & Charles at The Barefoot Nomad: Our “What the ?” moment is from a highway on New Zealand’s South Island. The highway’s road/rail wooden bridge was barely wide enough for our tiny car. I can’t imagine how an entire train would fit. You can just see the yellow sign at the end indicating a sharp curve after the bridge, making it impossible to see oncoming cars or trains The worst part? We thought we could hear a train in the distance.
Crazy Train Highway in New Zealand by Micki & Charles at The Barefood Nomad

#13 From Juno at Runaway Juno: This was taken at Emeishan, Sichuan Province, China. A famous Buddhist mountain, a lot of people here to pray at the Golden Summit. It is 3099m, and seriously the mountain starts lower than 1000m. We walked to the top for two days, and we saw this guy on the way down. There are a group of people who are selling the service. This guy obviously hire these guys and ‘hike’ the mountain, wearing suit and texting. Amazing, huh?
King of Emeishan by Juno of Runaway Juno

#12 From Torre at Fearful Adventurer: On Koh Chang Thailand, at dusk every night, it is possible to spot homo sapiens in action. These mammals sprawl shoreside and pose for the camera in a peculiar mating ritual that scientists call “My Latest Facebook Photo.” If you get really lucky, you’ll get to spot an elusive threesome in which the male performs a thonged mating dance in front of two submissive females. (What the?!)
Thailand Thong Guy by Torre at Fearful Adventurer

#11 From Tash at jouljet: Whilst I was in Dominica, I was constantly surprised at the types of homemade rums they would make, but this selection takes the cake! Snake, grasshopper, centipede, snake fat??? What the??!!!???
Crazy Homemade Rums by Tash of jouljet

#10 From Ted at Traveling Ted: On the famous Nha Trang booze cruise tour in Vietnam, our hosts decided we needed more entertainment: as if snorkeling, volleyball, and a floating bar was not enough. They broke into song and this particular number was a cover of the Beatles Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da. The Beatles never toured for the White Album, but if they did I am sure John, Paul, George, and Ringo would have been adorned in a similar fashion.
Nha Trang Cruise Tour by Ted of Traveling Ted

#9 From Natasha at World Wandering Kiwi: I enjoyed enthusiastic local hospitality many times when travelling in Central Asia but I’m sure this was the only day in my life when I had vodka with lunch, tea and supper. On this memorable evening in Tajikistan I struggled to keep up with the endless (unintelligible to me) toasts and when called upon to reciprocate, could only come up with inanities such as “Nova Zelandiya!” and “Nyet Taliban!” Perhaps ‘What the..!’ would have been more appropriate!
Toasting in Tajikistan by Natasha of World Wandering Kiwi

#8 From Irina at Trips That Work: People in Toronto love dogs. Some of them love their dogs a little too much… what the???
Pink Poodle by Irina Trips That Work

#7 From Lilliane at wanderlass: When i first arrived in S.A., i found the cholitas quite interesting. Eventually got used to them BUT nothing, NOTHING could prepare anyone for the Cholita Wrestling in Cuzco! waadaa?? hahaha
Cholita Wrestling in Cuzco by Lilliane at wanderlass

#6 From Melissa at The MellyBoo Project: Taken during my stint volunteering at a lion conservation project in Zimbabwe.  We were laying out the partially frozen offals (innards) out in the sun to defrost so that the lions in the breeding program could have their meal.  I happened to find some x-rated cow/bull parts and felt this was necessary behaviour to be documented on camera!
Cow Offal for Lions by Melissa at The MellyBoo Project

#5 From David at The Roaming Boomers: After a stunningly beautiful hike in Arizona’s Superstition Mountains, we noticed that one of our photographs contained a very mysterious watcher.
Perhaps it’s an ancient artifact guarding the Lost Dutchman’s mine!
Look closely on the hoodoo just left of center.  See the face?
WHAT THE….!

Mysterious Watcher in Superstition Mountains by David of The Roaming Boomers


#4 From Dani at GlobetrotterGirls: Earlier this year we witnessed the incredible Thaipusam festival in Penang, Malaysia, in which the devotees carry out sacrificial acts, mainly mortification of flesh in various degrees… Seeing some of the devotees, all we could think was WHAT THE ?!
Penang Man with Spear through his Mouth by Dani of the GlobetrotterGirls

#3 From Jeremy at Living the Dream:
We stopped at a small island in Halong Bay to play on the beach.  Other travelers were there, and I couldn’t help but notice that this guy was in the most opposite extreme of beach clothes I’ve ever seen. Love it!
Extreme Beach Clothes by Jeremy at Living The Dream

#2 From Greg Goodman at Adventures of a GoodMan: I love India. It’s a magical country where every minute I’m out of my guesthouse, there’s something new and different to see.
Usually it makes sense, but I can’t come up with a single reason for this man to be watering a dirt patch on the side of the road in the Punjab countryside.
Is he trying to grow mud?
Simulating the rainy season?
Making a dirty slip and slide?
What the?!
Man Watering a Dirt Patch by Greg Goodman of Adventures of a Goodman

#1 From Denise at The Art of Slow Travel: This is easy!!! My biggest what the??? moment while travelling was when I came across the ‘Grand Prix Priest’ in London
Grand Prix Priest by Diane of The Art of Slow Travel

YOUR TURN: If you’re not submitting a photo, please, PLEASE, PLEASE help us pick a winner by leaving comments about your favorite shots! – David & Veronica

64 thoughts on “Play Travel Photo Roulette #48 – Theme is “What the?!””

  1. South Africa is a fabulous country and home to much quirkiness. Frequently, you’ll find entrepreneurs advertising their services (typically builders, painters, pest removal etc) via home-made signs fixed to lamp-posts, road signs etc. We’ve seen many hilarious signs, but this one certainly had us going “What the…???”.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/earthtravelunlimited/7982173957/

    (Then again, the person who phoned the number might certainly have gotten some….. that night!)

    1. Aside from the obvious disturbing dressing up of dead gophers, WHAT THE ?! is that one rodent doing slapping the electric bass? Isn’t this supposed to be an Old Tyme Jamboree? I can see why you were disturbed! -David

  2. Our “What the ?” moment is from a highway on New Zealand’s South Island.

    The highway’s road/rail wooden bridge was barely wide enough for our tiny car. I can’t imagine how an entire train would fit.

    You can just see the yellow sign at the end indicating a sharp curve after the bridge, making it impossible to see oncoming cars or trains.

    The worst part? We thought we could hear a train in the distance.

    http://www.thebarefootnomad.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Highway-on-the-South-Island-in-New-Zealand-700.jpg

    1. There would be no. freaking. way. I’d get on that bridge. Not a chance. WHAT THE ?! were they thinking building that thing? On the other hand, David would love it. He’d have a big crazy grin going the whole way! -Veronica

  3. This is the biggest turn off from China, and really the typical-rich-Chinese-from-Beijing. I’m sorry to say but I’ve met a lot of rude and rich Chinese.

    It was taken at Emeishan, Sichuan Province, China. A famous Buddhist mountain, a lot of people here to pray at the Golden Summit. It is 3099m, and seriously the mountain starts lower than 1000m. We walked to the top for two days, and we saw this guy on the way down. There are a group of people who are selling the service. This guy obviously hire these guys and ‘hike’ the mountain, wearing suit and texting. Amazing, huh?

    http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/China/Emeishan-Sichaun-China/i-FGHpgdB/0/L/King-of-Emeishan-L.jpg

  4. On Koh Chang Thailand, at dusk every night, it is possible to spot homo sapiens in action. These mammals sprawl shoreside and pose for the camera in a peculiar mating ritual that scientists call “My Latest Facebook Photo.” If you get really lucky, you’ll get to spot an elusive threesome in which the male performs a thonged mating dance in front of two submissive females. (What the?!) http://www.fearfuladventurer.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/photoshoot_thong.jpg

  5. I enjoyed enthusiastic local hospitality many times when travelling in Central Asia but I’m sure this was the only day in my life when I had vodka with lunch, tea and supper. On this memorable evening in Tajikistan I struggled to keep up with the endless (unintelligible to me) toasts and when called upon to reciprocate, could only come up with inanities such as “Nova Zelandiya!” and “Nyet Taliban!” Perhaps ‘What the..!’ would have been more appropriate!

    http://www.worldwanderingkiwi.com/2011/11/travel-in-tajikistan/ (photo 6 in this post)

  6. I would like to submit this photo of myself: https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/625482_3707515206177_1593595577_n.jpg

    it was taken during my stint volunteering at a lion conservation project in Zimbabwe. We were laying out the partially frozen offals (innards) out in the sun to defrost so that the lions in the breeding program could have their meal. I happened to find some x-rated cow/bull parts and felt this was necessary behaviour to be documented on camera!

      1. The best part is that I have another picture of him bending over and lightly touching the water. Unfortunately all you see is rump and no outfit. I am probably a bad person for taking the photo, but it did make me go ‘What the?!’ for just one moment.

  7. I love India. It’s a magical country where every minute I’m out of my guesthouse, there’s something new and different to see.

    Usually it makes sense, but I can’t come up with a single reason for this man to be watering a dirt patch on the side of the road in the Punjab countryside.

    Is he trying to grow mud?
    Simulating the rainy season?
    Making a dirty slip and slide?

    What the?!

    http://www.adventuresofagoodman.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Man-Hosing-down-a-dirt-patch-Countryside-Between-Amritsar-and-Dharamasala-Punjab-and-Himachel-Pradesh-2012-04-19-14-02-54-600×379.jpg

    1. Don’t know what we love the most about this shot – the little girl looking back at him while the adults pretend he’s not there – or his sweet little funny legs coming out of that amazing uniform! WHAT THE ?!

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