Everyone has seen pictures of galaxies in their elementary school science books, but what you might not know is that not all galaxies are created equal. In fact, some of them are downright bizarre-looking. While the Milky Way may look pristine and almost flawless, the following galaxies are the poor, snaggle-toothed children of the cosmos.
Hoag’s Object almost looks like two distinct galaxies, with its bright yellow cluster of stars at the center and a blue ring of stars separated from the cluster by a large void of space. But no, this is one galaxy, much the same way Saturn is one planet and not a planet with a ring-shaped planet around it.
When tasked with solving the problem of how Hoag’s object was formed, science came up with a resounding “what?” In the end, they just labeled it as a type of ring galaxy and moved on. Want an example of another galaxy of this type? Look just inside the top end of the ring. There’s one off in the distance, which is bizarre, since these kinds of galaxies are pretty rare.