The Worst Stock Images We’ve Laid Witness to in 2020

The Worst Stock Images We’ve Laid Witness to in 2020
Image: Getty Images

As digital journalists, a key part of our job is to search for hero images for our stories. In our travels to search for the perfect, kissy-finger-inducing image to pair with our yarn, we trawl through stock image sites (so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.).

There are often cringey entries, boring images, and ones that seem close enough to what you’re writing about that they may just work. But then are the ones that sear into your brain and leave you cackling, or with night terrors. Sometimes both.

Life is already cursed but some stock images seem to want to take it to another level. Without further ado, we bring to you some of the worst we’ve come across this year.

A business fish

stock image
Image: Getty Images

What exactly is this business fish’s story. Why are they standing in a river? What’s in the briefcase? Who hurt them? Some things we’ll never know.

Mad hackers

Image: Getty Images

This is exactly how I imagine hackers look now when they’re racing to steal all your personal information and hard-earned money.

The robot woman genre

stock image
Image: Getty Images

Without rhyme or reason, the ‘robot woman’ genre simply exists and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Cursed car accident

Image: Getty Images

This image, which came with at least five layers of ‘haunted’ Instagram filters applied, depicts a ghost haunting a tragic car accident. The most haunting part is how uninterested she seems to be.

Baboon worker

Image: Getty Images

This baboon is a representation of us in pre-COVID times. Stock image canon means he’s probably the business fish’s boss.

Teddy bear horror

Image: Getty Images

An army of moving teddy bears put this child to sleep. Nothing strange or disconcerting to see here.

Murderous clowns

Image: Getty Images

Just some office fellas shooting the shit at work.

Taking off the mask

Image: Getty Images

Apparently this is all women after a hard day of work. I’d say it’s a bit inaccurate as the lady under the mask looks a little too happy.

‘Woman strangles man with sausage’

Image: Getty Images

I’m not sure how I ended up on the ‘Italian mafia’ section of Getty Images but this scene is insightful. There’s just too much at play here.

Corona calculator

Image: Getty Images

Why anyone would actively pain over typing ‘corona’ in a calculator beats me. Apparently it was good enough for this stock image brief though.


Now you get to share this painful daily occurrence with me.