If someone posted this image in your Facebook feed, you’d probably glance at it for half a second and assume that it’s a completely normal photo of two guys running in the park (even though they have some perfectly good bikes right in front of them that they could use instead). However, once you look at the background, two odd little details stand out. The first one, of course, is that there are tanks coming from the upper right corner.
So, despite the first guy’s amused expression, these guys aren’t just jogging: They’re escaping from tanks. The second, even more significant detail is the lone man who can be seen between the trees behind Chuckles here – a lone man standing in the middle of the street, carrying two grocery bags, in front of some tanks.
The photo was taken by Reuters correspondent Terril Jones, who figured that no one would care about it once he noticed that someone else had photographed the same situation from a far better angle. Jones didn’t publish the photo until 2009, after reading a New York Times retrospective on Tank Man, but the most mind-blowing part is that it shows how deliberate the unknown man’s actions were. He didn’t just cross the street one day and run into some tanks – he saw them coming a mile away and intentionally stayed there to block their passage.