As much as we admire a carefully staged images that indicate a total photographic mastery of lighting, angles, and shutter speed, there’s something truly special and exciting about seeing an image based on nothing but pure dumb luck—when an otherwise unwitting photographer just so happens to capture an image so astonishing, mind-boggling, and magical that you find it almost too good to be true.
But they’re true, all right. Sometimes, these photos are funny. Other times they are incredibly moving.
But what unites them all is the incredible feeling of pure serendipity. So click on to see 18 photos that were taken at exactly the right time.