Photoshop Chimeras: Fantasy Creatures Created by Splicing Photos


Want to have some fun as you’re learning how to use Photoshop for image editing? Try creating a “Photoshop Chimera.” In Greek mythology, the Chimera was a monstrous creature composed of three different animals: the lion, snake, and goat. The term “chimera” has since come to describe any imaginary creature that’s the mashup of two or more real animals.

Reddit user Arne Olav has attracted some attention as of late for his humorous chimeras created by compositing two different photographs of animals.

The photograph above shows a “Guinea Lion,” or what you get when you combine a guinea pig and a lion.

Olav doesn’t claim to be the originator of this concept; you’ve probably seen similar photo mashups floating around since the advent of the Web. He tells us that he personally began dabbling with the idea while going through a particularly difficult exam season in school back in 2012.

Needed a break from his studies, he decided to de-stress by splicing guinea pig heads onto various animals. He soon started combining all kinds of animals, and his work started attracting the attention of humor sites across the web.

Here is a selection of Photoshop Chimeras Olav has created so far:









Regarding his technique, Olav tells us,

It’s important that the pictures are taken from approximately the same angle, so that the animals can be put together in a natural way. For example, let’s say I’m making the cross between a proboscis monkey and a bird. First, I put the pictures in two layers.


Then I adjust the size and start erasing the bits that are superfluous:


After that, the rest is fine tuning. Edges between the animals need to be smooth, which can be done using a soft semi-transparent eraser tool, and colors and lighting have to be adjusted. Then the picture is finished.


Olav says his interest in Photoshop first developed through his photography hobby. In addition to use it to post-process his photographs, he decided to experiment with (and improve in) Photoshop by getting experimental with it and using it for leisure.

You can follow along with his strange animal mashups on his Reddit submissions page. There’s also an entire sub-Reddit dedicated to this concept called Hybrid Animals.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Sam!

  • ms

    Cute. However, you can match sharpness and texture a bit more than that.

  • Northbound

    I guess a lot of people will start dissecting the technical aspects of these images. Meanwhile I will sit here and laugh and enjoy how much fun these creatures are. Good stuff! :)

  • Monteraz

    I once saw a strange rabbit with the body of a horse and the head of a horse. Live to see

  • Fuzztographer

    4chan is gonna have a field day with this

  • 3ric15

    What has been seen cannot be unseen

  • Richard

    This is great stuff. Where’s the jackalope?

  • Jake

    But nature did this first with the duck-billed platypus.

  • Choen Lee

    Whotook the source photographs and shouldn’t they at least be credited?

  • madmax

    I much like all these pictures, but penguin-orca is the nicest. Maybe buy some prints. Excellent work.

  • Howard

    I love these images, excellently photoshopped
    Idea is not entirely original, though, look up work by Joan Fontcuberta, whose images I saw in Madrid, and Wanda Wulz’s “Cat + I” printed in 1932
    These photographers worked in darkrooms! I wonder they could have done with photoshop!

  • Mike

    The Pengwhale must be the goofiest animal ever.

  • PocitoMustacio

    The Pengwhale is going to give me nightmares.

  • friv 3

    haha, very interesting, I’ll try a few animals grafted with photoshop

  • Kira Williams

    Oh my damn god this is so funny!!!

  • Erwin T.

    Very nice pictures. My wife is a teacher for biology. Maybe I’ll give her these pictures and the students (12-15 years old) have to guess which animals are real. :-)

  • Ryan

    I was calling it a whalguin, ha… probably the funniest thing I have seen.

  • Joey Duncan

    The monkey bird thing I imagine with the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz would look like in real life.

  • Joey Duncan

    Care to elaborate oh expert person.

  • Myrna Erler-Bradshaw

    Arne’s unique Style of photos would be great if he used his own photos instead of stealing other photographers shots without their permission, changing their beautiful shots and posting them wherever he wants! The SLAWK was my Hawk, which he stole without even asking!

  • Taan Stari

    Is she teaching at some kind of special school?