Stairs that were designed by people who have clearly never used them

This article was originally published on eternallifestyle.com and has been republished here with permission.

Most of us find ourselves walking up and down stairs every day of our lives. You walk down the stairs in your house or apartment building in the morning, you walk up the steps as you arrive at work and then you repeat this cycle many times over throughout the day.

A lot of the time we don’t even notice what the stairs look like that we are walking on and that is because they have been designed well but not all stairs have been designed to the same standard. These hilarious stairs look like they are designed to confuse you and we have no idea what the people designing them were thinking.

Stairs Versus Carpet

Carpeted stairs are pretty common. The carpet creates some good traction for you as you trudge up or down but when the carpet is patterned like this one a pretty crazy optical illusion can occur.

As you stare at this carpet it actually just looks like a flat floor, not a set of stairs. We really hope that nobody took a tumble when they accidentally missed a step here but it would be pretty hard not to.

It’s All About The Design

Everyone wants to be the person who has the stairs that everyone talks about but for good reasons, not that they might actually cause you to have an accident. This person thought that stairs that doubled as a bookshelf and desk would be the talk of the minimalist and architectural world.

Instead, they just made guests nervous about knocking things off the shelves or even just knocking themselves off. These should definitely come with some warning signs.

A Design Flaw

Good workers are the ones that follow directions well but it would appear in this ‘case’ that these builders followed this stair design a little bit too closely. The stairs and the design are definitely a perfect match but there’s just one little thing that appears to be off.

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There is no way to actually walk all the way up the two sets of stairs because the second stairway was built on top of the first one without the landing. This means that it is now a stairway to nowhere. We hope they built another one inside the building so that people could actually move between floors.

For Geometry Lovers

This crisscrossing triangle stairway is really neat to look at as it appears to be like puzzle pieces fitted together but walking up and down is another story. If you have big feet you will need to be very mindful of where you step otherwise you’ll find yourself missing a step and going headfirst down the stairs.

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The stairs are nice to look at but definitely not so nice to actually use. Just another case of poorly designed stairs that are pretty.

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Mind The Drop

We really hope that these doors lock on the outside because if anybody wanders onto these staircases they would be in for a very unpleasant surprise. This is a real design flaw and we’re not sure who is responsible for it.

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Is it the designer or the builders or both? Either way, these stairs would be a good spot for some flower pots to dress them up a bit as there is no way anybody can actually use them.

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Warped

Natural wood is all the rage in the design world these days which means it makes sense that this homeowner would want to install stairs made from that. The only problem is that instead of cutting it into level planks they used uneven pieces that have simply been sanded and varnished.

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None of these stairs are flat which makes for a very hard staircase for you to climb up. These are not the stairs to use if you have spent a night drinking some wine.

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Wheelchair Accessible

When we think of wheelchair accessible we usually assume a ramp, you know the kind that a wheelchair can be rolled up and down on. The idea of accessibility here is a bit different than that though.

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Apparently wider steps that are also quite shallow are just as good as a ramp according to this sign but we think wheelchairs may still have a few issues. The best part is the sign that says no walking, what does that even mean?

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The Hairy Stair Installation

Of all the interior design fails out there, this staircase is quite possibly the worst. Instead of carpeting or finished wood, this staircase has been covered with layers of synthetic brown hair.

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While the artist that installed this staircase hoped that the hair would create a flowing fantasy, all it does is give us the heebie-jeebies. Come cleaning time we can only imagine this staircase will need a good shampoo!

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With a Jump and a Hop

This emergency staircase on the side of this building is supposed to be used in case of fire or disaster. However, we imagine that evacuation is not going to go according to plan.

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The stairs end before they reach the ground because the designer thought that would prevent burglars from entering the building. Sadly though this makes it impossible to get down the stairs safely. Whoever thought these stairs up should have thought a little harder.

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Sprouting Stairway

Although it looks rickety and as if it just crawled out of a Tim Burton movie, this set of stairs designed by Vincent Duborg is very stable. The stairs go up three stories and were commissioned for a London home. While they may not exactly match the modern decor of the home, these stairs look like they have sprouted out of the floor and are there to stay.

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Mind The Gap

Usually, stairs have some sort of landing attached to them as people need a place to convene before they head up, down, or off to the side on a floor. These stairs don’t give you that option. As soon as you walk out the door of the adjoining room you are on them.

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We really hope that this woman knew they were there otherwise she would have fallen right through to the next floor. What’s weird is that you also have to hop over them to get to the second part of this floor.

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Fun Stairs

You are never too old to have some fun, and these stairs are perfect for invoking the child deep inside of us all.

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Not only can you go up and down this beautiful staircase, but if you feel playful you can also go down the slide. While this seems perfect, you better watch your step going upstairs at night. One misstep and you could end up on the slide!

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Straight Up And Down

These stairs have been designed by a very utilitarian mind. Stairs can be made to fit in any space if you don’t mind how steep they are and these are basically a concrete ladder. All you need to do is scurry up these like a raccoon and then carefully make your way downstairs one excruciating step at a time to avoid falling.

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We have to admit, these ones scare us just a bit.

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Glow In The Dark

Going up and down the stairs in the dark can be pretty treacherous, especially if you can’t find the light switch or don’t want to wake anybody up. This homeowner decided to install some pretty fancy fluorescent light lit stairs.

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No matter what, whoever needs to walk up and down these will be able to find them in the dark. You just need to be really careful not to miss a step as the steps themselves are placed at haphazard angles as if they are a fancy type of installation art. All we have to say about this is to watch your step!

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Option 1 Or Option 2

This is a bit of a tricky situation here. Either way, you will have to take a ramp and some stairs or some stairs and a ramp, you simply have to decide how many stairs. There is one step or many steps.

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Navigating the one step would be okay if you have a stroller but if you are in a wheelchair you might need some assistance. These stairs were not designed with the after the stairs component in mind.

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Depends on Taste

These stairs might look great to some, but to others, their organic shape looks like something out of a Tim Burton film.

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During the day they look innocent enough, but at night they tend to look a little creepy. The staircase almost looks like it grew out of the wall, and with those curved lines, you can easily miss your step if you are not careful.

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Stairs Or Art?

A lot of these stairs look like they belong in the Modern Museum of Art and these metal zig-zagging ones are no different. If you are wearing socks then you will find yourself slipping and sliding all over the place which might make getting to the second floor a tad difficult.

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There should be a little sign that says, “Please wear shoes with a grip,” if you need to walk on them. These are not for the faint of heart.

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Non-essential Stairs

So far all of the stairs we have seen have been essential, people need them to get places even if they aren’t fully functional but why these stairs were built into a very short grassy hill we have no idea.

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It is literally just one step ‘up’ to the top of this slight rise so that you can take in the beautiful sunrise or sunset on this tropical beach. These stairs are just unnecessary but at least they are easy to use.

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Too Many Steps

This design did have a flaw but the team found a solution pretty quickly. All they needed to do was cut the stairway in half with a landing and build a shorter set off of it. It really seems like the numbers are off when it comes to counting steps or even heights for where staircases should be.

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All we have to say about that is to make sure you hire a good architect to avoid any future mishaps.

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Touch The Ceiling

A low ceiling is not an issue we have seen before but instead of making the stairs rise at a longer slope to address this the stair designer simply decided that whoever was going to use them would need to duck as they went up or down.

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A little sign saying, “Watch your head” probably became necessary after one too many guests found themselves bumping their foreheads on the ceiling. This guy definitely looks like he may be just about to bump heads with it.

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Roller Coaster

You might think these are joke stairs, but it turns out this is how the staircase was designed in this building.

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We are not sure why but this single staircase manages to go up and down like a roller coaster. It doesn’t make much sense, but it must be a great workout walking down this staircase.

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Too Small

It looks as though these stairs were originally built as a little podium or something. With a ramp to the left and stairs to the right, these really do not serve any purpose at all.

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Perhaps these were going to be the original stairs and then they released they made them way too tiny? Or maybe they have come from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!

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A Hidden Step

We’ve seen that carpet can play tricks on your mind but a lack of carpet can do the same thing. In this house, their staircase appears to be a normal beige carpeted affair but there is something lurking at the bottom. A single wooden stair!

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The home designer probably thought that one wooden stair would look better with the hardwood floors but when combined with a carpeted stairway it could actually make someone miss a step if they aren’t looking where they put their feet. You should definitely hold on to the hand railing here to avoid any slip-ups.

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Look up!

In a day and age such as today, these stairs can be really dangerous. With how many people into things and even people because they are on their phones and looking down is getting more every day.

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So what happens when one of these people only sees the first step? It won’t be long until they are going headfirst into the center of the rails. If you ask us, we think the holding rails are everything but necessary.

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Look down

Now, this is the complete opposite to the last picture, even if you are looking down at these steps, it is still not very clear on where you should be walking. A little to the left? To the right perhaps? Or maybe even directly in front of you!

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Who knows. The rock on these steps certainly doesn’t make it any easier either and without a handrail, these could make for a painful fall.

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Stairs to Heaven

In Hawaii, you can find what’s called the stairway to heaven. This narrow staircase runs precariously along a high mountain ridge and was originally built in 1942 to service a top-secret radio station.

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The staircase was never meant to be used by the public and after the radio station was abandoned the stairway was deemed unfit for use because of disrepair. However, this hasn’t stopped hikers from sneaking onto the rickety staircase to enjoy the views. Not a bad view if you are willing to risk your life.

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Giant Steps

These stairs look more like a work out station than anything else! With a height of 1 foot between each step, they require quite the deep squat. The shadow on the pictures shows exactly how giant they are and we would say that these are far from kid-friendly.

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At least there is a handrail here that you can use to help pull yourself up, you just might need a rest once you reach the top. And breath!

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To the wall

The road to nowhere is well, here. These stairs serve no purpose what so ever, with such a small landing and nowhere to go, we’re confused as to what the designers were even thinking.

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It could have been that these were meant to be the original stairs and then they happened to change their minds. There was certainly never a room past the wall as it is just too big to be a stud wall.

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Black & White fuzz

These stairs make us feel dizzy just looking at them. Remember the song, “I’m so dizzy, my head is spinning. Like a whirlpool, it never ends. And it’s you, girl, making it a spin. You’re making me dizzy”, well it could have been written about these steps.

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The black and white stripes blend completely into the other causing utter confusion as to where the steps end.

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Modern Monaco

Last but not least, we come to this set of brick stairs in the sunny nation of Monaco. You’d think they would be architectural marvels to fit this state rich in casinos but instead, they are a modest brick affair. The only issue is that if you aren’t watching for the dots then you won’t know where to step and will think it is a simple red brick road.

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This is not the red brick road you want to follow. Always be careful of where you walk, you don’t want to hurt yourself on what appears to be a carpeted hallway but are actually some well-concealed stairs.

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A Misstep

Instead of a hidden step, there is a complete lack of steps here. Someone decided to add in some black tile which looks like the lip of a step but really it is just part of the floor. Anyone who has walked down some stairs and then goes to step down once more knows how discombobulating it can be when there is no step there and you pitch forward.

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We hope the wall is close enough to catch whoever doesn’t mind their step.

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Puzzle Pieces

We love a good set of eccentric stairs but these ones look like puzzle pieces that have been made into a ladder. Each step has been set to slightly overlap with the one next to it to create an interlocking staircase but if you’re not watching where you are going you will definitely find yourself tumbling right down to the floor.

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Hold on to the handrail to avoid falling down like a cut tree.

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Ramp Or Stairs

In another instance of carpet on stairs, this one is designed to be less confusing in terms of the pattern but more confusing in terms of whether or not these are actually stairs. These stairs are so wide and far apart that the carpet actually makes it look like this is a ramp.

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We really hope that nobody with a wheelchair or mobility issues attempted to go down or up these stairs as they are very trippy both in pattern and in use.

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

Sometimes what we think are stairs aren’t even stairs but are actually water features. When no water was seen rippling over these marble ‘stairs’ this person’s poor friend thought that they actually led to the entrance to the building. Instead, water started gurgling as soon as they set foot on them causing him to trip and fall.

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We can definitely see how these could have been mistaken for stairs though, only the gravel at the bottom gives it away as a possible fountain.

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Mind Boggling

This carpet is another mind contorting pattern. As you stare at it, it looks as if there are five different sets of stairs all leading down but really it is just that alternative plaid pattern playing tricks on you.

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Whoever decided this was a good pattern for a stairwell did not have the larger picture in mind, namely making walkers nervous about using the stairs and finding the right steps. Or they just thought they would play a joke on people and see how long it took them to figure out that this is just a regular run of the mill stairwell.

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The Wave

Architects and designers love to create stairs that look like art pieces. Admittedly, these stairs are beautiful but they aren’t really functional. This woman walking down the stairs looks like she needs to watch every footstep, or else she will take a tumble.

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These stairs should probably have deeper steps, but that wouldn’t make them as nice to look at. Be careful with these ones!

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Go With The Flow

In another example of wooden stairs designed to look like they flow naturally with nature, we have to wonder if anybody can walk on these safely.

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The wood looks slippery, and if any plants grow over the stairs, then feet can slip on the leaves. These stairs look like they were made for aliens on another planet; not human feet.

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A Tad Rocky

Natural rock is a great material to chisel steps into. It can be found anywhere, and people throughout history have used rock to make stairs.

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These stairs dating back to the Etruscan period may have been walkable in their heyday, but now they look like they should have a ‘Hazard’ sign. As soon as it rains, these will become a slip and slide.

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Giant Stairs

If the story Jack and the Beanstalk was real, these would be the stairs found in the giant’s house. Each step looks like it is a foot and a half high, which would make climbing them like climbing a ladder.

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If you have children or pets, they will not be making their way up these without some help. These are a stair fail.

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Put A Pillar On It

When it comes to building stairs, there are a few things that are common sense. One of these is making sure that the stairs actually go somewhere. Another one is making sure that the stairs are accessible.

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These stairs are almost walkable, except for the one major problem being the giant pillar built into them. Nobody will be walking up or down these stairs.

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The Door In The Stairs

Stairs can be even more functional when a closet is constructed underneath them. After all, that is where Harry Potter grew up. Not all stair closets are built the same though. Someone decided it would be a good idea to build a cupboard door into the stairwell.

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There’s just one little problem though. It’s physically impossible to open the door, much less store anything in it.

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Topsy Turvy

If you have ever spent time on a boat, then you know that weird back and forth motion you feel on land afterwards. These stairs appear to have been made for people looking to mimic the ocean of the motion.

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You’ll have to find your sea legs to make it up these uneven stairs. Add a parrot on your shoulder, and you can be a pirate of the four stairs.

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Going Extreme

Stairs without handrails are scary. Stairs without handrails, and are very high up are terrifying. These stairs are designed to go around the turret of an old home, and while beautiful don’t offer much in the way of support.

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Whoever built these clearly doesn’t have young children or pets who need to use them.

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Feeling Bookish

Stairs are great for storage, especially for books. They make natural bookshelves, if built well. However, books and stairs don’t go together if you’re not careful. Any books taken out, need to be put away or someone could go skiing down the stairs on a couple of them.

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These stairs need a read with caution sign, for anyone who wants to visit this stair library.

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Up, Up, And Away

The jungle contains a lot of hidden buildings, and in this case stairs. In the Philippines, this staircase to nowhere can be found deep in the jungle. There used to be some sort of building here, but it has since disintegrated and been lost with time.

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All that is left are these creepy stairs leading to nowhere. These might even be haunted steps, which you definitely do not want to walk on.

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Going Into The Basement

Growing up many of us were tasked with going into the basement to grab laundry or a board game. For some reason, the stairs always looked like this, and you always tripped on them.

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Whoever owns these particular stairs may want to think about updating them. They look like a bad fall waiting to happen, and nobody wants to get hurt.

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Look, No Hands

According to most state laws, stairways need to have handles if they are going to be built to code. These monochrome stairs may look beautiful, but they are in no way functional. One slip, and you will go tumbling down.

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You may end up with a Lion King moment, like when Mufasa is dangling on the cliff with nothing to hang on to.

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A Confused Handrail

We’re not sure why, but it seems like choosing wear to place a handrail is a difficult job. Many designs seem to have the handrail on part of a staircase, while the other half is completely unused.

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This staircase could have been better designed, but now people only get to use half of it. What’s even more confusing is the double handrail.

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Just Add Carpet

Carpets in bathrooms are a very retro design. It first started trending in the 1970s, and has since faded out of popularity. After all, when white carpet in a bathroom gets dirty it is very hard to clean.

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These carpeted stairs to the shower, look like they have seen better days. These definitely need a wash, and you don’t want to step on it with bare feet for fear of a fungus. That’s just gross!

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Smile

There are a lot of different stairs, but stairs with someone’s face on them are in a category of their own. It feels kind of rude to walk on someone’s face, especially when they appear to be as happy as this gentleman.

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Whoever thought this was a good marketing ploy, might not have thought about how people feel walking on a face.

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Go Towards The Light

While most stairs don’t work because they have some major design flaw, some are just plain creepy. These stairs found in a college dorm look like they belong in a pre-war building.

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However, the light hanging by them makes it look like some kind of spirit might be haunting them. Be wary going up these, and always bring a flashlight.

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