reverse image search

How to look like a genius with Google image reverse search

A few nights ago, Trish and I went out for our long walk about town.

And we both noticed this new, colorful plant growing out of our retaining wall:

reverse image search milk thistle plant

Of course, we are conditioned to think of odd-looking plants as weeds…

But something told me this was special.

“I bet this “weed” is some rare, gazillion-dollar antidote.”

I was not far off.


Guess what? That “weed” was actually a natural cure for cancer…

Tonight, this plant tripled in height.

So as dinner ended, I bet that I could find out what this was in 60 seconds (or less).

Armed with my iPad Mini’s tiny camera and Google’s image reverse search function, I solved the mystery.

It was milk thistle.

Milk thistle seeds contain a powerful phytonutrient called Silymarin.

This plant has been (allegedly) used as a natural medicine for over 2,000 years.

One of its claims is to treat cancer.

It regenerates damaged liver cells.

It increases the survival rate of patients with cirrhosis.

Silymarin complements the treatment of viral hepatitis.

It even prevents poisoning from the death cap mushroom.


Thank you to whoever planted this amazing seed behind our wall.

So how did I solve this mystery in about a minute?


Here is how to turn (almost) any image into instant intelligence

There are many apps that offer reverse image search for mobile devices…

But they are either expensive or available as a limited free trial.

Instead, I use this surefire approach to get answers to questions via camera pictures:


Step #1: Take a picture

Get as close to the subject as possible.

Sharp details bring back better matches.

I took this picture:

reverse image search milk thistle closeup

Email the picture as an attachment to yourself.


Step #2: Upload the photo to this secret Google URL

First, download the picture you emailed yourself to your computer hard drive.

Next, visit and click on the [Image] link…

Or you can visit this shortcut URL instead:

Finally, click on the camera icon and choose the [Upload an image] option:

reverse image search upload an image


Step #3: Find a suggested match

Google scans your uploaded photo and instantly returns dozens… sometimes hundreds of suggested matches.

In seconds, I solved the name of the mystery plant:

reverse image search match

And there it is… this is a picture of a milk thistle plant.

I look like a genius in less time than it takes to double knot my sneakers.

Published by

Markus Allen

Family man. Truth seeker. Life hacker... more about me here...


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