Sorry for that click-baity headline, it was too goofy to resist. But this genuinely is a little trick to tell, strangely rapidly, where a photo was taken! Well, only if that "where" is South Africa (from, oh, the 50s to the 90s) and if that photo has cars in it. Still! There's got to be someone out there for whom this is useful.


I first noticed this searching for strange, exotic non-German Volkswagens. Some of the strangest ones were from South Africa, and there's a little detail in some of these pictures you might notice: tiny white round reflectors on the front fenders.

This used to be a regulation for all cars in South Africa, up until fairly recently — I think it was finally discontinued around the 1990s. All cars had to have little white reflectors on the front, and additional red reflectors at the rear. It seems that only South Africa (and possibly Zimbabwe) had this requirement.


When you have a one-country little visual detail like that, it becomes a great way to identify where a photo was taken. So, if you ever see a photo of traffic, and some of those cars have little white reflectors on the front, you should go ahead and place a bet that the photo came from South Africa, since I think that's a bet you'll win.

This may not sound all that useful, but I like to imagine at some point in life, you'll have to solve some sort of mystery, and the only clue is a drab photo of a parking lot. You'll take one look at the photo and bellow out:

"Relax, everyone. Your child/treasure/missing nuke is somewhere in South Africa. In 1977, I'd guess. You're welcome."


Then you can enjoy your parade.

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