Wait until you see the pair of owls—they're really rocks, we promise.

As children, most of us had a pet rock at one point or another—maybe because our parents wouldn't let us get a real life animal, or just because it was fun to have something to carry around in our pocket. The best part, aside from being low-maintenance, pet rocks could also take on the form of almost any animal imaginable: cats, dogs, birds, and even a silly raccoon.

stone racoon
Credit: Akie Nakata

But there's nothing silly about these extraordinary hand-painted stones. Artist Akie Nakata takes pet rocks to new artistic heights by creating such life-like renditions of animals that we had to do a double take just to convince ourselves that they're actually rocks.

owl painted stones
Credit: Akie Nakata

Like many rock crafters and painters, Nakata believes in working with her medium. She doesn't alter the shape of the stone at all—instead, she works with what nature has given her, and creates the animal that fits best with that particular stone's shape. While some may just see a pile of lumpy rocks, Nakata sees a pair of beady-eyed owls or a group of seals.

stone smiling sea lion
Credit: Akie Nakata

If you're feeling like you want to take your pet rock game to the next level, take a look at Nakata's incredibly life-like animals for inspiration. However, if your crafting skills aren't quite up to par (yet), you can always use one of our easy rock craft projects. Follow Akie Nakata on Facebook and Instagram to see more of her stone animals.


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