There's simple graffiti, and then there's breathtaking street art that makes you immediately stop in your tracks and stare. Many creators of graffiti are bona fide artists who have a true message they want to convey with their artwork -- albeit, on a medium that some may see as a little unconventional.

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As unconventional as it may be, it should be noted that the use of buildings and streets as a canvas adds a whole other element to the piece, giving the artwork a sense of genuine authenticity. Here are ten of the most beautiful pieces of street art from around the world.

10 Elephant - South Africa

This ginormous illustration of an elephant was created by artist Faith 47, who hails from South Africa. She left her mark in her home country with this elephant mural. Faith tends to paint pictures of living things, and on her website it says her artwork explores "interconnectedness" and the link between all living beings and the universe. It makes sense she would paint something that not only represents one of the most majestic living beings, but also shares the home of South Africa with her. She also painted a similar mural of a jaguar. Both paintings can be found in Johannesburg.

9 Nobody Likes Me - Canada

This painting of a distressed young boy represents our changing times in a new digital age. Created as part of iHeart(StreetArt)'s "A Sign of The Times" series of paintings, the boy is crying because he isn't liked. While this experience can be considered universal for all human beings, the specificity of not being liked on social media is something pre-Gen Z isn't accustomed to.

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His clever use of dark, edgy humor has made this piece of street art -- ironically -- go viral on social media. You can find this painting as well as the others in the series with the same social commentary throughout the streets of Vancouver.

8 Chrome Dog Mural - Miami, Florida

It's hard to believe this is a picture made with spray paint. Created by Puerto Rican artist Bik Ismo, this mural of a chrome dog was made at Jose De Diego Middle School in Miami. It took four days to make, and the artist had to take in everything in the vicinity of the wall in order to make sure that the dog looked reflective of its surroundings.

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Bik Isimo has plenty of other chrome portraits of various different animals and even people. The fact that spray paint on a wall can be transformed into looking like a 3-D metallic object is absolutely surreal.

7  Cat Mural - France

This picture of a cat on the streets of Vitry Sur Seine, France, is created by renowned street artist C215, a.k.a. Christian Guémy. Guemy favors stenciling and strives to convey the life of his subjects, particularly in their eyes.

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He was able to turn this simple portrait of a cat, for instance, into a lifelike rendering. The wisps of colors in the background perfectly compliment the wispy colors of the cat's fur. While this particular piece is in France, c215's artwork can be seen all around the world.

6 Aberdeen - Scotland

Some of the most jaw-dropping pieces of street art are the ones that form an illusion. Artist Anders Gjennestad a.k.a. STROK is a a pro at creating illusions, often depicting what looks like real people falling off of or hanging onto a building. His use of shadow and impeccable attention to detail tricks the eye and might even convince someone they were real people at first glance if they hadn't been painted in black and white. Colorless or no, these caricatures could still render a double-take for those driving past the artwork.

5 Moonshine - Richmond, Virginia

This mural mixes hyper-realism with surrealism, something Etam Cru are known to excel at. Etam Cru actually consists of two Polish street artists, Sainer and Bezt, and they work together to create towering works of art such as this.

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In fact, they primarily stick to high-rises and other huge buildings so that their murals are so big they can't be missed. While this one is located in Richmond, Virginia, they have artwork all over the world. The shadows and details make the subject of the portrait appear real, but the fact that she is squeezed into a jar adds a dreamlike element to the piece.

4 Octopus  - North Africa

Belgium street artist ROA was clever enough to use the shape and additions to the building to help his mural of an octopus come together. Located in Tunisia, North Africa, the octopus contrasted with an urban setting creates an interesting juxtaposition. This is often ROA's aim, as he typically paints animals and wants to draw attention to environmental issues with his artwork. He tends to stick to black-and-white paintings, although this particular piece has a pop of yellow that draws your eyes to the octopus' eye.

3 Underwater Dog - Belgium

When it comes to hyper-realism, Bart Smeets a.k.a. Smates is one of the greats. This mural takes up the wall of an entire 4-story building in Belgium, and it depicts the unique concept of a dog diving underwater. Inspired by a real-life photo taken by Karen Dillabough, Smates had to pay attention to the tiniest of details in order for this idea to work.

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He did just that and was able to accurately show what a land creature looks like submerged in a different environment, to the point where it almost looks like an actual blown-up photograph.

2 Art Is Rubbish - Malaysia

Just as the title of the piece tells you, sometimes beauty can come from the most unexpected of places. While on a beach in Malaysia, artists Ernest Zacharevic managed to transform rubble into a little girl, and a trash bag into a balloon. As the biography on his website explains, Ernest's ideas are often conceived as "a spontaneous response to the immediate environment."

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Utilizing what's on hand and analyzing the environment to inspire the piece is something many street artists have mastered. Indeed, art is rubbish, as art can be anything!

1 Wall Poetry - Iceland

Herakut, a duo from Germany, actually partnered up with American string quartet Kronos Quartet to bring this art piece to fruition. Paired with the words "Isn't it our jobs as humans to collect great moments?" is a girl who seems to be staring straight at you as she plays the cello. Faintly in the back, you can see sheet music. While Herakut often opts to create more darker works, this one almost has a sense of optimism to it as you can see birds flying out of the subject. You can find this piece on the streets of Reykjavik, Iceland.

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