The Most Powerful Photos of 2015
2015 was a tough year! It had its own highs and lows, mostly lows. The entire year was marked by the events of violence, intolerance, terrorism, and extremism. In United States, 2015 sparked an outcry for gun-control as the country saw as many as 355 incidents of mass shootings. Middle-East remained a volatile region with ever growing ISIS atrocities along with fierce Syrian crisis. Millions were displaced and thousand lost their lives amidst middle-eastern disaster.
The highlight of the year was, the world putting aside all the differences and forming a unified front to tackle the ever increasing ISIS threat. NASA’s flyby mission to Pluto presented an up-close picture of what our cousin planet looked-like. And scientists found the first evidence of what might lead to the discovery of water on Mar’s surface. All-in-all 2015 was a year of struggle, ambition, tragedy and triumph.
Here are the most moving and powerful photos of 2015.
SEE ALSO: Most Powerful Photos of 2014
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS CERTAIN IMAGES THAT MIGHT APPEAR INAPPROPRIATE OR DISTURBING TO SOME VIEWERS.
A Colombian immigrant walks through the New Jersey Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial after taking the oath of allegiance and becoming a U.S. citizen – Sept. 17, 2015.
Image: JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES
Survivors of an avalanche looking up to an army helicopter for relief goods in Paryan district of Panjshir province, Afghanistan – Feb. 28, 2015
Image: HEDAYATULLAH AMID/EPA
Search and rescue teams inspect collapsed buildings after Assad regime forces attacked a residential area in Aleppo, Syria – July 9, 2015.
Image: BEHA EL HALEBI/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
Rescue workers examine the debris of a derailed Amtrak train in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which killed 8 people – May 13, 2015
Image: Lucas Jackson / Reuters
A blood-covered hand of a victim is seen at the blast site after an explosion during a peace march in Ankara, Turkey. At least 86 people were killed and several wounded in twin explosions outside Ankara’s main train station – Oct. 10, 2015
Image: DEFNE KARADENIZ/GETTY IMAGES
Baltimore police form a perimeter around a CVS pharmacy that was plundered and torched during the riots – April 27, 2015.
Image: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES
Air pollution soared to record-breaking levels in Beijing, China and was recorded to be 35 times higher than the safety levels – Dec. 1, 2015
Image: MARK SCHIEFELBEIN/AP
A small boy caresses his crying father during a protest by migrants from Pakistan and Morocco in Macedonia – Nov. 19, 2015.
Image: GEORGI LICOVSKI/EPA
A Palestinian boy is found sleeping on a mattress inside the remains of his family’s house that was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war in 2014 – Sept. 8, 2015.
Image: Suhaib Salem / Reuters
Dylann Storm Roof appears at Centralized Bond Hearing Court in North Charleston, South Carolina. in connection with an attack on a historic black church in South Carolina in hopes to incite a “race war” in the United States. – June 19, 2015
Image: GRACE BEAHM/GETTY IMAGES
Indian people gather around a residential area that was flooded after heavy rains in Chennai – Nov. 18, 2015.
Image: AFP/GETTY IMAGES
This photo showing the lifeless body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi on the seashore, near a beach resort in Bodrum, Turkey captured the world and demanded its attention to the refugee crisis. The little child was a Syrian refugee, who drowned during a failed attempt to sail to Greek island of Kos – Sept. 2, 2015.
Image: DOGAN NEWS AGENCY/EPA
An aerial view of a large crater that was formed in the aftermath of a huge explosion that rocked the port city of Tianjin, China. At least 85 people were killed – Aug. 12, 2015.
Thousands of people march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march in Selma, Alabama – March 8, 2015.
Image: TAMI CHAPPELL/REUTERS/CORBIS
Ahmed Mohamed greets press after he was arrested at his school when a teacher thought a homemade clock he built was a bomb.
Image: LM Otero / AP
Around 90 footprints of dinosaurs were found in a quarry in Muenchehagen, Germany in August which were thought to be 140 million years old. Archaeologists believed that they were from long-neck dinosaurs.
Image: ALEXANDER KOERNER/GETTY IMAGES
An officer checks a bush during a door-to-door search for two escaped prisoners from Clinton Correctional Facility in Malone, New York – June. 24, 2015
Image: MIKE GROLL/AP
A view from the stage during the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan. This photo was taken just minutes before attackers stormed the venue and killed 89 people – Nov. 13, 2015.
Ebola survivor and nurse’s aide Benetha Coleman comforts an infant girl with Ebola symptoms on Jan. 26, 2015 in Paynesville, Liberia. Ebola virus was finally defeated in 2015.
Image: JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES
A train passes through a tunnel as tourists walk along the re-opened ‘El Caminito del Rey’ footpath on April 1, 2015 in Malaga, Spain. The path was built in 1905 and is known as the most dangerous walkway in the world. It was closed after two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000. The restoration for a safer path began in 2011 and reportedly cost 5.5 million euros.
Image: DAVID RAMOS/GETTY IMAGES
A cloud of snow and debris triggered by an earthquake flies toward Everest Base Camp, moments ahead of flattening part of the camp in the Himalayas.
Image: Roberto Schmidt / AFP / Getty Images
Extreme Barbie Jeep Racing during the annual Rally that takes place in Booneville, Arkansas.
Image: SOL NEELMAN/MASHABLE
Demonstrators commemorate the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson by staging a die-in – Aug. 9, 2015.
Image: SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES
Comedian Simon Brodkin throws dollar bills at FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter during a press conference at the Extraordinary FIFA Executive Committee Meeting in Zurich, Switzerland – July. 20, 2015
Image: Philipp Schmidli / Getty Images
Football fans gather on the field of the Stade de France stadium following the friendly match between France and Germany, after a series of coordinated terrorist attacks across Paris in which 130 victims were killed – Nov. 13, 2015
Palestinians fight to free a Palestinian boy held by an Israeli soldier during clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters – Aug. 28,2015
Image: Abbas Momani / AFP / Getty Images
Two million Muslim pilgrims walk on roads in Mecca during the annual Hajj.
Image: Ahmad Masood / Reuters
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified on Benghazi in a day-long hearing before the House Select Committee on – Oct. 22, 2015.
Image: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES
Hindu believers sitting together on floor in Lokenath Brahmachari Temple at Swamibag, Dhaka during a prayer.
Image: MOHAMMAD PONIR HOSSAIN/ZUMA WIRE/CORBIS
Looking up from inside the amazing Blue Cave in Iceland.
Image: MIKAEL BUCK/REX FEATURES/AP
Villagers watch stuntmen performing at the show of ‘Well of Death’ during the annual Farmers Fair at Shama Chak Jhiri, India – Nov. 25, 2015.
Image: JAIPAL SINGH/EPA
Indonesian Muslim women attend Eid Al-Fitr prayer on ‘sea of sands’ on July 17, 2015 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Eid Al-Fitr, marks the end of holy month of Ramadan. Muslims in countries around the world start this day with prayer, spend time with family and often give to charity.
Image: ULET IFANSASTI/GETTY IMAGES
Irrigated citrus trees surrounded by bone-dry land delineate the stark impacts of the extreme drought in Westmorland, California –May 1, 2015
Image: GREGORY BULL/AP
A young Israeli snorkels as sheep belonging to a Palestinian shepherd drink water from the spring located at Jordan Valley near the West Bank town of Jericho – April. 8, 2015.
Image: ABIR SULTAN/EPA
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau helps a young Syrian refugee try on a winter coat after she arrived with her family from Beirut in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada –Dec. 11, 2015
Image: Mark Blinch / Reuters
Kanye West performs at Wango Tango 2015 at StubHub Center, Carson, California – May 9, 2015.
Image: RICH FURY/INVISION/AP
After emancipating the city from the Islamic State, Kurdish Peshmerga show what they say is a mass grave in Sinjar, Iraq of more than 50 Yazidis killed by ISIS – Nov. 15, 2015
Image: JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES
On July 29, protesters call attention to the poaching of Cecil the lion, in the parking lot of Dr. Walter Palmer’s River Bluff Dental Clinic in Bloomington, Minnesota. According to reports, the 13-year-old lion was lured out of a national park in Zimbabwe and killed by Palmer, who had paid at least $50,000 for the hunt.
Image: Adam Bettcher / Getty Images
The Los Angeles Reservoir is covered with more than 90 million black plastic “shade balls” in an attempt to protect water quality by blocking sunlight from penetrating the 175-acre surface of the reservoir thus preventing chemical reactions that can cause algae blooms and other problems – Aug. 12, 2015
Image: DAMIAN DOVARGANES/AP
The popular “love locks” were removed from the Pont des Arts in Paris as the weight of the locks was damaging the bridge.
Image: OWEN FRANKEN/CORBIS
Officers carry a plane part that apparently washed ashore in on Reunion Island. French officials determined on Sept. 3, 2015 that it came from missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. No other debris has been found since, and the disappearance remains a mystery.
Image: RAYMOND WAE TION/EPA
German chancellor Angela Merkel talks to U.S. president Barack Obama in Elmau, Germany – June 8, 2015.
Image: MICHAEL KAPPELER/DPA/AP
A worker sprays antiseptic solution as a precaution against the spread of MERS at an art hall in Seoul, South Korea – June 12, 2015.
Image: LEE JIN-MAN/AP
Mont-Saint-Michel surrounded by the sea during high tide – March 20, 2015.
Image: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
A thunderstorm with volcanic lightning seen as Mount Etna erupts.
Image: MARCO RESTIVO/DEMOTIX/CORBIS
Frost covers rocks on the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire –March. 10, 2015. This phenomenon occurs when freezing fog hits stationary objects in frigid conditions.
Image: ROBERT F. BUKATY/AP
Damaged houses are seen from an Indian Helicopter in Khanigaun, Nepal after a major 7.9 earthquake jolted Kathmandu on April 25. Many houses, buildings, and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 7,000 people dead and many more trapped under the debris.
Image: David Ramos / Getty Images
The newest island on Earth emerged from the waters of the South Pacific which was the result of a volcanic eruption on a nearby island – January, 2015.
Image: EDWINA PICKLES/THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD/GETTY IMAGES
A man rides a stand up paddle board as fireworks explode above him during New Year’s festivities on Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Jan. 1, 2015
Image: MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES
President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City – Sept. 28, 2015
Image: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
A Palestinian woman painting a mural in support of Palestinians committing stabbing attacks against Israelis –Nov. 3, 2015.
Image: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters
A large crowd gathers to lay flowers and candles in front of the Carillon restaurant after the Paris attacks – Nov. 15, 2015.
Image: IAN LANGSDON/EPA
After nine years and billions of miles, we finally reached Pluto to see what our far-off cousin planet looked like up close for the first time – July 14, 2015.
Image: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY/SOUTHWEST RESEARCH INSTITUTE /NASA
Pope Francis arrives to the General Assembly of the United Nations, p York City during his tour of American – Sept. 25, 2015.
Image: BRYAN THOMAS/GETTY IMAGES
Russian President Vladimir Putin, sits on board a bathyscaphe as it dives into the Black sea along the coast of Sevastopol, Crimea – Aug. 18, 2015.
Image: ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/RIA-NOVOSTI/AP
Policemen spray fire extinguishers to disperse hundreds of refugees in Kos, Greece – Aug. 11, 2015.
Image: YORGOS KARAHALIS/AP
An Indonesian man rides a wooden boat through thick yellow haze on Kahayan River in Indonesia – Oct. 23, 2015.
Image: HUGO HUDOYOKO/EPA
The picture shows what appears to be 100-meter-long streaks on the surface of Mars, seeming to have been formed by flowing water. – Sept. 28, 2015
Image: Nasa / Reuters
An aerial view of refugees crossing through the fields on foot from Croatia, in Rigonce, Slovenia – Oct. 25, 2015.
Image: DARKO BANDIC/AP
Mohammed Doyo, head caretaker, caresses Sudan, the last male northern white rhino left on the planet. Sudan lives alone in a 10-acre enclosure with 24-hour guards.
Image: NICHOLE SOBECKI/CORBIS
A child’s shoe is seen in front of debris from a Russian airliner that crashed at the Hassana area in Arish city, north Egypt killing all 224 people onboard. – Nov. 1, 2015
Image: Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters
Supporters rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. just one day before same-sex marriage became the law of the land in a historic decision – June, 25, 2015
Image: BILL O’LEARY/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES
Father and son pay their respects at a makeshift memorial site to honor the shooting victims in San Bernardino, California – Dec. 9, 2015
Image: Jae C. Hong / AP
Fires burn along Baldy Mesa Road near Interstate 15 in San Bernardino County, California. The 5.5-square-mile fire destroyed 20 vehicles on the freeway before burning three homes and 44 more vehicles in the community of Baldy Mesa – July 18, 2015
Image: Kevin Warn / AP
People protest against bull runs a few days ahead of the famous San Fermin Fiestas in Pamplona, Spain –July 4, 2015.
Image: ALVARO BARRIENTOS/AP
A man look at the rubble of his house in Sanaa, Yemen, after it was destroyed in an airstrike carried out by the Saudi-led coalition – Sept. 9, 2015.
Image: HANI ALI/XINHUA PRESS/CORBIS
As seen through the veil: A man leading tourists riding horses at the historical site of the Giza Pyramids near Cairo.
Image: HASSAN AMMAR/AP
NASA researchers used a modern version of a 150-year-old German photography technique to capture images of shock waves created by supersonic airplanes.
Somerville, Massachusetts got more than 70 inches of snow last winter – Feb. 10, 2015.
Images: JOSH REYNOLDS/AP
A man and a boy trying to move the left-over stuff during the record flooding in South Carolina – Oct. 9, 2015.
Image: JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES
A skier threads his way through a patch of snow surrounded by dry ground at Squaw Valley Ski Resort which is a result of low snowfall caused by California’s historic drought – March. 21, 2015.
Image: MAX WHITTAKER/GETTY IMAGES
South Korean soldiers play in the snow during a winter military training exercise in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea – Jan. 8, 2015
Image: CHUNG SUNG-JUN/GETTY IMAGES
Dave Grohl of ‘The Foo Fighters’ performs on a throne of guitars with a broken foot at RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. – July 4, 2015
Image: Nick Wass / AP
People join hands as they observe a minute’s silence in memory of those killed in an attack at a beach in Sousse, Tunisia – July 3, 2015
Image: Anis Mili / Reuters
A wounded Syrian girl wanders about a makeshift hospital in the rebel-held area of Douma, following shelling and air raids by Syrian government forces – Aug. 22, 2015
Image: Abd Doumany / AFP / Getty Images
A California firefighter monitors a backfire while battling the Rocky Fire near Clearlake, California. The Rocky Fire burned more than 60,000 acres – Aug. 3, 2015
Image: JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES
Workers walk along aisles of goods stored inside an Amazon.co.uk fulfillment centre in Hemel Hempstead, London – Nov. 25, 2015.
Image: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
The One World Observatory opened at One World Trade Center 14 years after 9/11 in New York. Measuring 1,776 ft. tall, One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
Image: JAMES LEYNSE/CORBIS
Newly married Thai couple is suspended from ropes during their rock climbing wedding ceremony in Thailand – Feb. 13, 2015.
Image: RUNGROJ YONGRIT/EPA
The Eiffel Tower is illuminated in the colors of the French flag to honor the victims of the Paris terror attacks.
Image: ETIENNE LAURENT/EPA