People ride in a boat before a 22-metre tall inflatable 'big golden toad' by Chinese artist Guo Yongyao from Ningbo, displayed at Yu Yuan Tan Park in Beijing on July 21, 2014. Summer has arrived in the city marking peak tourist season with tens of thousands domestic tourists visiting the capital. AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)
US golfer Tiger Woods plays from the rough on the 1st hole during his second round, on day two of the 2014 British Open Golf Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Course in Hoylake, north west England on July 18, 2014. Tiger Woods, playing in just his second tournament since undergoing back surgery in late March also had a mid-afternoon tee-off time after shooting a morale-boosting 69 on Thursday. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)
The pack rides past the Louvre Pyramid in Paris during the 137.5 km twenty-first and last stage of the 101st edition of the Tour de France cycling race on July 27, 2014 between Evry and Paris. AFP PHOTO/FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
DONETSK, UKRAINE - JULY 20: Search and rescue specialists inspect at the crash area of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and downed close to Russia's border with Ukraine on July 17, near the Grabovo town, Ukraine on July 20, 2014. (Photo by Soner Kilinc/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A reveller throws a bucket of mud during the 17th Boryeong mud festival at Daecheon beach in Boryeong, 150 kilometers southwest of Seoul, on July 18, 2014. The annual festival aims to promote the use of the mineral-rich mud for cosmetic skin-care and to promote tourism in the region. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Hundreds of fishing boats pack Nanfangao harbour for shelter in Ilan county as Typhoon Matmo approaches eastern Taiwan on July 22, 2014. Typhoon Matmo churned towards Taiwan on July 22 picking up strength with thousands of tourists evacuated from outlying islands as weather forecasters warned of possible flash floods and landslides. AFP PHOTO / SAM YEH (Photo credit should read SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) jokingly reacts as he shakes hands with a man wearing a horse head mask on a street in Denver, Colorado, on July 8, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A combination of pictures shows a giant insect (L) flying towards Colombia's midfielder James Rodriguez and landing on him after he scored from the penalty spot and then attached to a photographers seat on the side of the pitch during the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers tie down a 6.5-metre (21-foot) high scarecrow before strong winds hit, at an organic farm in the town of Shanhsing in Ilan county, as Typhoon Matmo approaches eastern Taiwan on July 22, 2014. Typhoon Matmo churned towards Taiwan on July 22 picking up strength with thousands of tourists evacuated from outlying islands as weather forecasters warned of possible flash floods and landslides. AFP PHOTO / SAM YEH (Photo credit should read SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)
Two female Sri Lankan leopard cubs, born on July 1, 2014, lay in their cage in the zoo of Maubeuge, northern France, on July 29, 2014. The Sri Lankan leopard is a threatened species, with an estimated 700 living in the wild and 65 in captivity. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture taken on July 30, 2014 shows shark fins drying on a road in Hong Kong. Hong Kong and China is one of the world's biggest markets for shark fins where it is commonly served as a soup at wedding banquets and corporate parties, but conservationists say booming demand for fins has put pressure on the world's shark populations prompting calls for measures to restrict their trade. AFP PHOTO / DALE DE LA REY (Photo credit should read DALE de la REY/AFP/Getty Images)
NANJING, CHINA - JULY 29: (CHINA OUT) Thousands of soldiers of Jiangsu Armed Police Force attend an oath ceremony for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games protection on July 29, 2014 in Nanjing, China. The Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games will be held from Aug 16 to 28. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
A member of a youth corps campaigning for peace performs an act at the sprawling Kibera slum in Nairobi on July 28, 2014, reminiscent of deadly ethnic violence that followed the disputed results of the 2007 general elections, that were particularly intensive at the slum leaving scores dead. Kenya takes pride in being a union of '42 tribes', but a string of attacks in towns on its volatile coast has exposed bitter and explosive ethnic tensions linked to politics. 'There has been a surge of dangerous speech,' said 26-year-old Nanjira Sambuli, a project leader of Umati, an online crowd sourcing project monitoring hate speech, based in Nairobi's sleek iHub offices, the heart of its tech-savvy community. (TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- JULY 30 - Councillor Karen Stintz (Ward 16 Eglinton-Lawrence) is also a mayoral hopeful beats Mayor Rob Ford up one of the new play structures at Brookdale Park at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the refurbishment of Brookdale Park's playground. in Toronto. July 30, 2014. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge once again leads our roundup of the month's most memorable photos. (Back in May, a priceless photo snapped of her checking out a Maori warrior's ... ahem ... physique as she stood alongside Prince William was a big hit.) This time, Kate and her hubby were photographed in the midst of a strong reaction elicited by a turn in a women's field hockey game the two we're watching in Glasgow last week. The royal couple typically wears their emotions on their sleeves while viewing sporting events, the 'Today' show reported.
So, as the calendar turns from July to the dog days of August, look back at 31 awesome images from the month that was. The July edition takes you around the globe, from the heated competition of the World Cup in Brazil to the war zone and tragic site of the MH17 crash in Ukraine to an odd nearly 80-foot-tall inflatable toad on a lake in China that was meant to inspire enthusiasm for art, but backfired and instead triggered an Internet crackdown.
And there are plenty of great shots from America, too, including a cool, abstract image of President Obama's Marine One helicopter captured by Associated Press photographer J. David Ake, a once-in-a-lifetime shot of a cloud-to-ground lightning strike from the window of an airplane by Gina Hyams (a passenger on a Southwest flight heading into Denver) and a baseball player who managed to bunt a ball off of his own head.
Of her extraordinary lightning strike photo, Hyams says the pilot was circling while giving the thunderstorm time to pass and that gave her an opportunity to nail the shot. 'I pulled out my iPhone and did a photo burst and caught the shot,' she wrote in an email to AOL. 'I #gotlucky!'
Take a moment to view life on earth through the camera lens, and see you next month.