2014: The year in photos

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22 PHOTOS
Top photos of 2014
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2014: The year in photos

A photo of the setting sun captured as it appears to be teetering on top of the Keops Pyramid, or Great Pyramid, in Egypt, shot by 35-year-old Jorge Cano from the window of his ninth floor apartment in Cairo on August 27, 2014. Used by AOL.com with permission from Cano.

Cano, an Argentinian national who lives in Egypt and works as an engineer for a global supply company, lives on the ninth floor of an apartment building in south Cairo's Maadi neighborhood.

He told AOL.com in an email that when he moved to Cairo, he specifically sought out an apartment with a view of the pyramids.

"I'm not a professional photographer, but I'm passionate about taking pictures," he said.

During his time there, he's taken many photos of the pyramids and the setting sun. He had pictures of the sun just to the right of the Great Pyramid and pictures of the sun just to its left. But the money shot eluded him for more than a year.

"Then I just made an estimation and was waiting for the day [that the sun would be perfectly positioned]," he explained. "Finally I've got the shot."

A photograph of an F/A-18 Hornet jet flown by the Blue Angels zooming between the support towers of the Golden Gate Bridge while on a practice run during San Francisco's Fleet Week on October 9, 2014. Used with permission by Rich Shelton. In an interview with AOL.com, Shelton explained how he staked himself out inside an old World War II bunker and managed to capture the amazing shot of the jet buzzing the support towers at approximately 350 mph.

'It was a calculated but lucky photo, and I'm very happy with it,' he told AOL.com.

An amazing photo of a cloud-to-ground lightning strike captured from the window of a Southwest airplane by Gina Hyams and posted to Twitter on July 24, 2014. The once-in-a-lifetime shot was captured just outside of Denver.

Hyams told AOL.com that the pilot was circling while giving the thunderstorm time to pass and that gave her an opportunity to nail the extraordinary shot. 'I pulled out my iPhone and did a photo burst and caught the shot,' she wrote in an email to AOL.com.

'I #gotlucky!'

A young girl is pictured after she was wounded during clashes between riot-police and prostesters after the funeral of Berkin Elvan, the 15-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered during last year's anti-government protests, in Istanbul, Turkey on March 12, 2014. Riot police fired tear gas and water cannon at protestors in the capital Ankara, while in Istanbul, crowds shouting anti-government slogans lit a huge fire as they made their way to a cemetery for the burial of Berkin Elvan. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William (C) and his wife Catherine (L) meet a Maori warrior during a welcoming ceremony at Government House in Wellington on April 7, 2014. Britain's Prince William, his wife Kate and their son Prince George are on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE

A hiker, seeing a double rainbow up ahead in the distance, traverses a dune in Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park. The photo was captured by Eric Magayne and shared on social media by the U.S. Dept. of Interior. The image was a smash hit on both Twitter and Instagram, Tim Fullerton, social media manager for the Dept. of Interior told AOL.com. It was also very popular with AOL's Twitter followers.

(Eric Magayne)

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 4: A voter gestures as Senate Minority Leader U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) votes in the midterm elections at Bellarmine University November 4, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. McConnell is running in a tight race against opponent Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. (

McConnell and the Republicans would have the last laugh that day, taking over control of Congress and setting the table for the senator to become the new senate majority leader in January.

Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

A man kisses his rescued son on May 13, 2014 after an explosion in a coal mine in Manisa, Turkey. At least 301 miners were killed in the collapsed coal mine in the western Turkish city making the tragedy the nation's worst coal mine disaster in history. Hundreds of workers were in the mine when an electric fault caused an explosion. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo shot by Jason Weingart of a storm approaching a field of blue bonnets on the evening of April 7, 2014, behind a church in Round Rock, Texas. Weingart posted the spectacular image to his Twitter feed the next day.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: A young Denver fan cries during the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Perhaps no fan was more distraught by the 43-8 outcome than a young boy in the stands watching the game with his father. Getty photographer Tom Pennington snapped the photo during the first half and, soon after, the boy's disappointed face began popping up in Twitter feeds all around the country.

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

https://www.aol.com/article/2014/02/03/super-bowl-fans-celebrate-while-others-mourn/20821613/

US President Barack Obama hands off a Presidential challenge coin after arriving at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on May 8, 2014 near San Diego, California. Obama was on a three-day trip to California where he had been fundraising for Democrats. The practice of a president discreetly handing off a challenge coin to a member of the military is sometimes known as a 'secret handshake,' and the occasion being photographed is exceedingly rare. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
'Mono mono' twin girls, Jillian and Jenna Thistlethwaite, were born with a rare condition in Ohio. The identical twin girls shared the same amniotic sac and placenta. Such births are called monoamniotic, or 'mono mono,' and doctors say they occur in about one out of every 10,000 pregnancies. The babies were delivered arm in arm at Akron Children’s Hospital on May 11, 2014, just prior to Mother's Day. Their mother, 32-year-old Sarah Thistlethwaite, described their incredible birth as 'the best Mother's Day present ever,' and the story became a viral sensation online. (Akron Children’s Hospital)

On June 1, 2014, astronaut Reid Wiseman, who at the time was living aboard the International Space Station, posted an amazing photo of a single die floating above the Earth on Twitter with the message, 'A simple toy from my childhood makes for a cool picture in space.'


 

US Secretary of State John Kerry looks out over Baghdad from a helicopter on September 10, 2014. Kerry flew into Iraq for talks with its new leaders on their role in a long-awaited new strategy against Islamic State jihadists to be unveiled by President Barack Obama. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham makes stunning touchdown catch in the first half during game against the Dallas Cowboys. Sunday, November 23, 2014 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Robert Sabo/NY Daily News via 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)

Photograph of a squirrel that got its head stuck in a jack-o-'lantern carved into a miniature pumpkin in the backyard of Max Ellis, from Teddington, London. It was a popular with AOL Twitter followers right around Halloween.

(Max Ellis / Caters News Agency)

The sun as imaged by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on October 8, 2014 in 193 angstrom extreme ultraviolet light. The photo went viral due the star's uncanny resemblance to a jack-o-'lantern in the weeks leading up to Halloween. (NASA/SDO)
A member of Japan's team does a somersault as she competes in the team free routine final synchronized swimming event during the 2014 Asian Games at the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Center in Incheon on September 22, 2014. (MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

A satellite image of Lake Michigan ice-break taken on March 9, 2014 and posted to Twitter by the Milwaukee/Sullivan chapter of the National Weather Service. Lake Michigan set a record milestone when it reached 93.29 percent ice concentration on March 9, 2014. The lab, which measures the ice concentration of the lakes daily, reported that the previous record for Lake Michigan was 93.1 percent set back in 1977. Researchers began keeping records in 1973. And air passengers flying above the lake took some majestic photos of the record ice.

Palestinian youths play as the sun sets in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip on April 9, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS)
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By ANDREW TAVANI

A spectacular photo is the sum of many things -- advanced skill, a sharp eye, anticipation, a little bit of luck, to name a few. What sets some apart, though, is the photos that capture a moment and illustrate life in a way that others don't quite do.

In 2014, there were many sensational photos captured by all sorts of photographers, professional photojournalists and self-described amateurs alike. AOL.com chronicled a fair amount of those photos, many shot by Getty and Associated Press photographers and others shot by amateurs. Many of those people behind the cameras talked about some amount of luck being involved in snagging their memorable moments -- moments that all by themselves tell a whole story.

Among some of the best was a photo of the setting sun appearing to be positioned directly atop Egypt's famed Great Pyramid. It was captured by Jorge Cano, a self-described amateur, whose careful planning and perseverance paid off in an unforgettable way. The Argentinian national told AOL.com that upon moving to Cairo, he sought an apartment that would provide him with breathtaking views of the pyramids.

After he found the perfect place, he then tried and tried to nail the shot, waiting for the sun and the Earth to align properly and the weather to cooperate. Finally, on August 27, 2014, he made his masterpiece.

Another mind-bending image captured by an amateur, Rich Shelton, was a shot of a Blue Angels fighter whizzing by the support towers of the Golden Gate Bridge at a cool 350 mph.

Still another, shot by Gina Hyams, an amateur photographer who was looking out the window of the airplane she was riding aboard, depicts a cloud-to-ground lightning strike. It is perhaps the most improbable of all. Hyams used her iPhone's photo burst feature to capture the extraordinary shot, which you can see in the above slide show.

Take a few moments to click through the gallery above and look back at the best of the year's best -- the funny, the sad, the violent, and the captivating pictures that illustrated life here on Earth in 2014.

And if you missed our monthly photo roundups along the way, scroll down and click through each month's collection, going back to February when AOL.com began chronicling monthly photos.

The month of February in photos:

23 PHOTOS
amazing photos
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2014: The year in photos
A Belarus Interior Ministry special forces soldier demonstrates his ability to sustain a blow during a competition to mark the Defenders of the Fatherland Day at their training centre outside Minsk, on February 23, 2014. Belarus alongside Russia and other countries of the former USSR celebrates the Soviet holiday on February 23 each year. Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the holiday was given its current name in 2002 by Russian President Vladimir Putin. AFP PHOTO/VIKTOR DRACHEV (Photo credit should read VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Mother and her child feed birds in the Belarus capital Minsk, on February 6, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ VIKTOR DRACHEV (Photo credit should read VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

The moon setting on the blue earth atmosphere, photographed from orbit on February 21, 2014 by astronaut Koichi Wakata.


 

Lightning strikes behind the Port of Buceo during a thunderstorm in Montevideo, early on February 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / MARIANA SUAREZ (Photo credit should read MARIANA SUAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Austria's Matthias Mayer competes during the Men's Alpine Skiing Downhill at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
People look on as high waves strike the harbour wall at Porthcawl, south Wales on February 8 2014. Strong winds and heavy rain lashed the south west of England and south Wales with winds gusting at up to 80mph in places. (GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: The ball flies over the head of quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Indira a bengal white tigress, lies down with her cubs at the zoo of Cali, Colombia, on February 6, 2014. The cubs were born on November 30, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LUIS ROBAYO (Photo credit should read LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)
Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis perform during the Super Bowl 48 halftime show at MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on February 2, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Timothy CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
A Somali fisherman carries a swordfish from the port to the market in Mogadishu, Somalia on February 11, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JM LOPEZ (Photo credit should read JM LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Canada's Sarah Reid takes off during Skeleton training at the Sanki Sliding Center in Rosa Khutor during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 11, 2014. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: A young Denver fan cries during the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
An Indian farmer walks through a mustard field in Baran village near Patiala on February 25, 2014. Over 70 percent of Indians depend on agricultural incomes and about 65 percent of India's farms depend on rains that fall between June and September. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)
Overhead angle of Presidents Obama and Hollande before last night's state dinner shot by official White House photographer Pete Souza on Feb. 11, 2014 and posted to his Twitter account.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 19: Daniel Geale punches Garth Wood during the I.B.F. Middleweight Pan Pacific title bout between Garth Wood of Australia and Daniel Geale of Australia at the Hordern Pavilion on February 19, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Ice cover on North America’s Great Lakes reached 88 percent in mid-February 2014—levels not observed since 1994. The average maximum ice extent since 1973 is just over 50 percent. It has surpassed 80 percent just five times in four decades. The lowest average ice extent occurred in 2002, when only 9.5 percent of the lakes froze.

The images above were acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on February 19, 2014. The first image shows the Great Lakes in natural color in the early afternoon, when ice covered 80.3 percent of the lakes, according to NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. The second, false-color image uses a combination of shortwave infrared, near infrared, and red (MODIS bands 7-2-1) that helps distinguish ice from snow, water, and clouds. Ice is pale blue (thicker ice is brighter), open water is navy, snow is blue-green, and clouds are white or blue-green (depending on temperature and composition).

KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 22: Anti-government demonstrators remain in Independence square February 22, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. The offices of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych have been left unguarded, with the protesters in full control of the streets surrounding the government district. The opposition have called for elections to take place on May 25 and demanded that President Yanukovych stand down immediately. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
A leopard leaps across an under-construction structure near a furniture market in the Degumpur residential area as a bystander moves out of the way in Meerut on February 23, 2014. A leopard sparked panic in a north Indian city when it strayed inside a hospital, a cinema and an apartment block before evading captors, an official said. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman protests against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in front of riot policemen outside the Cuban embassy in Caracas on February 25, 2014. Angry Venezuelan students geared up to stage a fresh rally on Tuesday, the latest in three weeks of anti-government protests that have left at least 14 people dead. AFP PHOTO/JUAN BARRETO (Photo credit should read JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 22: Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko delivers a speech at the Independence Square after her release in the capital in Kiev, Ukraine on February 22, 2014. Tymoshenko, who was in prison since August 2011, was convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for abusing her powers as prime minister by ordering Ukrainian Naftogaz to sign a gas deal with Russia in 2009. (Photo by Bulent doruk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Adelina Sotnikova during her gold medal performance in the ladies' figure skating free skate at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Competitors enter the water at the start the second annual Sydney Skinny where they take part in an attempt to break the world record for the largest nude ocean swim a record set at last years inaugural event, in Sydney on February 23, 2014. Over 700 people competed last year and the event is used to strike a blow against negative body image pressure and simply to enjoy a brilliant swim. AFP PHOTO/William WEST
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The month of March in photos:

20 PHOTOS
31 amazing photos from March
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2014: The year in photos
HONG KONG - MARCH 30: The New Zealand rugby team performs the Haka after winning the Cup Final between England and New Zealand during the 2014 Hong Kong Sevens at Hong Kong International Stadium on March 30, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
A young girl is pictured after she was wounded during clashes between riot-police and prostesters after the funeral of Berkin Elvan, the 15-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered during last year's anti-government protests, in Istanbul on March 12, 2014. Riot police fired tear gas and water cannon at protestors in the capital Ankara, while in Istanbul, crowds shouting anti-government slogans lit a huge fire as they made their way to a cemetery for the burial of Berkin Elvan. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indian Hindu devotee performs with fire as he participates in a procession ahead of the Holi festival in Amritsar on March 12, 2014. Holi, the popular Hindu spring festival of colours is observed in India at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month and will be celebrated on March 16 this year. AFP PHOTO/NARINDER NANU (Photo credit should read NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)
A six-month old Indian white tiger cub (R) plays with its mother Sameera at their enclosure at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad on March 29, 2014. The three cubs, which have yet to be named, were presented for their first public viewing at the zoo. AFP PHOTO / Noah SEELAM (Photo credit should read NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Singer Lady Gaga is seen on March 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
NASA-funded sounding rocket launches into an aurora in the early morning of March 3, 2014, over Venetie, Alaska. The GREECE mission studies how certain structures – classic curls like swirls of cream in coffee -- form in the aurora.
Image Credit: NASA/Christopher Perry
The car of Caterham-Renault driver Kamui Kobayashi of Japan veers off the track during an accident at the start of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indian farmer rests among watermelons at his fruit stall prior to auctioning them at the Gaddiannaram wholesale fruit market on the outskirts of Hyderabad on March 19, 2014. India's inflation hit a nine-month low in February data showed, but analysts saw little chance of any immediate intrest rate cut. Slowing inflation may also have come too late for the embattled Congress-led goverment which faces elections in April and trails in opinion polls. AFP PHOTO/Noah SEELAM (Photo credit should read NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo of a horizon rainbow near Austin, Texas shot by Ryan Mathews with his cellphone on March 28, 2014.
Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova returns a ball to China's Na Li during the quarterfinal match during the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 13, 2014 in Indian Wells, California. AFP PHOTO/Joe KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Men with helmets are hit by oranges during the traditional 'battle of the oranges' held during the carnival in Ivrea, near Turin, on March 4, 2014. During the event which marks the people's rebellion against tyrannical lords who ruled the town in the Middle Ages, revellers parading on floats represent guards of the tyrant, while those on foot the townsfolk. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
Amazing photo of two eagles over Eastern Shore of VA National Wildlife Refuge. Wow! Credit: Sharon Hucks / US Department of Interior
This full-disk image from NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite was captured at 11:45 UTC (7:45 a.m. EDT) and shows the Americas on March 20, 2014. This date marks the start of astronomical spring in the northern hemisphere.
A penguin dives from an ice block in front of Brazil's Comandante Ferraz base, in Antarctica on March 10, 2014. AFP PHOTO / VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Italy's goalkeeper Giulia Gorlero saves the ball by her face against Hungary in the local swimming pool of Budapest on March 18, 2014 during a World League match between their teams. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
This photograph taken on March 23, 2014 shows baby green turtles crawling to the sea after being hatched and released at a turtle sanctuary on Sukamade island in Banyuwangi regency, East Java province. Indonesia, at the crossroads of important migration routes next to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, is home to six out of seven of the world's turtle species. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius cries as he sits in the dock during his ongoing murder trial on March 24, 2014 in Pretoria. The murder trial of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius for shooting dead his model girlfriend will extend weeks longer than expected, with a long list of prosecution and defence witnesses yet to take the stand. The trial was supposed to have wrapped up by now, but a court statement on Sunday said the highly-publicised hearings could extend as late as May 16. AFP PHOTO / POOL - Chris Collingridge (Photo credit should read CHRIS COLLINGRIDGE/AFP/Getty Images)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26: A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion returns to RAAF Base Pearce after continuing the search for debris or wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on March 26, 2014 in Perth, Australia. The search for flight MH370 resumes today after rough winds and high swells prevented air and sea crews from searching for debris yesterday. Six countries have joined the search, now considered to be a recovery effort, after authorities announced that the airliner crashed in the Southern Indian Ocean with no expected survivors. (Photo by Rob Griffith - Pool/Getty Images)
South Korean Marine amphibious assault vehicles land on the seashore during a joint landing operation by US and South Korean Marines in Pohang, 270 kms southeast of Seoul, on March 31, 2014. North Korea announced a live-fire drill on March 31 near its disputed maritime border with South Korea, further ratcheting up tensions a day after threatening a 'new form' of nuclear test. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
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The month of April in photos:

25 PHOTOS
Amazing photos, April 2014
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2014: The year in photos
Britain's Prince William (C) and his wife Catherine (L) meet a Maori warrior during a welcoming ceremony at Government House in Wellington on April 7, 2014. Britain's Prince William, his wife Kate and their son Prince George are on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE
This photo of lightning striking at the Grand Canyon was submitted to the Department of the Interior by Michael Leonard submitted as part Share the Experience photo contest. According to Tim Fullerton, the Interior Department's Director of Digital Strategy, it was the department's most popular photo on social media in early April.
Ding Ning of China serves against Eva Odorova of Slovakia during their women's singles round two match of the 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo on April 29, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Toru YAMANAKA
An employee wipes a TV screen in a shop in Moscow, on April 17, 2014, during the broadcast of President Vladimir Putin's televised question and answer session with the nation. Putin accused today Ukraine's new authorities of driving the country towards the abyss but said that dialogue was the only way out of the intensifying crisis. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV
A newly hatched blackbird chick opens his beak alongside three other eggs in a nest in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany on April 13, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DPA/ ARNE DEDERT GERMANY OUT
General view during a fire in Valparaiso, 110 km west of Santiago, Chile, on April 12, 2014. Authorities decreed a red alert for the area after the fire consumed more than 100 houses. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO MIRANDA
Photo shot by Jason Weingart of a storm approaching a field of blue bonnets on the evening of April 7, 2014, behind a church in Round Rock, Texas, and posted to his Twitter feed the next day.
US President Barack Obama kisses First Lady Michelle Obama alongside the Easter Bunny during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 21, 2014. The 126th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the largest annual public event at the White House with more than 30,000 attendees expected, features live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and Easter egg rolling, with the theme, 'Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape.' AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB
JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 16: In this handout image provided by the Republic of Korea Coast Guard, a passenger ferry sinks off the coast of Jindo Island on April 16, 2014 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The ferry identified as the Sewol was carrying about 470 passengers, including students and teachers, traveling to Jeju island.
West Bromwich Albion's English defender Craig Dawson (C) unsuccessfully tries to stop Manchester City's first goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on April 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES
An Iraqi boy jumps in the water near cows south of Iraq's central Shiite Muslim Shrine city of Najaf on April 14, 2014. AFP PHOTO / HAIDAR HAMDANI
Palestinian youths play as the sun sets in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip on April 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS
A rugby fan adjusts his latex mask at the rugby sevens tournament in Hong Kong on March 29, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez
The Tungurahua volcano erupting is seen from Banos, Ecuador on April 4, 2014. The Tungurahua volcano, which has been in eruption since 1999, experienced a heightening of its seismic activity. AFP PHOTO / ANDRES REYES
Polar bear Uslada stands next to its five-month-old cub in their enclosure at the St. Petersburg Zoo, on April 24, 2014, during the cub's first public appearance. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA
An Indian artist dressed as the Hindu goddess Kali participates in a procession to celebrate the Ram Navami festival in Allahabad on April 8, 2014. Hindu devotees celebrate the festival of Ram Navami, the birth anniversary of Lord Rama, across India, which also marks the end of the nine-day long fasting and Navaratri festival. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
President Obama fist-bumping with a baby at the Embassy in Malaysia. Photo was posted to Twitter by White House photographer Pete Souza on April 29, 2014.
Bishops attend the canonisation mass of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on St Peter's at the Vatican on April 27, 2014. Catholics from around the world gathered in Rome on Sunday for a mass presided by Pope Francis to confer sainthood on John Paul II and John XXIII -- two influential popes who helped shape 20th century history. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO
France's Gevrise Emane (white) fights with Germany's Lljana Marzok (blue) during the Judo European Championships women team final in Montpellier, southern France, on April 27, 2014. France won gold. AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOT
Christ the Redeemer, the giant monument and tourist magnet that looms atop Mount Corcovado, is surrounded by clouds in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 24, 2014. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON
A picture taken on April 25, 2014 shows a Java mouse-deer cub, one of the world's smallest hoofed animals, at the Fuengirola Biopark, near Malaga. The latest specimen of the world's tiniest deer -- a rare species no bigger than a hamster -- has been born in a nature park in southern Spain, conservationists said today. The baby 'deer-mouse' became just the 43rd living member of this species in Europe when it was born on April 9. AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 21: Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer play tennis inside the Gran Teatre del Liceu during day one of the ATP Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on April 21, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
Indian Catholic devotees re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ during a 'passion play' tableau at The Mount Caramel Church in Hyderabad on April 18, 2014. Passion plays, a dramatic presentation depicting the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, are an integral part of Good Friday celebrations for Catholics. AFP PHOTO / Noah SEELAM
Participants are covered in coloured powder during the first Color Run in Bucharest April 26, 2014. The Color Run also referred to as the 'Happiest 5k on the Planet' is a race of 5 km of euphoric color that celebrates health, joy and originality where thousands of participants are painted from head to toe in various colors at the end of each kilometre. AFP PHOTO DANIEL MIHAILESCU
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The month of May in photos:

22 PHOTOS
Amazing photos from May 2014
See Gallery
2014: The year in photos

NASA asked people to post a selfie in response to a simple question, "Where are you on Earth Right Now?" More than 50,000 photos streamed in, and the end result is the global selfie, composed of 36,422 of those photos.

Click here to interact with the photo.

Photo of a thunderstorm bearing down on Cleveland on the night of May 21, 2014. Photo shot by Jeffrey Stroup and posted to his Twitter feed.
Sri Lankans hold on to the sides of passenger train in Colombo on May 26, 2014. Train travel is a popular mode of transport in this nation of 20 million people, due to its affordability. AFP PHOTO/LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)
A white peacock opens its plumage at the Nogeyama zoo in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on May 25, 2014. Visitors enjoy a male Indina peacock spreading beautiful feathers for a female peacock during the breeding season. (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
A balloon flies past Pope Francis during his general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on May 14, 2014. AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
View of the moon during the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
A man kisses his son, rescued of the mine, on May 13, 2014 after an explosion in a coal mine in Manisa. At least 157 miners were killed in collapsed coal mine in the western Turkish city of Manisa. 'At least 200-300 workers were working in the mine when an electric fault caused an explosion,' the mayor of Soma, a district of Manisa, told private NTV television. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama hands off a Presidential challenge coin after arriving at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on May 8, 2014 near San Diego, California. Obama is on the second day of a three-day trip to California where he has largely been fundraising for Democrats. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Spanish player Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Finnish player Jarkko Nieminen during their men's singles third round tennis match at the Madrid Masters at the Magic Box (Caja Magica) sports complex in Madrid on May 8, 2014. Nadal won the match 6-1, 6-4. AFP PHOTO / DANI POZO (Photo credit should read DANI POZO/AFP/Getty Images)
Clouds clear away from Victoria Harbour after a rainstorm in Hong Kong on May 8, 2014. Hong Kong's economy is expected to expand at its fastest pace in three years in 2014, the government has said, while slashing public welfare spending as it projected a narrowing budget surplus. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
Lead singer of British band Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger (C), and guitarist Ronnie Wood (L), perform with US singer Bruce Springsteen (R) at the Rock in Rio Lisboa music festival at Bela Vista Park in Lisbon on May 29, 2014. Rock in Rio runs from May 25 to June 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA (Photo credit should read PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)
Bats cling onto the branches of a Banyan tree on the campus of Gujarat College in Ahmedabad on May 28, 2014. Due to the heatwave conditions in Gujarat state, the bats have moved to the lower limbs of the tree with many bats succumbing to the heat and dying. AFP PHOTO / Sam PANTHAKY (Photo credit should read SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 20: Spanish matador David Mora is gored by a bull during the San Isidro Fair at Las Ventas bullring on May 20, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. For the first time since 1979, the bullfight was cancelled after the three bullfighters were injured by bulls. (Photo by Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images)
Pakistani labourers sit under the shade of a roadside installation featuring a car on a pole in Rawalpindi on May 27, 2014. Mainly hot and dry weather is expected in most parts of the Punjab province as maximum temperatures hit 40 degrees celsius. AFP PHOTO /Farooq NAEEM (Photo credit should read FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images)
LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 24: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates scoring their fourth goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 24, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
US Republican Senator from Arizona John McCain grimaces at a member of the audience during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the situation in Ukraine on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 6, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Twin girls born with a rare condition in Ohio were delivered arm in arm earlier this month at Akron Children’s Hospital. (Akron Children’s Hospital)
KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 22: Kiev's mayoral candidate for the Internet Party, 'Darth Vader' arrives to speak to the media on Volodymyrska Hill on May 22, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. Amongst his pledges Mr Vader promises 'Fish for everyone', and 'Anti gravity tripods for journalists'. Ukraine's Presidential elections are to be held on Sunday 25 May, 2014. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Members of the Star Wars fan club celebrate 'Star Wars Day' in front of the Colosseum in central Rome on May 4, 2014 AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Country music artist Brad Paisley sings Happy Birthday to an Air Force staffer aboard Air Force One on May 26, 2014. Posted on Twitter by White House photographer Pete Souza.
Indian Muslim devotees watch as Mastan Hasanali Rafai performs with a sword during a procession in memory of Sufi saint Hazrat Pir Mehmood Shah Bukhari in Ahmedabad on May 5, 2014. The procession will reach Bhadiyad town, some 120 kms from Ahmedabad on May 9, marking the first day of the annual Urs of the saint. The Shrine of the Sufi saint Hazrat Pir Mehmood Shah Bukhari is situated at Bhadiyad and both Muslims and Hindu devotees pay their respects. AFP PHOTO / Sam PANTHAKY (Photo credit should read SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)
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The month of June in photos:

17 PHOTOS
Amazing photos June 2014
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2014: The year in photos

On June 1, 2014, astronaut Reid Wiseman, who at the time was living aboard the International Space Station, posted an amazing photo of a single die floating above the Earth on Twitter with the message, 'A simple toy from my childhood makes for a cool picture in space.'


 

Iraqis fleeing violence in the Nineveh province wait in their vehicles at a Kurdish checkpoint in Aski kalak, 40 kms West of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on June 10, 2014. Suspected jihadists seized Iraq's entire northern province of Nineveh and its capital Mosul, the country's second-largest city, in a major blow to authorities, who appear incapable of stopping militant advances. AFP PHOTO/SAFIN HAMED (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)
One of the doves relased during the opening ceremony sits on a photographers lens prior to the Group A football match between Brazil and Croatia at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
British World War II veteran Frederick Glover poses for a photograph as soldiers parachute down during a D-Day commemoration paratroopers launch event in Ranville, northern France, on June 5, 2014, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the World War II Allied landings in Normandy. D-Day ceremonies on June 6 this year mark the 70th anniversary of the launch of 'Operation Overlord', a vast military operation by Allied forces in Normandy, which turned the tide of World War II, eventually leading to the liberation of occupied France and the end of the war against Nazi Germany. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS BREGARDIS (Photo credit should read THOMAS BREGARDIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken with a smart-phone shows a sandstorm engulfing the Iranian capital Tehran on June 02, 2014. A massive sandstorm and record winds killed at least four people in Tehran, plunging the city into darkness, knocking out power supplies, damaging buildings and causing massive disruption. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
 Dolphin trainer Adrian Calderon helps child Javier Gonzalez to touch a dolphin during a therapy session, on May 26, 2014 at the National Aquarium in Havana. As part of a rehabilitation project dozens of disabled children with multiple conditions such as Down syndrome, autism, motor impairments, deaf and dumb attend therapies with dolphins. (ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images)
WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: People take photos of the Summer Solstice sunrise at Stonehenge on June 21, 2014 in Wiltshire, England. A sunny forecast brought thousands of revellers to the 5,000 year old stone circle in Wiltshire to see the sunrise on the Summer Solstice dawn. The solstice sunrise marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Getty Images)
A worker uses a lawn mover to cut bushes next to the financial district in Singapore on June 2, 2014. Some 20,000 delegates representing the government, industry, international organisations and academia are expected to attend the World Cities Summit (WCS), Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS) taking place on June 1 to 5. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
This combination of three wavelengths of light from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows one of the multiple jets that led to a series of slow coronal puffs on Jan. 17, 2013 and released on June 27, 2014. The light has been colorized in red, green and blue.
Image Credit: Alzate/SDO
A picture taken on June 21, 2014 shows lava flowing out of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, one of the world's most active volcanoes, located on the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean. The Piton de la Fournaise started to erupt early on June 21. AFP PHOTO / RICHARD BOUHET (Photo credit should read RICHARD BOUHET/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 06: Rose petals drop over the Statue of Liberty during the Commemorating 70th Anniversary of D-Day on June 06, 2014 in New York City. Three helicopters have showered 1 million rose petals on the Statue during a event organized by the organization 'The French Will Never Forget' to mark the 70th anniversary of World War II D-Day landings. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Spain's David Ferrer gets ready to serve during his French tennis Open round of sixteen match against South Africa's Kevin Anderson at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on June 2, 2014. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
A horse rears in a crowd during in the traditional San Juan (Saint John) festival in the town of Ciutadella, on the Balearic Island of Menorca on Saint John's day on June 24, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ JAIME REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Devotees covered in mud and wearing costumes made from banana leaves attend mass as they take part in a religious festival in honor of St. John the Baptist, also known locally as the 'mud people' festival in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija province, north of Manila, on June 24, 2014. Farmers coated in mud paraded in Philippine villages to mark one of the Catholic nation's most colourful religious festivals. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
The moon sets behind the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado hill in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 14, 2014. AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: Dolly Parton performs with Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi on the Pyramid Stage on Day 3 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 29, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Redferns via Getty Images)
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The month of July in photos:

17 PHOTOS
Awesome photos from July 2014
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2014: The year in photos
Amazing photo of a cloud-to-ground lightning strike capture from the window of a Southwest airplane by Gina Hyams and posted to Twitter on July 24, 2014.
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)
A photo of Hurricane Arthur taken from the International Space Station and posted to Twitter by astronaut Reid Wiseman on July 3, 2014.
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)
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The month of August in photos:

10 PHOTOS
Awesome photos from August 2014
See Gallery
2014: The year in photos
A beluga whale sprays water onto visitors at a summer attraction at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on August 6, 2014. Tokyo's temperature climbed over 35 degree Celsius on August 6 following a heatwave in the area. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
A photo of the setting sun captured as it appears to be teetering on top of the Keops Pyramid, or Great Pyramid, in Egypt, shot by Jorge Cano from the window of his ninth floor apartment in Cairo on August 27, 2014. Used by AOL.com with permission from Cano.
Nicholas George looks under a buckled highway just outside of Napa, California after earthquake struck the area in the early hours of August 24, 2014. California's governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Sunday following a strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake that seriously injured three people including a child and ignited fires in the scenic Napa valley wine region. The US Geological Service said that the quake was the most powerful to hit the San Francisco Bay area since the 1989 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake. AFP PHOTO/JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)
A car sits atop an embankment after losing control and skidding up the concrete retaining wall on South La Brea Ave in Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles on August 24, 2014. The driver and his passenger escaped injury. ( MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
A multiple exposure picture taken in the early hours of August 12, 2014 shows a Perseids meteor shower in the night sky from the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Madrid near the municipality of Valle del Lozoya. The perseid meteor shower occurs every year in August when the Earth passes through the debris and dust of the Swift-Tuttle comet. AFP PHOTO / DANI POZO (Photo credit should read DANI POZO/AFP/Getty Images)
An Afghan man transports grass on his donkey on the outskirts of Herat on August 26, 2014. Poverty and an ongoing insurgency by the ousted Taliban still pose a threat to the stability of the country. AFP PHOTO / Aref Karimi (Photo credit should read Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images)
France's Shirley Antoine and her horse fall during the horse-ball exhibition game between France and Italy on August 29, 2014 during the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in the northwestern French city of Saint-Lo. (CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
A mechanical horse-dragon made of wood and steel is presented to the public in Nantes, western France on August 26, 2014. This horse-dragon, created by the French artist Francois Delaroziere of 'Les machines de l'île' (The Machines of the Isle), is the hero of the show 'Long Ma' which will be presented in Beijing on October 17, 2014 as part of the fiftieth anniversary of the relationship between France and China. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD (Photo credit should read JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images)
WESTON-SUPER-MARE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: People walk past the 50ft (15m) inflatable whale that has been erected on the beach by the Bible Society on August 27, 2014 in Weston-Super-Mare, England. The Bible Society is using the whale to allow the Circo Rum Ba Ba circus troupe to perform the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale. The whale was brought to Weston after it was banned from London's Hyde Park for being too 'religious'. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
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The month of September in photos:

22 PHOTOS
Awesome photos from September 2014
See Gallery
2014: The year in photos
A hiker, seeing a double rainbow up ahead in the distance, traverses a dune in Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park. The photo was captured last year by Eric Magayne and shared on social media this week by the U.S. Dept. of Interior. The image was a smash hit on both Twitter and Instagram.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 29 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 4, 2014 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 68 miles (109 kilometers) per pixel.

This photo taken on September 3, 2014 shows Leng Yuting, 26, posing underwater for her wedding pictures at a photo studio in Shanghai, ahead of her wedding next year. Her fiance Riyang said they had their wedding photographs taken underwater because 'its romantic and beautiful'. Mr Wedding studio owner, Tina Lui, started providing underwater pictures four years ago. (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 28: Protesters clash with riot police on September 28, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of people kicked off Occupy Central by taking over Connaught Road, one of the major highway in Hong Kong, in protest against Beijing's conservative framework for political reform. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
The horizon is seen through a telescopic rifle belonging to a Kurdish Peshmerga sniper on the front line in the Gwer district, 40 kilometres south of Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, on September 15, 2014. Participants at an international conference in Paris pledged to support Iraq by all possible means to fight jihadists, including providing military support. AFP PHOTO / JM LOPEZ (Photo credit should read JM LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Omar a Canadian Sphinx cat is carried in its owners jacket during the Los Angeles Feline Film Festival at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on September 21, 2014. The annual event featuring celebrity cats and feline films raises money for local cat sanctuaries and rescue organizations. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian man plays with his baby on a beach on September 7, 2014 in Gaza city. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
A member of Japan's team does a somersault as they compete in the team free routine final synchronised swimming event during the 2014 Asian Games at the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Center in Incheon on September 22, 2014. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Young white tigers India (L) and Ambra (R) approach photographers at the football stadium of Dresden, eastern Germany, on September 22, 2014 during a presentation to the press by Circus Sarrasani where the 14 week old animal arrived from Zoo Stukenbrock in Western Germany. AFP PHOTO / DPA / ARNO BURGI +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read ARNO BURGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Takanui Smith (Rear) rides a wave as fellow surfers and filming crew react during the shooting of a remake of the 1991 classic 'Point Break' on September 11, 2014 in the Hava'e pass in Teahupoo, on the French Polynesian island of Tahiti. The American action thriller film directed by Ericson Core, starring Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer and Ray Winstone, is a remake of the 1991 film then directed by Kathryn Bigelow. AFP PHOTO / GREGORY BOISSY (Photo credit should read GREGORY BOISSY/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture taken on September 16, 2014 shows Attacus atlas butterfly siting on a visitor's face, at the Botanical Garden of Masaryk University in Brno. There are about twenty butterflies that fly freely in the greenhouse among visitors. AFP PHOTO/ RADEK MICA (Photo credit should read RADEK MICA/AFP/Getty Images)
young boy dives in a creek near the Italian city of Portofino on September 8, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State John Kerry looks out over Baghdad from a helicopter on September 10, 2014. Kerry flew into Iraq today for talks with its new leaders on their role in a long-awaited new strategy against Islamic State jihadists to be unveiled by President Barack Obama. AFP PHOTO/POOL/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
South African Cara Bianca Frew rides Leopold Pierreville on September 3, 2014 during the Individual Jumping competition of the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games, in the northwestern French city of Caen. AFP PHOTO / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU. (Photo credit should read CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
A photo of an EA-18G Growler taking off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, posted to Twitter by the U.S. Dept. of Defense on September 23, 2014.
A bird rests on the back of a capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) at the Paraguay river, in Caceres, Brazil, the gateway to the Pantanal, on August 25, 2014. Often referred to as the worlds largest freshwater wetland system, the Pantanal, is a stunning biodiversity sanctuary which extends through millions of hectares in central-western Brazil, eastern Bolivia and eastern Paraguay. It includes sanctuaries for migratory birds, nursery grounds for aquatic life, and refuges for such creatures as the yacare caiman, deer, and jaguar. Some 4,500 different species live in the Pantanal. AFP PHOTO / NELSON ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)
An aerial picture taken on September 14, 2014 shows a plane flying over the Bardarbunga volcano spewing lava and smoke in southeast Iceland. The Bardarbunga volcano system has been rocked by hundreds of tremors daily since mid-August, prompting fears the volcano could explode. Bardarbunga, at 2,000 metres (6,500 feet), is Iceland's second-highest peak and is located under Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajoekull. AFP PHOTO / BERNARD MERIC (Photo credit should read BERNARD MERIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A Syrian man collects vegetables from a vegetable patch locals grew at the site where a barrel bomb hit a sewage pipe in the Baedeen neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on September 3, 2014. Aleppo province has been subject to a particularly fierce regime aerial campaign, including the use of explosive-packed barrel bombs tossed from regime helicopters that rights groups say kill indiscriminately. AFP PHOTO / ZEIN Al-RIFAI /AMC (Photo credit should read ZEIN AL-RIFAI/AFP/Getty Images)
A long time exposed picture taken by night shows the Solar observatory at the peak of the Lomnicky Stit, in the Slovakia's High Tatras mountains, on September 04, 2014. The coronal station at Lomnicky Stit observatory, built at 2 632 meters between 1957 and 1962, ranks among five existing stations worldwide which systematically observe emission spectral lines of the corona. AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Incredible photo of a rocket that didn't explode when it hit a truck in east Ukraine earlier this month and was posted to Twitter by Conflict News on September 12, 2014.
Sept. 1, 2014 - Shakopee, MN, U.S. - Spunky channeled his inner Greyhound during the third heat Monday afternoon at Canterbury Park. He's owned by Lionel Chinelly. ] JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com Canterbury Park hosted their annual Labor Day Wiener Dog Wars in which 72 dogs competed in seven races on the horse track for the title of Grand Champion Monday afternoon, September 1, 2014. (Credit Image: © Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/ZUMA Wire)
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The month of October in photos:

20 PHOTOS
Awesome photos from October
See Gallery
2014: The year in photos

Photograph of a squirrel that got it's head stuck in a jack-o-'lantern carved into a miniature pumpkin in the backyard of Max Ellis, from Teddington, London.

Caters News Agency

A Marine signals the landing zone for an MV-22B Osprey during a vertical assault raid exercise on Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 27, 2014. The Marines are assigned to Lima Company, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos)
A local Hong Kong journalist collapses in agony after being hit in the face with pepper spray by police in the Mongkok district of Hong Kong on October 17, 2014. Fresh clashes broke out in Hong Kong on October 17 as pro-democracy demonstrators attempted to take back a protest camp in a densely populated suburb that had been partially cleared by police earlier in the day. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
People who came to watch the launch walk away after an unmanned rocket owned by Orbital Sciences Corporation exploded (background) October 28, 2014 just seconds after lift-off from Wallops Island, Virginia, on what was to be a resupply mission to the International Space Station. 'The Antares rocket suffered an accident shortly after lift-off,' NASA mission control in Houston said, describing the blast as a 'catastrophic anomaly.' MANDATORY CREDIT: AFP PHOTO / Steve ALEXANDER (Photo credit should read STEVE ALEXANDER/AFP/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 23: School children play on the sculpture 'We're fryin' out here' by Andrew Hankin during the 2014 Sculptures by the Sea exhibition at Tamarama Beach on October 23, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0150 -- Pictured: (l-r) Professional Boxer Mike Tyson plays the 'Punch Out' video game as host Jimmy Fallon watches on October 28, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
View of a tree in a deforested area in the middle of the Amazon jungle during an overflight by Greenpeace activists over areas of illegal exploitation of timber, as part of the second stage of the 'The Amazon's Silent Crisis' report, in the state of Para, Brazil, on October 14, 2014. According to Greenpeace's report, timber trucks carry at night illegally felled trees to sawmills, which then process them and export the wood as if it was from a legal origin to France, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands. AFP PHOTO / Raphael Alves (Photo credit should read RAPHAEL ALVES/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph of an F/A-18 Hornet jet flown by the Blue Angels zooming between the support towers of the Golden Gate Bridge during a practice run during San Francisco's Fleet Week on October 9, 2014. Used with permission by Rich Shelton.
Children inside a cage watch at close quarters a lion at the Safari Lion Zoo in Rancagua, Chile, on October 30, 2014. the Safari Park Zoo is the only park in Latin America where tourists can see from a short distance six lions in a two-hectares open area. AFP PHOTO/MARTIN BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 29: Members of the San Francisco Giants celebrate defeating the Kansas City Royals in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 29: Kansas City Royals fans react to their team's defeat in the Power and Light District during Game Seven of the World Series on October 29, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri. Thousands of fans gathered to watch the Kansas City Royals take on the San Francisco Giants. (Photo by Julie Denesha/Getty Images)
 Photo of a woman snorkeling at Maho Beach, or 'Jet Blast Beach,' on St. Maarten. (Photo by Daniel Botelho.)
This long exposure photograph taken before dawn on October 14, 2014 shows sparks of lightning, scorching lava flow and giant ash clouds released from the crater during the eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano as seen from Karo district located in Sumatra island. In February, Sinabung's eruption killed about 17 people and forced more than 33,000 others to flee their homes. AFP PHOTO / Sutanta ADITYA (Photo credit should read SUTANTA ADITYA/AFP/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama greets Nina Pham, a Dallas nurse diagnosed with Ebola after caring for an infected patient in Texas, in the Oval Office, Oct 24, 2014. Pham is virus-free after being treated at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The sun as imaged by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on October 8, 2014 in 193 angstrom extreme ultraviolet light. The photo went viral earlier this month due the star's uncanny resemblance to a jack-o-'lantern. (NASA/SDO)
BELMAR, NJ - OCTOBER 29: A man is removed by security guards while he shots slogans to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during a public event in Belmar, two years after Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy was recorded as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused over $68 billion in damages, and hundreds of people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Today marks when its storm surge hit New York City and the surrounding area which flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Jonna Baquillas holds her pet, a rescued cat named Rue, both dressed as Little Red Riding Hood during the Philippine Animal Welfare Society's (PAWS) annual Halloween fund raising event entitled 'Scaredy Cats and Dogs: Year 8' at the Eastwood Central Plaza in Manila on October 23, 2011. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Dr Marius Kruger (C) and memeber of the Kruger National Park keeps the head of a rhino up during a white rhino relocation capture on October 17, 2014. The Kruger National Park relocated four rhinoceros from a high risk poaching area to a safer area as part of ongoing strategic rhinoceros management plan. AFP PHOTO/STEFAN HEUNIS (Photo credit should read STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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The month of November in photos:

18 PHOTOS
from November
See Gallery
2014: The year in photos
A man dressed as Santa Klaus rides a wave with a stand up paddle on November 18, 2014 in Varazze, near Genoa, as the bad weather created good surfing conditions in the Mediterranean. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN
A ship sails in the Mediterranean Sea as lightning strikes the sky as seen from the Israeli coastal moshav of Mikhmoret, north of Tel Aviv, on November 24, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian soldiers take part in a demonstration of 'fire breathing' at the start of Operation Hand in Hand - a joint training exercise between Indian and Chinese troops - at Aundh Military Camp in Pune on November 18, 2014. The ten day exercise with the Asian neighbors in the western Indian state of Maharashtra is set to focus on sharing strategic know-how in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bengal Tiger yawns in its enclosure in the Shanghai Zoo on November 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE
SOLIKAMSK, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 20: A view of a sinkhole stretching 20 by 30 meters at the Solikamsk-2 mine on November 20, 2014 in Solikamsk, Perm region, Russia. (Photo by Uralkali Press Center/TASS/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham makes stunning touchdown catch in the first half during game against the Dallas Cowboys. Sunday, November 23, 2014 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Robert Sabo/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - NOVEMBER 24: Somalian fisherman carries hammerhead shark on his head from the port to the fish market on the eastern Curubo beach of Somalian capital city Mogadishu on November 24, 2014. Somalia's coastline is more than 3,025 kilometers in length and fishing takes a major share in Somalian economy. (Photo by Nour Gelle Gedi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (Top) vies with Malaga's Ivorian defender Arthur Boka during the Spanish league football match Malaga CF vs Real Madrid CF at the Rosaleda stadium in Malaga on November 29, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ JORGE GUERRERO
The moon partially obscured the view of the sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, on Nov. 22, 2014. This lunar transit was visible only from SDO's point of view. (NASA/SDO)
LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 4: A voter gestures as Senate Minority Leader U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) votes in the midterm elections at Bellarmine University November 4, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. McConnell is running in a tight race against opponent Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Sheep graze at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower in Paris during a protest by farmers demanding an effective plan by the ecology ministry to fight against wolves following an increasing number of attacks on flocks on November 27, 2014. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK (Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)
An polar bear swims on November 13, 2014, at the zoo, in Mulhouse, eastern France. AFP PHOTO /SEBASTIEN BOZON (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images)
Boys play with an empty water tank at a football field next to the Terra Prometida favela in Guadalupe, outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
AGRI, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 20: Morning fog covers the Ishak Pasha Palace in the Dogubayazit district of Agri, eastern Turkey, on November 20, 2014. The palace which was built on a hill at the side of a mountain 5 km. east of Doubeyazt District, is the last large monumental structure of the Ottoman Empire in the 'Lale Devri' Period. It is one of the most distinguished and magnificent examples of the 18th century Ottoman architecture and is very valuable in terms of art history.The characteristic of the palace is in its mixture of Ottoman, Persian and Seljuk architectural styles. The palace was built in 1685 by II. Ishak Pasha. According to the inscription on the top of the door at the Harem Section, it was constructed in 1784. (Photo by Selahattin Kacuru/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A model presents a creation made with organic elements by Colombian designer Juan Pablo Garzon during BioFashion show, in Cali, Department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia, on November 29, 2014. BioFashion through of designs made with flowers, live plants, and organic elements aims to create awareness about the preservation of natural resources. AFP PHOTO / LUIS ROBAYO (Photo credit should read LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)
The Turrialba volcano, located in the Costa Rican province of Cartago, about 35km southwest of San Jose, spews ash on November 1, 2014. The Turrialba volcano spew ash and volcanic rocks this morning, causing the National Institute of Emergencies to evacuate some of the people living on its slopes. Today's eruption is the largest in the last 150 years, according to OVSICORI. AFP PHOTO/EzequielBECERRA (Photo credit should read EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Recording artists Iggy Azalea (L) and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage at the 2014 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/AMA2014/Getty Images for DCP)
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