The most gorgeous and terrifying photos of the natural world captured in 2017

2017 was a year of destruction. Wildfires raged, volcanoes erupted and pollution swarmed entire cities in a fog of smoggy air.

But the beauty of the natural world didn't escape unnoticed. Here are some of the most gorgeous photos of what happened to the Earth this year, as captured by Reuters photographers.

18 PHOTOS
The most gorgeous photos of the natural world in 2017
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The most gorgeous photos of the natural world in 2017
A long time exposure shows molten lava which flows from the Piton de la Fournaise, one of the world's most active volcanoes February 3, 2017, on the French Indian Ocean Reunion Island. Picture taken February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Gilles Adt
A man climbs an artificial wall of ice in the city of Liberec, Czech Republic, January 12, 2017. REUTERS/David W Cerny 
The solar eclipse creates the effect of a diamond ring at totality as seen from Clingmans Dome, which at 6,643 feet (2,025m) is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, U.S. August 21, 2017. Location coordinates for this image are 35 33'24" N, 83 29'46" W. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst 
The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) is seen over the sky near the village of Pallas (Muonio region) of Lapland, Finland September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Kuznetsov/All About Lapland
A worker, known as a "Tecchiaiolo", examines marble at the Cervaiole quarry on Monte Altissimo in the Apuan Alps, Tuscany, Italy, July 18, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi 
Natan Cabral, 5, stands on the cracked ground of the Boqueirao reservoir in the Metropolitan Region of Campina Grande, Paraiba state, Brazil, February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
A dead whale is seen on the shore of the Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
A girl walks amidst a dust storm on the banks of the Ganges river in Allahabad, India, February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash
Men feed seagulls along the Yamuna river on a smoggy morning in New Delhi, India, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal
Emissions from a power plant chimney rise over Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia January 13, 2017. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj 
A plume of smoke above Mount Agung volcano is illuminated at sunset as seen from Amed, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia, November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
Italy's Mount Etna, Europe's tallest and most active volcano, spews lava as it erupts on the southern island of Sicily, Italy February 28, 2017. Picture taken February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
Italy's Mount Etna, Europe's tallest and most active volcano, spews lava as it erupts on the southern island of Sicily, Italy February 28, 2017. Picture taken February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
A villager is seen following an eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano, in Beganding Village, Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia August 2, 2017. REUTERS/YT Haryono
The sky turns red over buildings in Canary Wharf as dust from the Sahara carried by storm Ophelia filters sunlight over London, Britain, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
Cattle killedby wildfires lie in pasture burned by wildfires near Higgins, Texas, U.S., March 12, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson 
Eagle Creek wildfire burns as golfers play at the Beacon Rock Golf Course in North Bonneville, Washington, U.S. on September 4, 2017. Picture taken on September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kristi McCluer
A woman pushes a pram as she walks over a frozen lake during sundown at the Pajulahti sports center near Lahti, Finland, February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
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