The 80 Most Powerful Photos of 2013

2013 has been a year of incredible highs and lows. Barack Obama got sworn into his second term as President of the United States, there were devastating weather phenomena in the states and abroad, tragedy struck the Boston Marathon, but the city remaind strong and the Red Sox brought home the World Series, there was political unrest and protests all over the globe and so much more.

Super Cut Compilation of the most powerful photos of 2013

One theme that holds true through all these events is there were photographers on hand to capture the emotion as it unfolded, no matter how chaotic. More photos were taken in 2013 than at any other point in history so we did our best to weed through them all to pull together this list of the 80 Most Powerful Photos of 2013.

See also: 2013 year-end round-up,

If you feel that we missed anything please drop links in the comment section so we can make additions.

Warning, some of these images are graphic. Please be advised.

Tim Holmes. Dunalley, Australia. Jan. 4, 2013.

January 4, 2013: Tammy Holmes and her grandchildren take refuge under a jetty as a wildfire rages near-by in the Tasmanian town of Dunalley, east of the state capital of Hobart, Australia. The family credits God with their survival from the fire that destroyed around 90 homes in Dunalley.

Reuters/Brett Martin/

January 9, 2013: A white shelf cloud caps brownish dirt from a dust storm, or haboob, as it travels across the Indian Ocean near Onslow on the Western Australia coast.

AP Photo/Larry Downing

President Barack Obama was officially sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Blue Room of the White House during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Sunday, January 20, 2013. Next to Obama are first lady Michelle Obama, holding the Robinson Family Bible, and daughters Malia and Sasha. Obama was sworn in again that following Monday, during the public ceremony.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

A truck is covered in ice as firefighters work to extinguish a massive blaze at a vacant warehouse in Chicago, Illinois, on January 23, 2013. More than 200 firefighters battled the five-alarm fire as temperatures were in the single digits.

Mahmoud Khaled/AFP/Getty Images

An Egyptian protester waves his national flag in Cairo’s Tahrir square on January 25, 2013. Protesters stormed a regional government headquarters and clashed with police as mass rallies shook Egypt on the second anniversary of a revolt that ousted Hosni Mubarak and brought Islamists to power.

Reuters/Goran Tomasevic

FSA fighters run for cover as a tank shell explodes on a wall in Damascus, on January 30, 2013.

Bernat Armangue / AP

A Palestinian child reacts moments after coming home from school and realizing that his family house had been demolished by the municipality in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, Feb. 5. The municipality says the building was constructed without proper permits and that its structure was not sound. The 33-member family says it was waiting to receive permits.

ABC News

A bolt of lightning hit St. Peter’s dome in the Vatican on the day Pope Benedict announced he would be stepping down on February 12, 2013.

YouTube screen grab

A meteor explodes over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, injuring 1,491 people and damaging over 4,300 buildings. It is the most powerful meteor to strike Earth’s atmosphere in over a century. The incident, along with a coincidental flyby of a larger asteroid, prompts international concern regarding the vulnerability of the planet to meteor strikes.

Google Image Search

Jack Hoffman, the seven-year-old brain cancer patient ran a 69-yard touchdown, donning a Husker’s uniform, alongside members of the Nebraska football squad, which led to more than 3 million views on YouTube and national recognition following the heart-warming moment in front of 60,000 spectators at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.

Reuters/Jeff Topping

Residents of Naco, Arizona join residents of Naco, Mexico for a volleyball match during the fourth “Fiesta Bi-Nacional” at the fence that separates the U.S. (left) and Mexico (right), on April 14, 2007.

David L. Ryan/Boston Globe/Getty

On Patriots’ Day, as more than 23,000 runners wended through historic Boston, two brothers allegedly set off a homemade bomb near the finish line, killing three and injuring 264. They picked the wrong city. Within days, police tracked down the Tsarnaev brothers, one of whom died in the chaos. The survivor, in solitary confinement, faces trial in 2014.


Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race in this photo exclusively licensed to Reuters by photographer Dan Lampariello after he took the photo in Boston, Massachusetts, April 15, 2013. Two simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing at least two people and injuring dozens on a day when tens of thousands of people pack the streets to watch the world famous race.

Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Image

April 15, 2013: Police officers with their guns drawn hear the second explosion down the street. The first explosion knocked down a runner at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. The photo was ultimately chosen for the cover of Sports Illustrated.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Medical workers wheel the injured across the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts.


The FBI released a set of photographs and a video of two “suspects” in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Reuters/Neal Hamberg

An empty street is seen near the historic Faneuil Hall (on left, with white cupola) and City Hall (back, center) in Boston, on April 19, 2013, as the area is under a lockdown during the manhunt for Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Police with guns drawn search for a suspect on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts.


The capture of Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Reuters/Rick Wilking

A Yorkshire Terrier named Hope shows off her uni-wheel attached to a doggie vest in Longmont, Colorado April 21, 2013. Hope is missing one limb and is able to walk with the wheel attachment.

Taslima Akhter. Savar Dhaka, Bangladesh.

April 24, 2013: Embrace in Death named one of Time Magazine’s photos of the year. Nobody knows who they are, what is the relation between them but the crude reality make them closer and may be they are trying to save each other and the last moment of their life from the death trap of Savar Rana Plaza. Near about 438 workers died as building Collapse at Savar Rana Plaza. Most of them are women.

YouTube screen capture

May 5, 2013 Madrid A pilot has died after the historic jet he was flying at an airshow in Spain today plunged into a building and exploded in a huge fireball in front of horrified spectators. A spokesman for the country’s Defense Ministry said the pilot, Ladislao Tejedor Romero, died of his injuries in the serious burns unit of Getafe Hopsital in Madrid. The aircraft crashed into a hanger and exploded at an airfield in the southwest of the capital in front of stunned witnesses, one of whom captured the crash on film.

NASA/Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield: Chesapeake to Cape Cod to Lake Huron – in a glance, so much history, geology and geography, May 9, 2013.

AP Photo/Alonzo Adams

A massive tornado moves past homes in Moore, Oklahoma, on Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school.

photo credit: AP/Sue Ogrocki

A woman carries a child through a field near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013.

AP Photo/Steve Gooch

This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, on May 20, 2013.


AP Photo/ Sue Ogrocki

A boy is pulled from beneath a collapsed wall at the Plaza Towers Elementary School, on May 20, 2013.

Reuters/Gene Blevins

Abby Madi (left) and Peterson Zatterlee comforts Zaterlee’s dog Rippy, after a tornado struck Moore, on May 20, 2013.

Reuters/Adrees Latif

Danielle Stephan holds boyfriend Thomas Layton as they pause between sifting through the remains of a family member’s home one day after a tornado devastated the town Moore, on May 21, 2013.

Hannah Cruz, The Norman Transcript

A couple comfort each other after a tornado levels a Moore, Oklahoma neighborhood Monday, 21 May 2013.©

Reuters/Adrees Latif

An American flag is caught in a tree in Moore, two days after the Oklahoma City suburb was left devastated by a tornado, on May 22, 2013.

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

Lightning from a thunderstorm strikes amid the wreckage of twisted cars and structures at Plaza Elementary School, where seven children were killed earlier in the week when a tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, on May 23, 2013.

Reuters/Rick Wilking

Justin Stephan explains to his son Timothy, 3, that he can’t play with a toy of his that he found in his tornado-destroyed home on 6th Avenue in Moore, on May 23, 2013.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sabrina Mitchell fights back emotions as she searches for her belongings in what was the second floor bedroom of her home after it was destroyed by a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, on May 24, 2013.

Reuters/Omar Sobhani

Children run away after an explosion in Kabul, on May 24, 2013. Several large explosions rocked a busy area in the center of the Afghan capital, with Reuters witnesses describing shooting in the area.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

U.S. Army Sgt. Leroy Petry, who lost his right hand in 2008 while serving in Afghanistan, holds a baseball prior to delivering it to the mound for a Memorial Day baseball game between the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners, on May 27, 2013, in Seattle.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Confetti rains down on Arvind Mahankali, winner of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee, on May 30, 2013 in National Harbor, Maryland. Arvind won by correctly spelling two words in a row after Pranav Sivakumar went out, “tokonoma”, and finally “knaidel”, a German-derived Yiddish word.

Daniel Etter. Istanbul, Turkey. June 1, 2013.

A demonstrator reacts to teargas fired by Turkish police during a protest in the neighborhood Besiktas in Istanbul, Turkey, June 1, 2013. Tens of thousands of people gathered to protest against the destruction of Gezi Park in central Istanbul and to voice general discontent with the government’s policies. The park is virtually the only remaining green space in the city’s center and it is planned to give way for the construction of a mall.

Reuters/Deniz Celik

A newly married couple pose for their wedding picture at Istiklal street near Taksim square in Istanbul, on June 2, 2013.

Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Protestors clash with Turkish riot policemen in Istanbul, on June 3, 2013.

AP Photo/dpa, Christian Charisius

Fisherman Gernot Quaschny rescues a deer from the floods near Schoenhausen, Germany, on June 12, 2013. Due to a broken dike on the Elbe River, several villages in the area were flooded.

Reuters/Jim Urquhart

Sgt. Matt Krumwiede of the U.S. Army takes a phone call as his hand is massaged by his mother Pam Krumwiede, after being admitted for an infection at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, on November 4, 2013. On June 12, 2012, Krumwiede was on patrol in Afghanistan when he stepped on an IED, which tore away both his legs, damaged his left arm, and ripped open his abdominal cavity. The 22-year-old has since undergone around 40 surgeries and is learning to walk with prosthetic legs. He is keen to re-join the infantry as soon as his injuries allow.

AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano

A military policeman sprays pepper gas at a protester during a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 17, 2013. Protesters massed in at least seven Brazilian cities Monday for renewed round of demonstrations voicing dissatisfaction with the government’s economic policies, including billions of dollars spent on large sports projects, despite a serious need to fund public health, education and welfare.

AP Photo/Felipe Dana

A demonstrator holds a Brazilian flag in front of a burning barricade during a protest in Rio de Janeiro, on June 17, 2013.

Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

A military policeman from the special unit Chope fires a tear gas gun late on June 19, 2013 to disperse protesters during clashes in the center of Niteroi, 10 km from Rio de Janeiro. Protesters battled police late on June 19, even after Brazil’s two biggest cities rolled back the transit fare hikes that triggered two weeks of nationwide protests.

Reuters/Siegfried Modola

A close-up view of a sedated elephant’s eye, as it is secured on the back of a truck by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) wardens during a relocation exercise, aimed at relocating 10 elephants that were encroaching on community land to a national park, on the margins of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in central Kenya, on June 19, 2013.

Reuters/Marko Djurica

A protester prepares to throw stones at riot police on a street near Taksim Square in Istanbul, on June 22, 2013. Turkish riot police fired water cannon and teargas to disperse thousands of anti-government demonstrators in central Istanbul, as Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan castigated those behind protests he said had played into the hands of Turkey’s enemies.

Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov

The largest full moon of 2013, a “supermoon” scientifically known as a “perigee moon”, rises over the Tien Shan mountains and the monument to 18th century military commander Nauryzbai Batyr near the town of Kaskelen, some 23 km (14 mi) west of Almaty, Kazakhstan, on June 23, 2013.

Reuters/China Daily

Chinese astronaut Nie Haisheng waves before stepping out of the re-entry capsule of China’s Shenzhou-10 spacecraft after it landed in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on June 26, 2013. Three Chinese astronauts returned to Earth on Wednesday, touching down after a successful 15-day mission in which they docked with a space laboratory.

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

Opponents of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, on June 30, 2013.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

On June 30, 2012, homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire, photographed from the air in a neighborhood of Colorado Springs.

Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

A rebel fighter passes through an access hole broken in the perimeter of a football pitch, close to the front line, where clashes between the rebels and pro-government troops have been taking place on the outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo, on July 4, 2013.

Reuters/Eugene Anthony Rah

First responders tend to Asiana Airlines flight attendants and rescued passengers as they gather near the runway after the crash of flight 214, on July 6, 2013.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The burned-out shell of Asiana flight 214, on July 6, 2013.

AP Photo/Kim Hong-Ji

Kim Yoon-ju, a flight attendant who was working aboard Asiana Airlines flight 214 when it crash-landed at San Francisco airport, cries as she is greeted by Park Sam-koo, Chairman of the Kumho-Asiana group, upon her arrival at Incheon Airport in Incheon, South Korea, on July 11, 2013.

On the afternoon of 22 May 2013, a British Army soldier, Drummer (Private) Lee Rigby of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was attacked and killed by two men near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London, in what has been described as an Islamic terrorist attack. Rigby was off duty and walking along Wellington Street when he was attacked. Two men ran him down with a car, then used knives and a cleaver to stab and hack him to death.  The men dragged Rigby’s body into the road. The men remained at the scene until police arrived. Rigby was given a military funeral at Bury Parish Church on 12 July 2013. The service was attended by several thousand people, including present and former soldiers, Prime Minister David Cameron and Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Mosa’ab Elshamy. Cairo, Egypt. July 27, 2013.

As the Egyptian police began firing on demonstrators in Cairo’s Rabaa Square, Elshamy documented the aftermath. Morsi supporters carry a man shot in the head outside the makeshift hospital in Rabaa Square.

Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha

Thai soldiers wearing biohazard suits pass a pail full of spilled crude oil as cleaning operations continue at Ao Prao Beach on Koh Samet, Rayong, on July 31, 2013. An oil spill that has blackened beaches at the Thai holiday island of Koh Samet was having an extreme impact on tourism and could spread to the coast of the mainland and affect the fishing industry, officials and an environmental group said on Tuesday.

AP Photo/Hussein Tallal

An Egyptian security force member kicks a wounded supporter of ousted President Morsi the clearing of a sit-in camp near Cairo University, on August 14, 2013.

Reuters/Romeo Ranoco

A boy carries his dog through floodwaters brought by the monsoon rain, intensified by tropical storm Trami, in Paranaque city, metro Manila, Philippines, on August 20, 2013. Heavy rains continue to batter the Philippine capital and nearby provinces, causing government offices, schools and some businesses to suspend work, and sending residents to flee their homes.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A firefighter from Ebbetts Pass Fire District monitors a back fire as he battles the Rim Fire in Groveland, on August 21, 2013.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A firefighter uses a hose to douse flames of the Rim Fire on a hillside, on August 24, 2013 near Groveland, California. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and threatens 4,500 homes outside of Yosemite National Park. Over 2,000 firefighters are battling the blaze that has entered a section of Yosemite National Park and is currently 7 percent contained.

STR/AFP/Getty Images

A crowd of Chinese tourists run away as a tidal bore breaks over a wall along the Qiangtang River in Haining, Zhejiang province, China, on on August 31, 2011. Visitors gathered to experience the Qianjiang Tidal Bore, an annual tradition for the residents living nearby.

Reuters/Hamid Khatib

Issa, 10 years old, carries a mortar shell in a weapons factory of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, on September 7, 2013. Issa works with his father in the factory for ten hours every day except on Fridays.

Noor Khamis /Reuters/Landov SEPTEMBER 13 2013

A police officer’s hand, holding a gun, as security personnel pointed people to safety Saturday at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. Among those in the photo is a friend of Associated Press correspondent Jason Straziuso. It’s the man who is clutching his daughter as they run by.

AP Photo/Colorado Heli-Ops, Dennis Pierce

A raging waterfall destroys a bridge along Highway 34 toward Estes Park, Colorado, as flooding devastates the Front Range and thousands were forced to evacuate, on September 13, 2013.

Reuters/Raheb Homavandi

An Italian soldier of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force stands guard as an Afghan boy aims a toy pistol inside Herat’s prison, on September 14, 2010.

Reuters/U.S. Air National Guard/Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares

Children from Cal-Wood Education Center in Jamestown, Colorado board a rescue helicopter flown by the U.S. Air National Guard, on September 14, 2013.

Reuters/Mohamed Abdullah

A member of the ‘Ansar Dimachk’ Brigade, part of the Asood Allah Brigade which operates under the Free Syrian Army, uses an iPad during preparations to fire a homemade mortar at one of the battlefronts in Joubar, a suburb of Damascus, Syria, on September 15, 2013.

U.S. Army/Sgt. Jonathan C. Thibault

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Keith Bart, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief with Charlie Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, carries an animal to safety during flood rescue and recovery operations in Boulder, Colorado, on September 16, 2013.

Star Ledger

A handout provided by the The Star Ledger shows firefighters pulling back as they battle the fire. The fire spread north to Seaside Heights. Mr. Boyd said firefighters had tried to slow the fire down with two trenches. The first failed, but the second was holding.

Vicenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

The Costa Concordia, upright, on September 17, 2013.

Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

A woman and children hide inside Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept. 21, 2013. A group of armed men attacked the upscale shopping mall in Nairobi on Saturday, killing at least 59 people and wounding at least 175. On Sunday, extremists holding an unknown number of hostages continued a siege after Kenyan security forces surrounded the facility.

Reuters/Erik De Castro

An image of Virgin Mary and baby Jesus, in front of the collapsed centuries-old Our Lady of Light church in Loon, Bohol, a day after an earthquake hit central Philippines, on October 16, 2013.

Steve Becker, Lytham, UK. November 11, 2013.

World War II vet Harold Jellicoe “Coe” Percival passed away in his sleep last month at the age of 99. According to his obituary, Harold had “no close family who can attend his funeral.” Enter: The Internet. After a scan of the former RAF Bomber Command ground crew member obituary appeared online, many took special note of the sentence asking for “any service personnel who can” to kindly attend his funeral. A call to action soon coalesced as the obit made its way around Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. “If you’re in the area give him the send off he deserves,” asked Sgt. Rick Clement, an Afghanistan War vet who was wounded in the line of duty. “This guy needs and deserves your help.” Sgt. Clement’s plea was heeded, and hundreds ignored the rain to attend Harold’s funeral at the Lytham Park Crematorium.


Super typhoon Haiyan: One of world’s most powerful storms in history from space

Reuters/Erik De Castro

A boy who was wounded by flying debris due to Super Typhoon Haiyan stays at the ruins of his family’s house in Tacloban city, on November 10, 2013. Haiyan destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of the area in its path as it tore through Leyte province on Friday, said chief superintendent Elmer Soria, a regional police director.

AP Photo/David Guttenfelder

A woman rests on a roadside with her family’s belongings near the typhoon-ravaged town of Tacloban, on November 13, 2013.

Reuters/Gleb Garanich

Protesters try to break through police lines near the presidential administration building during a rally held by supporters of EU integration in Kiev, on December 1, 2013. Ukrainian opposition leaders called on Sunday for President Viktor Yanukovich and his government to resign at a rally of about 350,000 people, the biggest protest in the capital Kiev since the “Orange Revolution” of nine years ago.

Edwin Valero – AP

Cars from a Metro-North passenger train are scattered after the train derailed Sunday in the Bronx borough of New York. The Fire Department of New York says there are “multiple injuries” in the train derailment, and 130 firefighters are on the scene. Metropolitan Transportation Authority police say the train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station.

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AP Photo Jack Dempsey

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