Photos capture what words cannot — they become illustrated moments of time that define iconic events and encapsulate fleeting feelings. From the protests in Egypt to the devastating tsunami in Japan, a royal wedding in England and a lucky shot of the shuttle launch breaking through the clouds, these photos capture humanity — for better or worse — throughout the world in 2011.
Many "Best Photos of the Year" lists are circulating the Web, and CultureMap has narrowed down the lists so you can take a look back at the most dynamic photos of 2011.
(Warning for those at work: Some images contain graphic content or nudity.)
2011 was the year of protests and uprisings. Wars were battled, lives were lost and families are torn apart.
No one captures the world quite like National Geographic photographers. They cross tundras, plains and oceans and venture into outer space to bring us images of wildlife and landscapes that we might otherwise never see.
Reuters photographers are out in the field capturing the most difficult scenarios in the most dangerous places on the globe.
This list has gone viral on several social media outlets, but just in case you missed it.
A three-part collection of some of the most moving photos of 2011.