Best World Pictures of 2021
A year’s worth of images to feast your eyes on
16 December 2021 - 12:02
HAVING A BLAST A man is doused by a water cannon during clashes as people gather in Brussels for a party in defiance of Belgium’s coronavirus restrictions.
WASH, RAZE AND REPEAT Lava is seen through the window of a kitchen in El Paso after the eruption of a volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain.
BEADY-EYED NOSE PECKER Pigeon fancier Yonisbel Santana on his rooftop in Havana, Cuba.
SCOTS ALREADY HAD A LEG UP Scotland fans in Leicester Square before the match against England in London.
DROWNING IN GOLD Kiran Badloe of the Netherlands gets into the water to celebrate winning gold in the men’s RS:X in sailing.
ONE MORE TIME Debbie Carroll Boyce, Ms Senior America 2011, pulls back the curtains on the stage at the Ms Texas Senior America Pageant in Dallas.
TO THE FORE Disabled dogs in mobility aids run during a daily walk at The Man That Rescues Dogs Foundation in Chonburi, Thailand.
GRAN SPECTACLE Lyubov Morekhodova, 79, who runs a house on the lakeside near remote villages, skates on ice-covered Lake Baikal in Russia.
ANNIE-DEPRESSANT Taronga Zoo senior keeper Rob Dockerill holds Annie the platypus during a World Wildlife Day announcement pledging to save the Australian platypus from extinction, in Sydney.
BALL OVER MATTER Israel’s Linoy Ashram is in action during the Rhythmic Gymnastics Individual Ball Final at the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Varna, Bulgaria.
AIM TO MAIM A police officer swings a baton during a protest against farm laws introduced by the government in New Delhi.
MOVING HOUSE A 139-year-old Victorian house is hoisted towards its new location six blocks away, as the original site is to be used to build a block of flats in San Francisco.
RECYCLED VERSION A man pulls a bin with Usman Khan, 29, dressed up as Charlie Chaplin during a street performance in Peshawar, Pakistan.
SALVATION Cows that were stranded in a flooded barn are rescued by people in boats and a Sea-Doo in Abbotsford, Canada, after rainstorms lashed British Columbia.
TWINS WITH A TWIST Swiss artists Frank and twin brother Patrik Riklin perform during the presentation of their ‘Fondation Riklin’ project in Regensdorf, Switzerland.
IMPENETRABLE STARE A protester wearing a red scarf on her head and face attends a flash mob near the Romanian parliament in Bucharest, calling for the swift passing of a law to introduce monitoring devices for offenders found guilty of domestic abuse.
DYE LIKE A DOG A dog with blue fur undergoes examination at a veterinary hospital in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, after a pack of stray dogs with blue fur was found near a chemical plant in the city of Dzerzhinsk.
BREAKFAST AT TUSSAUDS’S Madame Tussauds's wax figure of Audrey Hepburn sits at an empty table to comply with social distancing requirements at a restaurant in Brooklyn, New York.
SPARKS FLY A police officer tries to stop a demonstrator during a torch rally as people protest against the dissolution of parliament in Kathmandu, Nepal.
TO DYE FOR A worker dries fabrics after applying colour at a dye factory in Narayanganj, Bangladesh.
WORK OF ARTERY A couple participates during the annual NYC Bodypainting Day at Union Square in New York City.
HIGH THIGH People form the foundation of a human tower during the first performance of Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls and Colla Vella Dels Xiquets de Valls after the coronavirus halt in Valls, Spain.
BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH A member of the Samaritan sect takes part in a traditional pilgrimage marking the holiday of Shavuot, atop Mount Gerizim, near Nablus, Palestine.
DASHING FIGURE A Jewish man runs on the sandbanks in South Shields, Britain.
HEARTBREAKING A demonstrator holds an animal’s heart as protests enter their fourth week with a new national strike called by workers’ unions, students and organisations demanding social change in Bogota, Colombia.
WHITE ELEPHANT Elephants dust themselves with soil at Taigan safari park in Belogorsk, Crimea.
COAT OF ARMS Popular Party candidate Isabel Diaz Ayuso is at the end of a closing electoral campaign meeting ahead of the regional elections in Madrid, Spain.
MOON ENJOYS THE SPOTLIGHT The ‘pink supermoon’ rises behind the Eiffel Tower during a nationwide Covid-19 curfew in Paris.
SURRENDER A woman worships the sun god as she stands amid the foam covering the polluted Yamuna river during the Hindu religious festival of Chhath Puja in New Delhi.
LOYAL PUPPY A boy walks behind his father as people celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in Brooklyn, New York City.
IN THE HEART OF IT People lower the body of a man who died from Covid-19 into a grave in New Delhi.
WASH AND LEARN Spanish free-diver and dancer Ariadna Hafez performs a tango at a depth of 10 metres inside the Y-40 pool in Montegrotto Terme, Italy.
A FEW DOGS IN THIS FIGHT A Ukrainian soldier plays with puppies at fighting positions on the line of separation from pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk region. The two unnamed puppies living on frontline positions will be taken home and named by soldiers departing on troops rotation.
SKY IS THE AGE LIMIT A child watches people paragliding on the hill of Mam Tor near the village of Castleton, Derbyshire, Britain.
EYE FOR AN EYE A Palestinian demonstrator scuffles with an Israeli border policewoman during a protest marking ‘Land Day’, in Sebastia near Nablus, on the West Bank.
FIGHT AND MAKE UP A man has colour powder thrown at him during Holi celebrations in Chennai, India.
STRAIGHT DRIVE Farmers play cricket on a deserted highway road during a 12-hour strike as part of protests against farm laws at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghaziabad, India.
FANFARE Women fan a model as she lies on the ground after having suffered from dizziness before the start of an event to show off designer traditional mantilla costumes in Seville, Spain.
BRIDGE INTO MATRIMONY A stranded bride and groom, who were rescued by helicopter to get them to the church on time, kiss in front of a flooded bridge that had blocked their five-minute drive into town in Port Macquarie, Australia.
THE GAME HAS CHANGED A security guard at St Bonaventure University restrains a cameraman from the athletics department during a college basketball game in Dayton, Ohio.
SHIT YOU NOT Activist Steve Bray demonstrates outside Downing Street, after British MPs voted against an Environment Bill, allowing companies to pump raw sewage into UK rivers and seas.
NAKED TRUTH People take part in a nude photo shoot by renowned artist Spencer Tunick close to Arad, Israel. as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the need to preserve the Dead Sea.
TORMENT NYPD police respond to a report of an emotionally disturbed person in midtown Manhattan, New York City.
GASLIGHT MASK Personnel in orange hazmat suits march during a paramilitary parade held to mark the 73rd founding anniversary of the republic at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea.
THAT SHIP HAS SETTLED Cristina Mamani walks near an unused boat in Lake Poopo, Bolivia’s second largest lake, which has dried up due to water diversion for regional irrigation needs and a warmer climate, according to local residents and scientists.
LIFE DYES The Corfo lagoon has turned pink due to chemical waste in Trelew, Argentina.
BLOOMING WIND! British PM Boris Johnson struggles with an umbrella during a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire.
LEAN ON ME Senegalese Muslims wait to attend Eid-al-Adha prayers as Covid-19 cases spike in Dakar, Senegal.
UPROARIOUS A man cools himself off on a fountain during a heat wave in New York City.
LEBANON-THREATENING A soldier helps a schoolgirl get to her parents after gunfire erupted in Beirut, Lebanon.
SKIMMING OVER Hungary’s Ioulia Chtchetinina and Mark Magyar in action during the ice dance (free dance) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Sochi, Russia.
PLANTS GLOW TALL A field of leeks is shown bathed in red and blue LED lights in the Dutch town of Lelystad as part of artist Daan Roosegaarde's new project ‘Grow’.
CHARACTER ASSASSINATION Carlos Mayorga, Mexican candidate for federal representative of the Solidarity Encounter Party, lies in a coffin as part of his campaign slogan ‘If I don’t deliver, let them bury me alive’ in Ciudad Juarez.
UNHOLY MOTORS A car leans on graves at a cemetery after heavy rainfalls in Dernau, Germany.
CURRENT SITUATION A Hindu holy man wears a mask before the procession for taking a dip in the Ganges river during Shahi Snan at ‘Kumbh Mela’, or the Pitcher Festival, in Haridwar, India.
FACE-OFF A woman enters a beauty salon in Kabul, where adverts featuring women have been defaced.
LINES, CAMERA, ACTION Daniel Craig poses during the world premiere of the new James Bond film ‘No Time To Die’ at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
HAT IN THE RING Peru’s presidential candidate Pedro Castillo hands over bread during a breakfast with members of his family before casting his vote, in Chugur.
THE VIRUS CAN'T SEE ME An Ultra-Orthodox man wears three masks over his face while celebrating Purim in Jerusalem.
GOT YOUR BACK A 16-year-old girl is supported by her aunt as she breaks down during the burial of her mother who died from Covid-19 in Manaus, Brazil.