Ian Martens / Lethbridge Herald; CP via AP
Pilot Capt. Brian Bews parachutes to safety after ejecting from his CF-18 fighter jet moments befire it plummeted to the ground during a practice flight for a weekend air show at the Lethbridge County Airport on July 23 in Alberta, Canada. Bews suffered back injuries but is expected to make a full recovery. The jet exploded on impact.
A sinkhole created by tropical storm Agatha is seen in the Ciudad Nueva neighborhood in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on May 29. Agatha caused landslides and floods that left tens of thousands homeless in Central America.
A Volkswagen is swamped by water on Nov. 11 in Saltcoats, Scotland, as severe weather engulfed much of the country.
U.S. Coast Guard / Reuters
Fireboats battle the blazing remnants of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana on April 21.
The rig burned for 36 hours before sinking in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven workers died, and 17 were injured in the explosion that triggered one the largest oil spills in history.
Win McNamee / Getty Images
A brown pelican coated in heavy oil wallows in the surf, June 4, on East Grand Terre Island, La. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster came ashore in large volumes across southern Louisiana.
The space shuttle Atlantis is seen against the backdrop of the Andes mountains near the border of Argentina and Chile before docking with the International Space Station in a NASA photo taken on May 16. It was NASA's last planned flight for Atlantis.
Luke Macgregor / Reuters
A sledder's boots protrude from an explosion of snow during an attempt to jump a ramp at the Queen Elizabeth country park near Petersfield in southern England on Dec. 3.
A cat eyes a squirrel making its way along a fence in Ormond Beach, Fla., on Sept. 8. Cat and squirrel parted without incident.
Robert F. Bukaty / AP
Five-year-old Jada Durgin, of Lisbon Falls, Maine, plunges into Wight Brook while cooling off on a 90-degree day with her mom, Caitlin Durgin, left, at the Nature Conservancy's Step Falls Preserve on July 9 in Newry, Maine.
Sandor H. Szabo / AP
Excavators work at a broken dike of a reservoir that contained red mud from an alumina factory near Ajka, Hungary, Oct. 6. The dike broke on Oct. 4, releasing more than 1 million cubic yards of the poisonous chemical sludge that inundated three villages. At least four people were killed and more than 150 injured. The prime minister called the accident an "unprecedented ecological catastrophe."
Adrees Latif / Reuters
Marooned flood victims looking to escape try to grab onto a hovering military helicopter that arrived to distribute food supplies, in the Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan's Punjab province on Aug. 7. The flooding killed an estimated 1,500 people and left millions without homes, according to the U.N.
Damir Sagolj / Reuters
Flies surround a sick girl who is a flood victim, at the relief camp set-up in Sukkur in Pakistan's Sindh province on Aug. 31. The United Nations issued warnings of waterborne diseases, including typhoid fever, shigellosis and hepatitis A and E and vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue fever.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters
The Northern Lights are seen above the ash plume of Iceland's erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano in the evening on April 22. Ash from the eruption disrupted air traffic in many parts of Europe.
Jeff Chiu / AP
A plane drops fire retardant on the massive fire caused by the explosion of a natural gas pipeline in San Bruno, Calif., on Sept. 9. Four people died and 37 homes were destroyed.
Dan Marschka / Lancaster Newspapers via AP
A tow-truck operator tries to figure out how to remove a Jeep Liberty after the driver drove through the back wall of his own garage, falling one story to the ground on May 17 in Lancaster, Pa. The driver said the vehicle's accelerator pedal stuck and he couldn't stop before hitting the house. The driver escaped unhurt.
Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters
A member of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers religious order fills out his ballot at a polling station inside the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Spellman Room in Ossining, N.Y., on Nov. 2.
Adan Hernandez / AP
Bystanders and police search the burning wreckage of a Cessna 206 shortly after it crashed in a busy business district near downtown Anchorage, Alaska, during rush hour on June 1. A small child was killed and four other people on board were injured.
Paul Hackett / Reuters
Demonstrators break windows of the ruling Conservative party headquarters during a Nov. 10 protest in central London against higher tuition fees. Tens of thousands of students took part in a mostly peaceful march, but a much smaller group went on a rampage, clashing with police, smashing windows and lighting fires.
Tomas Munita / The New York Times via Redux Pictures
Dennise Pincochet, 24, cries in front of her destroyed house in Constitucion, Chile, on March 1. An earthquake on Feb. 27 devastated the town.
Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP - Getty Images
Russians try to stop a wildfire spreading near the village of Golovanovo, in the Ryazan region, on Aug. 5. The worst wildfires in the country's modern history killed more than 50 people during the hottest summer since record-keeping began 130 years ago. The heatwave cost Russia more than a third of its wheat crop.
Susanto / Media Indonesi via AFP - Getty Images
Volunteers rescue victims of the Mount Merapi eruption in the Indonesian vilage of Argomulyo on Nov. 5. More than 300 people were killed after the volcano roared back to life on Oct. 26.
A farmer walks through his cornfield covered in volcanic ash from Mount Merapi's eruption in Muntilan, central Java, Indonesia, on Nov. 8.
A landslide destroyed portions of a major highway outside the port city of Keelung, northern Taiwan, as seen in this April 25 aerial image. Four people were killed.
Damon Winter / New York Times via Redux Pictures
U.S. Army Sgt. Brian Keith sits with his wife, Sara, and their son, Stephen, 6 months, before he is deployed to Afghanistan with other troops from Fort Drum, N.Y., on March 29. For a year, the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division was to be in Afghanistan, part of the additional 30,000 troops at the backbone of President Barack Obama’s plan for ending the war.
Patrick Baz / AFP - Getty Images
A U.S. Army soldier with the 101st Airborne Division, Alpha Battery 1-320th, fires at militants on the outskirts of the village of Jellawar in the Arghandab Valley, Afghanistan, on Sept. 11. The United States and NATO have some 150,000 troops fighting the Taliban-led insurgency, most of them in the southern hotspots of Helmand and Kandahar provinces.
Rodrigo Abd / AP
A U.S. Army soldier from Scout Platoon 502 Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, searches an associate of a suspected Taliban IED planter, seen in the wheelbarrow, who was killed in a coalition missile strike in Zhari district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, on Oct. 10.
Rodrigo Abd / AP
A U.S. medevac helicopter arrives to evacuate Spc. Jeremy Kuehl, 24, of Altoona, Iowa, and the 1-320th Alpha Battery, 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. Kuehl was seriously wounded when he stepped on an improvised mine near Command Outpost Nolen in the volatile Arghandab Valley, near Kandahar, Afghanistan, on July 20.
Janek Skarzynski / AFP - Getty Images
Farmers help a horse jump into an amphibious vehicle in flooded Juliszew village in central Poland at Wisla River on May 24. Flash floods caused by days of heavy rain inundated parts of central Europe, killing at least 15 people in Poland.
Raymundo Ruiz / AP
Friends and relatives of Luis Alberto Vital, 17, mourn during a funeral service in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on Oct. 24. Vital was among the victims of a shootout during a teen's birthday party. More than 12,000 people have died this year in Mexico's drug war.
Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP
Raj Kaliya Dhanuk lies still on a bed with weights on her eyes after receiving local anesthesia at a community eye hospital in Hetauda, about 18 miles south of Katmandu, Nepal, on Feb 13. Dhanuk and more than 500 others, most of whom have never seen a doctor before, traveled for days by bicycle, motorbike, bus and even on their relatives' backs to reach Dr. Sanduk Ruit's mobile eye camp.
Ruit, known as Nepal's God of Sight, pioneered a simple surgical technique allowing cataracts to be removed safely without stitches through two small incisions. He estimates sight has been restored to several million people through his assembly-line approach.
Marco Dormino / AP
A Haitian man carries a coffin on his head in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 29 against a backdrop of damaged buildings. A magnitude-7 earthquake on Jan. 12 killed as many as 200,000 people.
Gregory Bull / AP
A man surveys the bodies of hundreds of earthquake victims at the morgue in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 14. Thousands of bodies were piled up throughout the capital city after the earthquake.
Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images
A street vendor tries to keep the crowd from stealing her goods in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 24. Desperation rose in the Haitian capital following the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.
Indranil Mukherjee / AFP - Getty Images
Containers fall from the deck of the damaged cargo ship MSC Chitra into the Arabian Sea on Aug. 9. The container ship collided with another vessel off the Indian coast near the city of Mumbai. Salvage teams worked for months to retrieve the containers, some of which were carrying hazardous chemicals
A man offers a rose to a woman to mark International Women's Day in Belgrade, Serbia, on March 8.
Cinema-goers watch the Bollywood movie "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" (The Big Hearted Will Take the Bride), starring actor Shah Rukh Khan, inside Maratha Mandir theater in Mumbai, India, on July 11. The 1995 film continued to set screening records throughout the year.
Hugo Infante / AFP - Getty Images
Miner Osman Araya, right, is welcomed by his wife Angelica as he emerges from a rescue capsule that pulled him to safety from the collapsed San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, on Oct. 13. Araya was the sixth of 33 trapped miners to be lifted from nearly a mile underground two months after being trapped by a collapse. More that 1 billion people around the world watched the rescue on live television, according to TVN, Chile's state broadcaster.