TIME’s Top 100 Photos of 2017 are Beyond Belief

TIME’s best 100 photos of the year never fail to impress.

Continuing on tradition, the editor’s at TIME have handpicked a visual compilation of some of the most important political, social, cultural and environmental events of 2017. Whether it’s children standing over the coffin of their fatally malnourished cousin in Venezuela, NFL players ‘taking a knee’ in protest against police brutality, or festival goers running from gunfire in the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting, it’s a harrowing look at the year that was.

TIME got the backstory behind 10 photos (which you can read here), including the widely circulated photo of a couple sitting in their destroyed high-rise apartment in Puerto Rico, and the starving polar bear that shocked everyone in the world with brain cells—because surely only a very stable genius would be able to see an emaciated polar bear as terrifying sign of global warming’s disastrous effects? Nah.

To see all of TIME’s Top 100 Photos of 2017, head here.

Afghan boys sleep in an abandoned train wagon next to the main rail station in Belgrade, Serbia, on Jan. 12. Francesco Pistilli
A performer with a lion during a Ringling Bros. circus in Baltimore on April 28. Andres Kudacki for TIME
Iraqi special forces soldiers care for a child who was carried out of a final pocket still controlled by Islamic State fighters in Mosul on July 12. Ivor Prickett—The New York Times/Redux
The frozen clothes of migrants living in abandoned buildings near Belgrade’s main train station hang on trees on Jan. 15. Alessandro Penso
An emaciated polar bear struggles to move across the tundra on Somerset Island, in the Canadian Arctic, in July. Cristina Mittermeier—SeaLegacy
Syrians sit down for a meal during Ramadan on a damaged street in Douma, outside Damascus, on June 18. Hamza Al-Ajweh—AFP/Getty Images
A truck drives down a dirt road in the Pilbara, western Australia, on March 2. Adam Ferguson—The New York Times/Redux
DeAndre Harris, a black man, is attacked by several white men during protests near a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12. Zach D Roberts—NurPhoto/ZUMA Press
Residents view the first iceberg of the season as it passes the South Shore, known as “Iceberg Alley,” near Ferryland in Newfoundland, Canada, on April 16. Greg Locke—Reuters
Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman smokes a cigar at a coffee shop at the Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, on June 15. Wong Maye-E—AP/Shutterstock
Two different groups share a meal at Five Guys in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20. Ruddy Roye for TIME
Mohammad Mohiedine Anis, 70, smokes a pipe in his destroyed bedroom listening to music on his vinyl player in Aleppo’s formerly rebel-held al-Shaar neighborhood on March 9. Joseph Eid—AFP/Getty Images
A woman carries an exhausted child as she flees fighting between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants in southwest Mosul. Emanuele Satolli for TIME
Students play soccer near a coal plant in Poca, West Virginia, on Aug. 30. George Etheredge—The New York Times/Redux
Caleb Amisi Luyai, an opposition politician of the National Super Alliance coalition, reacts after a gas canister fired by policemen hits his car during a protest in Nairobi on Oct. 13. Baz Ratner—Reuters
A demonstrator catches fire, after the gas tank of a police motorbike exploded, during clashes at a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas on May 3. Juan Barreto—AFP/Getty Images

Sign up for the Monster Children Newsletter