There’s something they say about words and pictures, so we won’t belabor this too much. Below you’ll find some of the most eye-catching photographs we ran on the site in the last year. Set aside some time to scroll through each one: They’re an amazing window onto everything that’s happening in the world–from Detroit’s collapse and the economic rise of China and the Middle East, to environmental disasters at home and abroad.
And then, less seriously, some great photos of those ridiculous fake tree cell phone towers, hilarious examples of what happens when strangers draw your Facebook photos, and a series of the true residents of Portland, who are crazier than anything you’ve seen on Portlandia. You’ll enjoy them all. And if that’s not enough, you can see our favorites from last year here.
1: Beautifully Mashed-Up Photos Show The Glory And Wreckage Of Detroit
The “Detroit Now and Then” project artfully combines vintage photos of the city with images of what’s there now, providing a poignant reminder of what the city was, what it is now and–maybe–what it could be again.
2: “Portraitlandia”: Photos Of Portland’s Most Portland-y Residents
If Portlandia were a photo series, it would probably look something like Kirk Crippens’s “Portraitlandia,” which features iconic Rose City residents in their natural habitats.
3: Look At These Chinese Workers Carrying Mind-Blowing Amounts Of Stuff
11: These Horrifying Photos Show A Destroyed American Landscape That Agriculture Giants Don’t Want You To See
These aerial images of industrial beef farming operations look less like shots of land and more like a post-apocalyptic nightmare.
12: These Photos Of Tiny, Futuristic Japanese Apartments Show How Micro Micro-Apartments Can Be
Micro-apartments are in vogue today. But in Japan, people have been living in the Nakagin Capsule Tower’s 100-square-foot housing for decades.
Read more of our best stories of the year in these categories: Top stories, infographics, photography, maps, buildings, design, cities, food, transportation, innovative workplaces, bikes, collaborative consumption, energy, crowdfunding, robots, environment, health, education
American photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio have traveled the world documenting that most basic of human behaviors—what we eat. Their project, “Hungry Planet,” depicts everything that an average family consumes in a given week—and what it costs. The pair released their book "Hungry Planet: What the World Eats" in 2005, showcasing meals in 24 countries.
The Ayme family of Tingo, Ecuador, was pictured with a haul of vegetables. The Natomo family of Kouakourou, in south-central Mali, sat for a portrait on the roof of their home with sacks of grains. And among the favorite foods listed by the Madsen family of Greenland was polar bear and the skin of a narwhal, or a medium-sized toothed whale.
In 2013 and 2014, their “Hungry Planet” portraits were exhibited by the Nobel Peace Center to give viewers a peek into kitchens from Norway to Kuwait and China to Mexico, and to raise awareness about how environments and cultures influence the cost and calories of the world’s dinners.