Through the natural process of evolution, earthly processes have created some of the most bizarre-looking creatures to wander this planet. Often relegated to remote, semi-unpopulated areas, they are difficult to study, and are often in danger of extinction.
What makes a photo surprising? Sometimes it’s the picture’s composition, other times it’s capturing an intriguing subject at just the right moment. Our gallery of the most surprising photos of 2014 features…
A Photo History Of US-Cuba Relations
There’s an easy way and a hard way to explain the contours of the United States’ relationship with Cuba. The hard way involves complex trade agreements, omnipresent Cold War fears, and the rationality of imperialist glut. The easy way is to imagine how the most self-absorbed man you know would respond to a slight woman who rejected him and instead decided to hang out with the weird guy down the street who liked the color red, and who said self-absorbed man absolutely hates.
Either way you slice it, that relationship is about to change. Just this past Wednesday, Barack Obama announced plans to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, ushering in a new wave of diplomacy between the famously feuding neighbors. The BBC has chosen to explain the story through photos, and we highly recommend you check them out.
Mom and apple pie are like baseball and the Cuban blockade—traditional American institutions that define us as a people and give our history much of its unique look and feel. But America has other, less savory traditions, and one of the worst—sadly, not the worst—was segregation.
The name “Jim Crow” was first used for a stock character in depressingly popular minstrel shows from around 1830 to the 1940s. After the Civil War and the attendant ratification of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, which officially made everybody equal, the name was applied to a set of laws that excluded nonwhites from mainstream society and created a primarily black underclass that was kept in its place via a nationwide campaign of bullying, intimidation, and blood-curdling violence.
Everything in this slideshow is horrible, and if it disturbs you—good. Don’t let it happen again.
Our world is always changing, always moving. Perhaps it is for this reason that nature photography can be so captivating. Whether the photographer captures an incredible sunset or catches a rarely seen creature in its natural setting, the moments that appear in these images are unique and fleeting.
Tap into your creative side with some of the best nature photography of 2014. Touching all parts of the world in every season, this gallery is sure to make you appreciate all that Mother Nature has provided.
Can’t get enough nature? Check out our original nature GIFs or check out these Planet Earth mashups: