Flint, Michigan Water Crisis
The water crisis is also a possible cause of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak, which has killed 10 people.
Several lawsuits and indictments of public officials later, reports say lead levels are under control – but many Flint residents still claim to have undrinkable water.b24chicago/Flickr
North Korean Nuclear Tests
According to North Korean sources, the second test, on September 9, showed success for a warhead that could be mounted onto a rocket.
World leaders almost universally condemned both tests, with President Obama stating that they represent "a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability."JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images
David Bowie Dies
Alan Rickman Dies
Zika Virus Spreads
The World Health Organization warned pregnant women not to travel, as reported Zika outbreaks were occurring in 23 countries. Thankfully, as of November 18, Zika lost its public emergency status. conred/Flickr
Terrorist Attacks In Brussels
Garry Shandling Dies
He’d suffered from no known disease or illness, and it’s widely thought (though not confirmed) that he died of a heart attack.
He was most known for The Larry Sanders Show, which earned dozens of award nominations and plaudits from critics.Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
Patty Duke Dies
Outside of acting, Duke earned acclaim for later writing about the bipolar disorder from which she suffered.Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Tributes poured in from all around the world, in memory of the artist, who we would later learn died of an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl. BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images
While many signs point to a fire as the cause, some French authorities claim that Egypt may be covering up certain information. Furthermore, French news outlet Le Figaro claimed that traces of TNT were found on board. Ultimately, the full details behind the crash, as of now, remain a mystery.KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images
Muhammad Ali Dies
The heavyweight champion started boxing at the age of 12. He won a gold medal at the Rome Olympics in 1960, and went on to become three-time lineal heavyweight champion.
Ali set an example of racial pride for African-Americans and resistance to white oppression during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. He also refused his draft into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. Found guilty of draft evasion and stripped of his boxing titles, Ali successfully appealed in the U.S. Supreme Court and got his conviction overturned. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Pulse Nightclub Shooting
He started shooting, and ultimately killed 49 people and wounded at least 53 others in this horrendous hate crime. Mateen called 911 during the attack and pledged his allegiance to ISIS.
Following a three-hour standoff, police crashed into the building with an armored vehicle and killed the perpetrator, who had been a person of interest to the FBI since 2013, when he stated that he had Al Qaeda connections. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Still, 52 percent of voters were in favor of leaving the Union. Though there is still quite a bit of time before UK’s exit, currency exchange rates have plummeted and the UK has seen slow economic growth.Mary Turner/Getty Images
Istanbul Airport Attack
Although the group did not officially claim responsibility for the attack, Turkish authorities generally agree that ISIS was responsible.Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images
Terrorist Attacks in Nice, France
This resulted in the deaths of 86 people, and caused injury to 434 others.
Police ended the attack by shooting the perpetrator, and five accomplices were charged with "criminal conspiracy in relation to a terrorist enterprise."GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images
The Syrian Refugee Crisis Worsens
Following the 2015 Paris terror attacks, 31 state governments in the US protested the admission of Syrian refugees to their states, with some seeking to block their admission. These efforts to block refugees have been unsuccessful in court. BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images
Stabbings In Japan
Satoshi Uematsu broke into the Tokyo facility – where he used to work – on July 26 and tied up caregivers so he could move freely about the building. When he was done, 19 people were dead and 26 were injured.
Uematsu surrendered himself to the police, telling them, “It’s better that disabled people disappear.” JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images
Boko Haram Attacks Worsen
Unfortunately, 2016 saw new terrorist attacks by the group, whose main goal is to implement Islamic law in Nigeria and who forbids any activity associated with Western civilization.
Along with the kidnapping of 276 young girls in 2014 (more than 200 are still in captivity) Boko Haram attacked two Nigerian villages and dispatched two suicide bombers to refugee camps in February, killing at least 88 people.ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
Global Heat Records Continue
“In the last 30 years we’ve really moved into exceptional territory,” says Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “It’s unprecedented in 1,000 years. There’s no period that has the trend seen in the 20th century in terms of the inclination (of temperatures).”Ian Waldie/Getty Images
ISIS Threat Continues
Cholera in Haiti
Now, after Hurricane Matthew, cholera has risen to epidemic status, affecting more than 7,800 Haitian people in 2016 alone.
“What we see now is that cholera occurs among the poorest of the poor because they have very limited access to safe water. You have to drink very bad water to get cholera, and if people drink from a contaminated water source, it means they have no alternative.” – WHO cholera response teamJoe Raedle/Getty Images
The Beleaguered Rio Olympics
Gene Wilder Dies
Massive Cyber Attack
Twitter, Paypal, Spotify, and more were unavailable during certain times of the day, as the internet infrastructure company Dyn was dealing with “distributed denial-of-service” attacks.
The disturbing development in this hack was the use of smart devices making up the “internet of things” such as web-connected home thermostats and baby monitors. New strains of malware used these devices to help carry out the attack, unbeknownst to their owners. Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images
Afghan Civilians Suffer Mightily
“Civilians have been killed by crossfire, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), assassinations, bombings, and night raids into houses of suspected insurgents” says the Watson Institute at Brown University.
About 104,000 people have died in the Afghanistan war since 2001.FARSHAD USYAN/AFP/Getty Images
Leonard Cohen Dies
Florence Henderson Dies
John Glenn Dies
After serving in the military in both World War II and the Korean War, rising to the rank of colonel, Glenn made history as one of the world's first astronauts and the first American to orbit the Earth. After retiring from NASA, Glenn served as a Democratic Senator for his home state of Ohio from 1974 through 1999.Jason Miller/Getty Images
The year 2016 was a roller coaster of sadness that just refused to quit. By the time we were just 14 days in, both David Bowie and Alan Rickman had left us, setting a tone of mourning that would last throughout the year. Indeed, 2016 took more than its fair share of beloved entertainers, saw too many senseless tragedies, and just seemed all around terrible.
Before we lay 2016 to rest (at last), let’s look back at some of the greatest losses and worldwide crises that this excruciatingly depressing year dealt us.