Daily Picture Show

2011 Replayed In Iconic Photos

The pace of news is getting faster and faster — especially when a story can be captured in a single image. We were flooded with photos from the Middle East uprisings this year. And floods dominated the news, too; in Japan, Thailand, Vicksburg, scenes of high waters made a lasting impression.

It was a year of destruction and disaster — the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the back-to-back tragedies in Japan. But there were also the lighthearted events: a royal wedding and a good year for Ryan Gosling, if you know your memes, but we won't go there.

For better or worse, here are some of the images that topped our click charts.

Jan. 9: The office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords releases photos from the hospital that show nothing more than her hand.

The hands of Mark Kelly and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. i i
Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords/AP
The hands of Mark Kelly and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords/AP

Feb. 11: Egyptian anti-government protesters celebrate under fireworks at Cairo's Tahrir Square after president Hosni Mubarak steps down.

Egyptian anti-government protesters celebrate under fireworks at Cairo's Tahrir Square after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down. i i
Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images
Egyptian anti-government protesters celebrate under fireworks at Cairo's Tahrir Square after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.
Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

Feb. 24: Space shuttle Discovery, NASA's oldest surviving space shuttle, rockets up into the sky for a final voyage. A photo taken from a commercial flight gives a unique perspective.

Launch of Discovery, seen from a commercial jet. i i
@Crooooow/reddit
Launch of Discovery, seen from a commercial jet.
@Crooooow/reddit

May 11: Homemade levees are a last-ditch effort for residents of Vicksburg in the Mississippi River floods.

A levee protects a home surrounded by floodwaters from the Yazoo River near Vicksburg, Miss., May 18. i i
Scott Olson/Getty Images
A levee protects a home surrounded by floodwaters from the Yazoo River near Vicksburg, Miss., May 18.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Oct. 5: Apple CEO Steve Jobs dies; the company's website is transformed into a temporary memorial.

A screen grab shows Apple's website on the day of Steve Jobs' death.
apple.com

March 14: A screen grab taken from news footage by Japanese public broadcaster NHK shows the moment of a hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station's No. 3 reactor.

A screen grab taken from news footage by Japanese public broadcaster NHK shows the moment of a hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station's No. 3 reactor on March 14. i i
AFP/Getty Images
A screen grab taken from news footage by Japanese public broadcaster NHK shows the moment of a hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station's No. 3 reactor on March 14.
AFP/Getty Images

March 15: Neena Sasaki, 5, carries family belongings from her home that was destroyed after the earthquake and tsunami in Rikuzentakata, Miyagi province, Japan.

Neena Sasaki, 5, carries some of the family belongings from her home that was destroyed after the earthquake and tsunami in Rikuzentakata, Miyagi province, Japan, March 15. i i
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
Neena Sasaki, 5, carries some of the family belongings from her home that was destroyed after the earthquake and tsunami in Rikuzentakata, Miyagi province, Japan, March 15.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

April 29: Three-year-old Grace van Cutsem, a bridesmaid in the royal wedding and Prince William's godchild, was not as wild about the wedding as the roaring crowd. (The meme it became.)

Three-year-old Grace van Cutsem, a bridesmaid and Prince William's godchild, may have had enough of the roaring crowd. i i
Matt Dunham/AP
Three-year-old Grace van Cutsem, a bridesmaid and Prince William's godchild, may have had enough of the roaring crowd.
Matt Dunham/AP

May 26: Before and after photos show the destruction in Joplin, Mo., after a tornado leveled much of the town.

Interactive

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Before-and-after images show the area around Joplin High School -- or what now remains of it -- just two days after a tornado leveled most of Joplin, Mo., on Sunday.

May 2: The White House releases a photo from inside the Situation Room, as President Obama and members of his national security team receive an update from Pakistan, as the operation to capture or kill Osama bin Laden unfolds. (The meme it became.)

President Obama, Vice President Biden and members of the president's national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House. A classified document seen in this photograph has been obscured. i i
Pete Souza/White House
President Obama, Vice President Biden and members of the president's national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House. A classified document seen in this photograph has been obscured.
Pete Souza/White House

June 16: A "mystery couple" is photographed making out amid riots in Vancouver.

The photo that has folks fascinated. i i
Rich Lam/Getty Images
The photo that has folks fascinated.
Rich Lam/Getty Images

Nov. 18: An image from a video shows a police officer using pepper spray on Occupy demonstrators at the University of California, Davis. (And the meme.)

In this image made from video, a police officer uses pepper spray as he walks down a line of Occupy demonstrators sitting on the ground at the University of California, Davis, on Nov. 18. i i
Thomas K. Fowler/AP
In this image made from video, a police officer uses pepper spray as he walks down a line of Occupy demonstrators sitting on the ground at the University of California, Davis, on Nov. 18.
Thomas K. Fowler/AP

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