Photo: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
From the Olympics to the elections in Egypt and the U.S. to natural disasters that swept the world, this year is surely one for the books.We are featuring a selection of some of the most memorable moments in 2012 captured by photographers around the world in stunning, once-in-a-lifetime photographs that defined the year.
Italy's Marco Fois dives into the Tiber River from the 18 meter (59 feet) high Cavour Bridge in Rome, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, to celebrate the New Year.
Italy's Marco Fois dives into the Tiber River from the 18 meter (59 feet) high Cavour Bridge in Rome, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, to celebrate the New Year. (AP Photo / Gregorio Borgia)
GIGLIO PORTO, ITALY - JANUARY 16: The cruise ship Costa Concordia lies stricken off the shore of the island of Giglio, on January 16, 2012 in Giglio Porto, Italy. More than four thousand people were on board when the ship hit rocks last Friday. The official death toll is now six, with a further 16 people still missing. The rescue operation was temporarily suspended earlier due to the ship moving as it slowly sinks further into the sea. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer points during an intense conversation with President Barack Obama after he arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, in Mesa, Ariz. Asked moments later what the conversation was about, Brewer, a Republican, said: 'He was a little disturbed about my book.' Brewer recently published a book, 'Scorpions for Breakfast,' something of a memoir of her years growing up and defends her signing of Arizona's controversial law cracking down on illegal immigrants, which Obama opposes. Obama was objecting to Brewer's description of a meeting he and Brewer had at the White House, where she described Obama as lecturing her. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus wins women's singles final at the Australian Open, after defeating Maria Sharapova of Russia.
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus kisses the trophy during the awarding ceremony, after defeating Maria Sharapova of Russia in their women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship, in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
The 2012 European cold wave swept across Eastern and Northern Europe. Temperatures reached as low as −38.6 °F (recorded in Finland), and close to 1,000 died. The hardest hit areas were the Balkans and Romania, where snow reached close to 30 ft.
A woman looks out of a window covered in frost on a bus in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012. At least 11,000 villagers have been trapped by heavy snow and blizzards in Serbia's mountains, authorities said Thursday, as the death toll from Eastern Europe's weeklong deep freeze rose to 122, many of them homeless people. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Tiger Woods walks to his ball on the 15th green of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club shore course.
Tiger Woods walks to his ball on the 15th green of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club shore course as waves crash in the background during a practice round at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am PGA Tour golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A protester gestures at riot police during clashes outside the Greek parliament in Athens, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in the square outside Parliament as a parliamentary debate began, with more arriving constantly. As the crowds grew, a few hundred anarchists started to throw bottles and firebombs at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
People commemorate 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, killed by George Michael Zimmerman while on neighbourhood watch patrol in Sanford, Florida.
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: People along with New York City Council members attend a press conference to call for justice in the February 26 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on the steps of City Hall March 28, 2012 in New York City. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman while on neighbourhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
Actress Angelina Jolie arrives before the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
Residents look over the remains of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Ridgeway, Illinois. destroyed after it was struck by a tornado.
RIDGWAY, IL - MARCH 01: Residents look over the remains of St. Joseph's Catholic Church on March 1, 2012 in Ridgeway, Illinois. The 110-year-old church was completely destroyed after it was struck by a tornado early Tuesday morning. According to reports, at least 13 people died as severe weather swept through the middle of the country on Tuesday.
Vladimir Putin claims victory in Russia's presidential election and becomes president for the third time.
Russian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin, tears in his eyes, addresses a massive rally of supporters at Manezh square outside Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, on March 4, 2012. President Dmitry Medvedev stands behind him. Vladimir Putin claimed victory in Russia's presidential election, which the opposition and independent observers say was marred by widespread violations. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
The remains of Army Spc. Daquane D. Rivers, who died in Afghanistan, at a loader ramp at Dover Air Force Base, Del.
The transfer case containing the remains of Army Spc. Daquane D. Rivers of Marianna, Fla., sits at the end of the loader ramp during a foggy night, upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Del. on Saturday, March 17, 2012. The Department of defence announced the death of Rivers who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
A Tibetan activist screams as he runs engulfed in flames after self-immolating at a protest in New Delhi, India, ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the country.
A Tibetan man screams as he runs engulfed in flames after self-immolating at a protest in New Delhi, India, ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the country, on March 26, 2012. The Tibetan activist lit himself on fire at the gathering and was rushed to hospital with unknown injuries, reports said. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
President Barack Obama sits on the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum following an event in Dearborn, Mich., April 18, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama and European leaders watch the overtime shootout of the Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich Champions League final.
Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and others watch the overtime shootout of the Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich Champions League final, in the Laurel Cabin conference room during the G8 Summit at Camp David, Md., May 19, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
A violent scuffle erupts in Ukraine's parliament over a bill that would allow the use of the Russian language in courts, hospitals and other institutions.
Lawmakers from pro-presidential and oppositional factions in the parliament session hall in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 24, 2012. A violent scuffle erupted in Ukraine's parliament over a bill that would allow the use of the Russian language in courts, hospitals and other institutions in the Russian-speaking regions of the country. (AP Photo/Maks Levin)
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, flanked by his daughter and brother, announces his presidential candidacy at a re-election launch rally.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez waves to the crowd while riding atop a truck upon his arrival to the elections office in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, June 11, 2012. Chavez rallied thousands of his supporters wearing his signature red beret and blowing kisses to the crowd as he formalized his presidential candidacy and launched his re-election bid. Second from left is Chavez's younger daugther Rosines and at right his brother Adan.(AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood overcome by emotion is carried onto the stage as Egyptians celebrate the election of their new president Mohamed Morsi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.
CAIRO, EGYPT - JUNE 24: A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood overcome by emotion is carried onto the stage as Egyptians celebrate the election of their new president Mohamed Morsi in Tahrir Square on June 24, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. Official election results today confirmed that Mohamed Morsi is to be the next president of Egypt. Morsi received over 13 million or 51.7% of the votes, while his main rival, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, received 48.27 per cent. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Fire from the Waldo Canyon wildfire burns as it moved into subdivisions and destroyed homes in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.
Mario Balotelli (R) of Italy celebrates with team-mate Claudio Marchisio after scoring his team's second goal as Philipp Lahm of Germany shows his dejection during the UEFA EURO 2012 semi final match.
WARSAW, POLAND - JUNE 28: Mario Balotelli (R) of Italy celebrates with team-mate Claudio Marchisio after scoring his team's second goal as Philipp Lahm of Germany shows his dejection during the UEFA EURO 2012 semi final match between Germany and Italy at the National Stadium on June 28, 2012 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
A cow jumps over revelers in a bullring during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Fiesta, in Pamplona, Spain.
A cow jumps over revelers in a bullring during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin Fiesta, in Pamplona, Spain - July 8, 2012 (AP Photo/Ivan Aguinaga)
People wearing Batman shirts arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for the arraignment of accused theatre gunman James Holmes.
CENTENNIAL, CO - JULY 30: People wearing Batman shirts arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for the arraignment of accused theatre gunman James Holmes July 30, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes is charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the July 20, shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Penn State students and others react to the sanctions the NCAA announced against Penn State for the university's mishandling of the allegations of child-sexual abuse by former coach Jerry Sandusky.
STATE COLLEGE, PA - JULY 23: Penn State students and others react to the sanctions the NCAA announced against Penn State in the HUB on the campus of Penn State on July 23, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. As an outcome of the university's mishandling of the allegations of child-sexual abuse by former coach Jerry Sandusky, Penn State was fined $60 million, was stripped of all its football wins from 1998 through 2011, barred from postseason games for four years, and lost 20 total scholarships annually for four seasons. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
U.S. gymnast Gabrielle Douglas performs on the balance beam during the artistic gymnastics women's individual all-around competition at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, on Thursday, August 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
U.S. silver medalist gymnast McKayla Maroney makes a facial expression during the podium ceremony for the artistic gymnastics women's vault finals.
U.S. silver medalist gymnast McKayla Maroney gestures during the podium ceremony for the artistic gymnastics women's vault finals at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
This patch of windblown sand and dust downhill from a cluster of dark rocks is the 'Rocknest' site, which has been selected as the likely location for first use of the scoop on the arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity.
U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad prepares to jump into the water and start her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba.
U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad adjusts her swimming cap as a woman applies a protective ointment to her skin as she prepares to jump into the water and start her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012. Endurance athlete Nyad launched another bid Saturday to set an open-water record by swimming from Havana to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
An Afghan refugee boy poses with a plastic rifle as he and other children celebrate the first day of the Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan.
An Afghan refugee boy poses with a plastic rifle as he and other children celebrate the first day of the Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim calendar's ninth and holiest month during which followers are required to abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
President Obama surprises former President Bill Clinton after his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Former President Bill Clinton bows as President Barack Obama walks on stage after Clinton's address to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Syrian man cries while holding the body of his son near Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/ Manu Brabo)
Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumps from a helium balloon in the stratosphere in a 24-mile drop to break the sound barrier.
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and his wife, Janna, walk together from their campaign planes at Akron-Canton Regional Airport in Akron, Ohio.
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and his wife, Janna, walk together from their campaign planes at Akron-Canton Regional Airport in Akron, Ohio, Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. Ryan met Romney on the tarmac after his plane landed at the airport. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 02: Manhattan is seen from the Staten Island Ferry on November 2, 2012 in New York City. Hundreds of thousands of people in Staten Island remained without electricity in Staten Island, although power was restored Friday to parts of lower Manhatten. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
The Breezy Point in Queens, New York after the neighbourhood was destroyed by a fire during Hurricane Sandy.
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: A Virgin Mary is all that remains from a home which was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy October 30, 2012 in the Breezy Point neighbourhood of the Queens borough of New York City. At least a few dozen people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy as millions of people in the eastern United States have awoken to widespread power outages, flooded homes and downed trees. New York City was hit especially hard with widespread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The foundations to the historic Rockaway boardwalk in Queens are all that remain after it was washed away during Hurricane Sandy.
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: The foundations to the historic Rockaway boardwalk are all that remain after it was washed away during Hurricane Sandy on October 31, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City. With the death toll currently at 55 and millions of homes and businesses without power, the U.S. east coast is attempting to recover from the effects of floods, fires and power outages brought on by superstorm Sandy. JFK airport in New York and Newark airport in New Jersey expect to resume flights on Wednesday morning and the New York Stock Exchange commenced trading after being closed for two days. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A roller coaster, part of the amusement pier in Seaside Heights, NJ is partially submerged in the Atlantic Ocean after Hurricane Sandy.
BBC journalist weeps while he holds the body of his 11-month-old son Ahmad, at a Gaza hospital following an Israeli air strike on their house.
Jihad Masharawi weeps while he holds the body of his 11-month-old son Ahmad, at Shifa hospital following an Israeli air strike on their family house, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The Israeli military said its assassination of the Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari, marks the beginning of an operation against Gaza militants. (AP Photo/Majed Hamdan)
U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) arrives for a news conference about the fiscal cliff on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 30: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) arrives for a news conference November 30, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Speaker Boehner held a news conference to respond to U.S. President Barack Obama on the fiscal cliff issue saying 'There is a stalemate. Let's not kid ourselves.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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