The Most Powerful Photos Of 2014 Will Blow You Away

Published December 13, 2014
Updated February 27, 2018

2014 was full of powerful moments both spectacular and devastating. We cheered for our countries in the Sochi Olympics and World Cup, came together as horrific weather conditions struck every part of the world, watched Ebola claim countless lives, and witnessed what felt like an endless stream of riots and protests both abroad and in our neighborhoods. We hope that this gallery of the most powerful photos of 2014 will help you remember all of the incredible, heartbreaking, life-changing and moving events that took place in the world this past year:

Powerful Photos Romanian Child
A Romanian Roma child. Roma children often live in deprived communities and face poverty levels that are four times higher than the national average. Source: TIME

Quiantang River Powerful Photos of 2014
A huge wave stuns spectators at the bank of China’s Qiantang River. Source: TIME

Pro-Russian Riots 2014
A mannequin sits upon the roof of a burned truck during a riot in Ukraine. Source: TIME

Palestinian Protesters
Israeli soldiers fire tear gas at Palestinian protesters during a weekly demonstration. Source: TIME

Most Powerful Photos of 2014 Kitten and Soldier
This pro-Russian separatist can’t resist a little kitten. Source: TIME

Life in Gaza 2014
A Palestinian girl in Gaza City, wielding a Kalashnikov rifle amid Islamic Jihad militants. Source: All That Is Interesting

Powerful Photos of 2014 Child Bride Thea
12-year-old Thea pretends to marry 37-year-old Geir to draw attention to the issue of child brides. Source: Global Citizen

MH17 Crash Powerful Photos of 2014
A flower arises from the remains of the MH17 crash in Ukraine. Source: ABC

Mount Sinabung Erupts 2014
Mount Sinabung erupts on Indonesia’s Sumatra island in February 2014. Source: Dark Room

Powerful Photos Sochi Olympics
Dancers perform at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Source: Boston

Murdered Giraffe Powerful Photos
Zoo staff kill, skin, and dissect a healthy giraffe named Marius, and then feed him to the zoo’s lions. Source: Greanville Post

Sex Workers Protest in Mexico City 2014
Sex workers in Mexico City wear skeleton masks to remember deceased colleagues. Sex workers are more likely to be victims of violence and other human-rights violations. Source: TIME

Alleged Rapist Beaten
As an alleged robber and rapist, this man is stripped and dumped in a gutter in Africa. Source: Nana Kofi

Child Injured from Israeli Airstrikes
Following Israeli airstrikes, Palestinians like this child face severe injuries and worse. Source: Daily Mail

World Cup Security
Security for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil cost an estimated $855M. Source: NBC

Kim Jong Un Plays with Kids
Kim Jong Un plays with children at Taesongsan General Hospital in a photo released in May 2014. Source: TIME

Kurdish Woman Most Powerful Photos of 2014
A Kurdish woman runs from a water canyon after Turkish authorities temporarily closed the border. Source: TIME

2014 Pollution in China Out of Hand
Polluted, contaminated water flows through a river in Cangnan county of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province. Source: Business Insider

Ebola Victim 2014 Powerful Photos
A blanket covers the body of Mekie Nagbe, an Ebola victim in Liberia. Source: IB Times

Redemption Powerful Photos of 2014
The mother of Abdolah Hosseinzadeh confront her son’s murderer before removing his noose and saving his life. Source: TIME

2014 Powerful Ferguson Protests
During a protest in Ferguson, Missouri, a man holds his hands up in remembrance of Michael Brown. Source: Pop Sugar

Greenpeace Protesters 2014
Wearing masks of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Greenpeace protesters demonstrate in Mexico City, Mexico. Source: TIME

California Drought Most Powerful Photos of 2014
California suffers from one of the worst droughts in its history. Source: ZME Science

If you enjoyed our collection of powerful photos, check out our other articles on interesting articles and shocking photos of pollution in China.

Kiri Picone
Bay Area transplant Kiri Picone is a writer and marketer who loves bizarre news and the color purple.