A picture is worth a thousand words, but not all pictures are created equal. The pictures we usually feature on Thinking Humanity can be cute, beautiful, funny, or enchanting, but these pictures are powerful. They are gripping and unforgettable because of the volumes they speak about the human condition – about some of the best and worst moments of contemporary human existence.
We should warn our readers that some of these pictures may upset them, while others may fill them with joy. But that’s precisely because these images reflect some of the best and worst parts of the human experience and world events. Our post of must-see photos from the past described our history while these photos, for the most part, describe our present – our suffering and our triumphs, our perseverance and our failures, our compassion and our hatred, our intelligence and our stupidity.
Some of these photographs may mean more to some of our readers than to others. But hopefully, they will remind us all that the world can always use a little bit more love, tolerance, compassion, and understanding.
P.S: we always try our best to credit each and every photographer, but sometimes it’s impossible to track some of them. Please leave a comment if you know the missing authors.
1. Starving boy and missionary
2. Inside an Auschwitz gas chamber
3. Heart surgeon after 23-hour-long (successful) heart transplant. His assistant is sleeping in the corner
4. Father and son (1949 vs 2009)
5. Diego Frazão Torquato, 12 year old Brazilian playing the violin at his teacher’s funeral. The teacher had helped him escape poverty and violence through music
6. A Russian soldier playing an abandoned piano in Chechnya in 1994
7. Young man just found out his brother was killed
Nhat V. Meyer
8. Christians protect Muslims during prayer in the midst of the 2011 uprisings in Cairo, Egypt
9. A firefighter gives water to a koala during the devastating Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, Australia, in 2009
10. Terri Gurrola is reunited with her daughter after serving in Iraq for 7 months
11. Indian homeless men wait to receive free food distributed outside a mosque ahead of Eid al-Fitr in New Delhi, India
Tsering Topgyal / AP
12. Zanjeer the dog saved thousands of lives during Mumbai serial blasts in March 1993 by detecting more than 3,329 kgs of the explosive RDX, 600 detonators, 249 hand grenades and 6406 rounds of live ammunition. He was buried with full honors in 2000
STR News / Reuters
13. Man Falling from the World Trade Center on 9/11. “The Falling Man.”
Richard Drew /AP
14. Alcoholic father with his son
15. Embracing couple in the rubble of a collapsed factory
16. Sunset on Mars
17. Five-year-old gypsy boy on New Year’s Eve 2006 in the gypsy community of St. Jacques, Perpignan, Southern France. It is quite common in St. Jacques for little boys to smoke
18. Hhaing The Yu, 29, holds his face in his hand as rain falls on the decimated remains of his home near Myanmar’s capital of Yangon (Rangoon). In May 2008, cyclone Nargis struck southern Myanmar, leaving millions homeless and claiming more than 100,000 lives
19. A dog named “Leao” sits for a second consecutive day at the grave of her owner, who died in the disastrous landslides near Rio de Janiero in 2011.
Vanderlei Almeida / Getty Images
20. “Wait For Me Daddy,” by Claude P. Dettloff in New Westminster, Canada, October 1, 1940
21. An old WW2 Russian tank veteran finally found the old tank in which he passed through the entire war – standing in a small Russian town as a monument
22. Flower power
23. A woman sits amidst the wreckage caused by a massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami, in Natori, northern Japan, in March 2011
Asahi Shimbun, Toshiyuki Tsunenari /AP
24. The Graves of a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband, Holland, 1888
25. Greg Cook hugs his dog Coco after finding her inside his destroyed home in Alabama following the Tornado in March, 2012
Gary Cosby Jr. / AP
26. Demonstration of condom usage at a public market in Jayapura, capital of Papua, 2009
27. Russian soldiers preparing for the Battle of Kursk, July 1943
28. During massive floods in Cuttack City, India, in 2011, a heroic villager saved numerous stray cats by carrying them with a basket balanced on his head
Biswaranjan Rout / AP
29. An Afghan man offers tea to soldiers
Rafiq Maqbool / AP
30. Some parents, likely now in their 70’s, still looking for their missing child.
Source: Bored Panda