Here Are The Most Powerful Photos Of The Decade

The 2010s were defined by mass political upheaval, breakthroughs in science in technology, gun violence across the country, and a slew of natural disasters.

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BuzzFeed News combed through thousands of pictures from this past decade, paring down to a handful for each year that best represent the ethos and events that shaped the world as we know it today. While this list could not include every major world event of the last decade, we attempted to collect images that were singularly powerful and spoke to larger social shifts. Here are the most powerful photos from the 2010s.

The White House / Getty Images

President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, and members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011.

Michael Appleton / The New York Time

Firefighters react in Times Square after President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed Osama bin Laden, in New York, May 1, 2011.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Marines prepare to carry the body of Cpl. Jorge Villarreal of San Antonio, Texas, with India Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment to a medevac helicopter near Forward Operating Base Zeebrugge on Oct. 17, 2010, in Kajaki, Afghanistan. Villarreal was killed on the patrol after stepping on an improvised explosive device.

Handout / Getty Images

Destroyed houses after an earthquake on Jan. 13, 2010, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Amr Dalsh / Reuters

Anti-government protesters celebrate inside Tahrir Square after the announcement of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's resignation in Cairo, Feb. 11, 2011.

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

A rebel fighter celebrates as his comrades fire a rocket barrage toward the positions of troops loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi on April 14, 2011, west of Ajdabiya, Libya.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

A large gathering of protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement attend a rally in Union Square, Nov. 17, 2011.

Bloomberg / Getty Images

Smoke billows from controlled oil burns near the site of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, on June 19, 2010.


A wave approaches Miyako City, Japan, from the Heigawa estuary in Iwate Prefecture after a magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck the area on March 11, 2011.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Waves break around an amusement park destroyed by Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 31, 2012, in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

Aaron Fuhrman / Getty Images

A person surveys damage one day after a tornado tore through Joplin, Missouri, on May 23, 2011.

Universal History Archive / Universal Images Group via Getty

The first color 360-degree panorama of Mars from NASA's Curiosity rover, Aug. 12, 2012.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

A woman kneels at the memorial for victims of a movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, July 25, 2012.

Handout / Reuters

The Space Shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flies over Washington, DC, on April 17, 2012. Discovery, the first orbiter retired from NASA's shuttle fleet, completed 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times, and traveled 148,221,675 miles.

The White House / Getty Images

President Barack Obama sits on the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum on April 18, 2012, in Dearborn, Michigan.

Mary Altaffer / AP

Ban Ki-moon (left), the secretary-general of the United Nations, applauds as members of the "Malala Day" Youth Assembly wish Malala Yousafzai (center) a happy birthday, on July 12, 2013, at the UN headquarters in New York City.

Afp Contributor / Getty Images

Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan march a religious procession in Tolosa on the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on Nov. 18, 2013, over one week after the storm devastated the area.

John Tlumacki / Boston Globe / AP

Bill Iffrig, 78, who was knocked to the ground after a second explosion at the Boston Marathon, is surrounded by police rushing to the scene, April 15, 2013.

Afp / Getty Images

The Westgate Mall in Nairobi after the deadly siege by Islamist militants, Sept. 21, 2013.

Osman Orsal / Reuters

A Turkish riot police officer uses tear gas on people protesting the destruction of trees in a park, in Taksim Square, Istanbul, May 28, 2013.

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Anti-government protesters clash with police in Kyiv, Ukraine, despite a truce between the Ukrainian president and opposition leaders on Feb. 20, 2014. After several weeks of calm, violence flared between police and anti-government protesters, who called for the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych over corruption and an abandoned trade agreement with the European Union.

Sabah Arar / Getty Images

Fully veiled Iraqi women in Baghdad flash the sign for victory with their ink-stained fingers after casting their vote in Iraq's first parliamentary election since the withdrawal of US troops, April 30, 2014.

Robert Cohen / AP

A demonstrator throws back a tear gas container after tactical officers worked to break up a group of bystanders in St. Louis, Aug. 13, 2014. Several nights of unrest erupted in a St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teenager was killed by police.

John Moore / Getty Images

Omu Fahnbulleh stands over her husband, Ibrahim, after he staggered and fell, knocking him unconscious in an Ebola ward on Aug. 15, 2014, in Monrovia, Liberia.

Mark Ralston / Getty Images

Marina owner Mitzi Richards carries her granddaughter as they walk on their boat dock at the dried-up lake bed of Huntington Lake, California, Sept. 23, 2014. At the time of this picture, California was in the grip of its third year of severe drought, the worst in decades.

Nilufer Demir / AP

A paramilitary police officer investigates the scene before carrying the body of Alan Kurdi, a 3-year-old Syrian, from the shore near Bodrum, Turkey, Sept. 2, 2015.

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Demonstrators make their way along Boulevard Voltaire in a unity rally in Paris on Jan. 11, 2015, following terrorist attacks in the city. The attacks began at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, where 12 people were killed; they ended with sieges at a printing company in Dammartin-en-Goële and a kosher supermarket in Paris, where four Jewish hostages were killed.

Dominique Faget / Getty Images

People run after hearing explosions and gunshots near Place de la République Square in Paris, Nov. 13, 2015. The terrorists killed 131 people in a coordinated attack in the city.

Sameer Al-doumy / Getty Images

A Syrian gamer plays Pokémon Go on his cellphone amid the rubble in the besieged rebel-controlled town of Douma, July 23, 2016.

Daniella Zalcman

Riders from the Standing Rock, Rosebud, and Lower Brule Lakota reservations come together on horseback to push back a police line that had formed between a group of protesters and the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site, Aug. 17, 2016.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

President Obama participates in a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, March 7, 2015. Also pictured are first lady Michelle Obama, Rep. John Lewis, former first lady Laura Bush, and former president George W. Bush. The event came on the 50th anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" march at the bridge, where police and state troopers beat and used tear gas against peaceful marchers who were advocating against racial discrimination at the voting booth.

Jason Miczek / Reuters

The Confederate battle flag is permanently removed from the South Carolina State House grounds in Columbia, July, 10, 2015.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

Supporters of marriage equality rejoice outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, after the high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states, June 26, 2015.

Mark Wallheiser / Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, Aug. 21, 2015.

Jonathan Bachman / Reuters

Ieshia Evans is detained by law enforcement as she protests the shooting death of Alton Sterling near the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters in Louisiana, July 9, 2016.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question from the audience during the presidential town hall debate in St. Louis, Oct. 9, 2016.

Adam Fenster / Reuters

The grave of women's suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony is covered with "I Voted" stickers from voters in the US presidential election at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York, Nov. 8, 2016.

Pool / Getty Images

A boy listens as President Obama speaks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 46th Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner in Washington, DC, Sept. 17 2016.

Pool New / Reuters

Ground personnel help US astronaut Scott Kelly get out of a Soyuz capsule shortly after landing near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, March 2, 2016.

Ronaldo Schemidt / Getty Images

A demonstrator catches fire during a clash with riot police within a protest in Caracas against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, May 3, 2017.

Maad Al-zikry / AP

Udai Faisal, an infant with acute malnutrition, is hospitalized at Al-Sabeen Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen, in this March 22, 2016, photo. Udai died March 24.

Afp Contributor / Getty Images

Linnéa Engström, a Swedish member of the European Parliament, sits behind a placard at her desk that reads "#MeToo" during a debate about combating sexual harassment and abuse in the European Union at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Oct. 25, 2017.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Protesters walk during the Women's March in Washington, DC, Jan. 21, 2017.

Michael Zagaris / Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers kneel and stand together during the national anthem prior to the game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indiana, Oct. 8, 2017.

Zach D. Roberts / Nurphoto / Getty Images

Neo-Nazi, alt-right, and white supremacist protesters with torches encircle counterprotesters at a Thomas Jefferson statue on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 11, 2017.

Brian Blanco / Getty Images

A man wearing a T-shirt with swastikas on it is punched by an unidentified member of the crowd near the site of a planned speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Florida, Oct. 19, 2017.

David Becker / Getty Images

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after a shooter opened fire on the crowd on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, where 58 people died and hundreds more were injured.

Kevin Mazur

Ariana Grande wipes away a tear as she performs onstage during the One Love Manchester benefit concert at the Old Trafford cricket ground on June 4, 2017, in Manchester, England. Two weeks before, 22 people died in a terrorist bombing after one of her shows at Manchester Arena.


Flames leap from windows at Grenfell Tower in London as over 200 firefighters work to extinguish the blaze, June 14, 2017.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Indian model Reshma Qureshi has makeup applied before walking to present Indian designer Archana Kochhar's spring/summer 2017 collections during New York Fashion Week, Sept. 8, 2016. Qureshi was attacked with sulfuric acid at age 17 in May 2014.

Roger Kisby for BuzzFeed News

People in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, which has rebranded itself as Eclipseville, watch the total solar eclipse, Aug. 21, 2017.

Ricardo Arduengo / Getty Images

A man rides his bicycle through a damaged road in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria passed through the area, Sept. 24, 2017.

Andrea DiCenzo for BuzzFeed News

Mosul, Iraq, is left in ruins after three years of ISIS rule and war, July 14, 2017.

Ammar Abdullah / Reuters

A man carries the body of a dead child after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, April 4, 2017.

Hannah Mckay / Reuters

An exhausted Rohingya refugee cries for help as they continue traveling after fleeing Myanmar for Palang Khali, near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, Nov. 2, 2017.

Stephanie Keith / Reuters

A sign saying "My family is detained at JFK" hangs in the window of a closed Brooklyn bodega on Feb. 2, 2017. Yemeni American bodega and grocery store owners closed their shops in New York City on Feb. 2 in protest of President Trump's travel ban.

Luc Forsyth for BuzzFeed News

People ride La Bestia, the infamous cargo train that carries them north through Mexico, as they make their way to the US–Mexico border, March 30, 2018.

John Moore / Getty Images

A 2-year-old Honduran asylum-seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the US–Mexico border in McAllen, Texas, June 12, 2018.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Asylum-seekers from Central America wait inside an enclosure, where they are being held by US Customs and Border Protection, after illegally crossing the US–Mexico border and turning themselves in to request asylum in El Paso, Texas, March 29, 2019.

Pau Barrena / Getty Images

Members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms rescue a woman in the Mediterranean Sea about 85 miles off the Libyan coast, July 17, 2018. The woman was found drifting on a deflated dinghy next to the bodies of a boy and another woman.

Zach Gibson / Getty Images

John Feal, cofounder of the FealGood Foundation, hugs former Daily Show host Jon Stewart during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, June 11, 2019.

Handout / Getty Images

A Tesla Roadster sports car, launched from the Falcon Heavy rocket with a dummy driver named "Starman," heads toward Mars, Feb. 8, 2018.

Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 27, 2018. Ford testified that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a 1982 party when they were high school students in suburban Maryland.

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at New York County Criminal Court after being charged with sexual assault, May 25, 2018.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Members of Congress cheer after President Trump acknowledges the newly elected women representatives during his State of the Union address on Feb. 5, 2019.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Emma González — a student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — weeps as she observes a 6-minute, 20-second silence during the March for Our Lives rally on March 24, 2018, in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, including students, teachers, and parents, gathered for the anti–gun violence rally organized by survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters

Antonio Basco — whose wife, Margie Reckard, was killed during a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas — is comforted by a woman next to a white wooden cross bearing the name of his late wife at a memorial for victims of the shooting, Aug. 15, 2019.

Bloomberg / Getty Images

Fallen debris from the burned-out roof structure sits near the high altar inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, April 16, 2019.

Anthony Kwan / Getty Images

Protesters stand off against police during an anti-government rally in Hong Kong's Tsuen Wan District, Aug. 25, 2019.

Leon Neal / Getty Images

Pro-EU and pro-Brexit protesters in London discuss the vote and ongoing political processes as they demonstrate near the Houses of Parliament, Jan. 29, 2019.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sits with President Trump on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, Sept. 25, 2019.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi applaud President Trump just ahead of the State of the Union address, Feb. 5, 2019.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

Fridays for Future founder Greta Thunberg (center) and Zero Hour cofounder Jamie Margolin (right) testify on the climate crisis before lawmakers in Washington, DC, Sept. 18, 2019.

Josh Edelson / Getty Images

A neighborhood in Paradise, California, is left in ashes following a deadly wildfire, Nov. 15, 2018.

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Melting ice forms a lake on free-floating ice at the Ilulissat Icefjord during unseasonably warm weather on July 30, 2019, near Ilulissat, Greenland.

Christina Koch / NASA

The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft — with NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, and spaceflight participant Hazza Al Mansoori of the United Arab Emirates on board — ascends into space after launching from Kazakhstan, as seen from the International Space Station, Sept. 25, 2019.