Mr Lordi of Finland’s Lordi got his second COVID jab in Finland in August. Even centuries old half-demon, half-troll heavy metal singers need to be sensible.
We could have filled this whole article with photographs from the Spanish island of La Palma, where this year the Cumbre Vieja volcano has ejected more than 10,000 million cubic metres of ash since September. Associated Press photographer Emilio Morenatti has taken dozens of haunting and otherworldly photos from the scene, including this house blanketed by ash in October.
President in a box
In November, Czech president Miloš Zeman appointed a new prime minister while contained within an air-tight plexiglass box. The container had been specifically designed for the 77-year-old after he tested positive for COVID.
Taliban theme park
Afghanistan has undergone a major transformation since the Taliban completed their lightning-fast takeover of the country in August and Western troops withdrew after 20 years.
Many of the younger fighters had never visited a major city, leading to jarring scenes of selfies with Taliban leaders, pairing traditional garb with designer sunglasses, and, most bizarrely, visits to theme parks including rides on swan-shaped pedalos and rickety pirate ships.
More volcanoes, this time in Iceland, where hundreds of hikers gathered to take a closer look at Mount Fagradalsfjall spewing lava near Reykjavik in March, in what was its first major eruption in around 800 years.
A man grins and waves at the camera as he walks off with the lectern of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during January’s Capitol riot. Florida man Adam Christian Johnson was arrested days later.
COVID choir pods
Choir director Dawn McCormick leads students as they record vocals in pop-up tents during a class at a high school in Wenatchee, Washington, in February, due to COVID-related precautions.
Around 200 nude models walked the desert of the Dead Sea in October, as part of a mass photoshoot by US photographer Spencer Tunick. The photos aimed to highlight the fact that the world’s most famous salt lake and the lowest point on Earth has shrunk by a third since the 1960s.
The dick ship
Who could forget the Ever Given, the 400m-long cargo ship that drew a giant dick pic in the ocean then got wedged diagonally in the Suez Canal in March and held up billions of worth of international trade for almost a week? Not me!
A protester takes cover behind a tree as police use a water cannon against an unauthorised gathering of people in a Brussels park that breached coronavirus-related restrictions in Belgium in April.
Two astronauts walk in spacesuits in Israel’s southern Negev desert as part of a month-long experiment to simulate conditions on Mars.
Back in February, pictures of stray dogs with blue fur went viral in Russia. The dogs, from Dzerzhinsk, a city about 230 miles east of Moscow, had apparently been rolling around in chemicals at an abandoned chemicals factory. There’s a nice ending to the story though, as the dogs were taken in by animal rights activists, and found new homes.