Just 13 of the Most Surreal Pictures From 2021
Photo: JOUNI PORSANGER/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

Just 13 of the Most Surreal Pictures From 2021

From blue dogs and giant dick ships, to Taliban fighters at the fair and a world leader encased in a giant box, 2021 was a weird one.

Lordi

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.

Cumbre Vieja

Photo: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

Photo: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

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.

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President in a box

Photo: ROMAN VONDROUS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Photo: ROMAN VONDROUS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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

Photo: WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

Photo: WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

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Photo: WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Mount Fagradalsfjall

Photo: JEREMIE RICHARD/AFP via Getty Images

Photo: JEREMIE RICHARD/AFP via Getty Images

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.

The insurrection

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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

Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

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.

Shrinking sea

Photo: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images

Photo: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images

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.

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The dick ship

Photo: Suez Canal Authority

Photo: Suez Canal Authority

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!

COVID cannon

Photo: AP Photo/Francisco Seco

Photo: AP Photo/Francisco Seco

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.

Mars experiment

Photo: JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Photo: JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Two astronauts walk in spacesuits in Israel’s southern Negev desert as part of a month-long experiment to simulate conditions on Mars. 

Blue dogs

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.

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MIKHAIL SOLUNIN\TASS VIA GETTY IMAGES