Protesters march in the street as lightning flashes in the distance in Ferguson, Mo, Aug. 20, 2014.
In this unranked gallery, TIME presents the top 100 photos of the yearProtesters march in the street as lightning flashes in the distance in Ferguson, Mo, Aug. 20, 2014.Jeff Roberson—AP
Protesters march in the street as lightning flashes in the distance in Ferguson, Mo, Aug. 20, 2014.
A golfer hits a tee shot as African migrants sit atop a border fence during an attempt to cross into Spanish territories between Morocco and Spain's north African enclave of Melilla, Oct. 22, 2014.
The collapsed minaret of mosque seen from the destroyed living room of a Palestinian family in a building across the street in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, July 30, 2014.
Umu Fambulle stands over her husband Ibrahim after he staggered and fell knocking him unconscious, in an Ebola ward in Monrovia, Liberia., Aug. 15, 2014.
An ISIS militant is seen just after an air strike on Tilsehir hill near Turkish border at Yumurtalik village, Sanliurfa province, Turkey, Oct. 23, 2014.
Eritrean Wedding in Haifa, Israel.
Fireworks streak past in front of the supermoon outside the town of Mosta, celebrating the feast of its patron saint, in central Malta, Aug. 10, 2014.
CA Fires
A handout photo of Palestinian refugees waiting for food aid in the Yarmouk camp on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria, Jan. 31, 2014.
Midwife Norena Malate delivers the baby of Analyn Pesado 18, as Analyn's husband, Ryan Bacate, 21, looks on on the side of the road in Tolosa, outside of Tacloban, in the Philippines, Jan. 11, 2014.
Chickens are seen in the midst of plants covered by ash from Mount Sinabung near Sigarang-Garang in Indonesia's North Sumatra province, Jan. 12, 2014.
An Afghan refugee girl, laiba Hazrat, 6, poses for a picture, while playing with other children in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. Jan. 24, 2014.
Riot police keep a fire hose aimed at protesters continuously during rioting on Hrushevskoho Street in central Kiev, Jan. 25, 2014.
Members of the Central African Armed Forces lynch a man suspected of being a former Seleka rebel in Bangui, Feb. 5, 2014.
Stuyvesant apartment complex on an early winter morning with 10°F temperature two days after a snow.
People look at the carcass of the giraffe Marius after it was killed in Copenhagen Zoo, Feb. 9, 2014.
A ski jumper at the Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 17, 2014 Sochi, Russia.
Carmen Gonzalez cries over the body of her son, Jimmy Vargas Gonzalez, who was killed in clashes with national police in San Cristobal, Venezuela, Feb. 24, 2014.
An image posted by Oscars show host Ellen DeGeneres on her Twitter account shows movie stars, including Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong'o, Angelina Jolie and Bradley Cooper as well as Nyong'o's brother Peter. March 2, 2014.
People attend a Sunday church service in the village of Kitshanga, in Masisi territory, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Firefighters scale a vast pile of debris that remained after a gas leak explosion destroyed two buildings on Park Avenue in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York.
The national guard disperses water cannons on anti-government protesters during a protest at Altamira square in Caracas
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is seen leaning back after applying eye drops as he prepares himself for another day in the dock during his ongoing murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa, March 14, 2014.
An aerial view of a mudslide that killed at least eight people and left dozens missing near Arlington, Wash. March 24, 2014.
Afghans line up to register to vote for Presidential elections at a center run by the Afghan Independent Electoral Commission in Shah Shaheed, Kabul, Afghanistan, March 25, 2014.
March 30, 2014. There are still many victims whose bodies were never found. At Rana Plaza ground zero people continue digging with bare hands even after a year, to find something, some forgotten traces among the ruins. There are dozens of people, relatives of the victims, who daily honor the memory of their loved ones, wandering around through the remains of the building.
A shadow of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion aircraft is seen on low cloud cover while it searches for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, March 31, 2014.
Children play in the background as a penitent watches a march in Zamora, Spain, April 14, 2014.
Relatives mourn the death of two men and one woman, murdered by Seleka fighters, April 14, 2014.
The mother of Abdolah Hosseinzadeh, who was murdered in 2007, slaps Balal who killed her son during the execution ceremony in the northern city of Nowshahr just before she removed the noose around his neck with the help of her husband, sparing the life of her son's convicted murderer, April 15, 2014.
The South Korean ferry "Sewol" is seen sinking in the sea off Jindo, South Korea as lighting flares are released for a night search.
A woman waits to cast her vote at a polling station in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.
The body of Nur Husain, who died after suffering from a respiratory condition, is buried near his home in a camp near Sittwe, Myanmar. The Rohingya are a Muslim minority persecuted by Myanmar's Buddhist-led government.
U.S. President Barack Obama acts out the line "gnashed their terrible teeth" from the children's book "Where the Wild Things Are" during the 136th annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., April 21, 2014.
The morgue in Sejkovaca. A corpse from a mass grave in Tomasica, where there was remarkably little decomposition because of the clay content in the soil in which the bodies were buried. Sanski Most, Bosnia, April 28, 2014.
Sue admires the detailing of Gena's dress for Junior Prom.
Steam rises from a thoroughbred racehorse after morning workouts on the day of the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., May 3, 2014.
The shirt of Hauwa Mutah, one of more than 200 girls who was kidnapped from a school in Chibok in Borno State on April 15, 2014 by Boko Haram, a terrorist group in northern Nigeria.
The crushed fire truck of Ladder Company 3 at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, May 2, 2014.
Fence post. Allensworth, CA. 35°51'53"N 119°23'21"W #geographyofpovertyAllensworth is a community in Tulare County, California, United States. The population was 471 at the 2010 census. Residents have a $7,274 per capita income and 54% live below the poverty level. Allensworth was a once all black town founded 1908 by Col. Allen Allensworth, an ex-slave and Buffalo Soldier. The self sufficient community he envisioned foundered for lack of water and protracted land disputes with the Santa Fe railroad.
Referendum in Donbass
Once filled with cafes and shops, the Qabaris neighborhood in the Old City area of Homs has been reduced to rubble, May 12, 2014.
A man kisses his son, rescued from a mine in Manis, Turkey, May 13, 2014.
Spanish bullfighter Jimenez Fortes, top second left, kills a Los Chospes ranch fighting bull after being tossed by the bull during a bullfight at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Spain, May 20, 2014.
Clothes laid out on a bed for seven-year-old Kenneth Castellanos, whom police say was tortured to death by gang members in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, May 23, 2014.
Two bolts of lightning hit the antenna on One World Trade Center
Indian villagers gather around the bodies of two teenage sisters hanging from a tree in Katra village in Uttar Pradesh state, India. The teenage sisters in rural India were raped and killed by attackers who hung their bodies from a mango tree, May 28, 2014.
Air Force Academy graduates throw their caps into the air at the completion of the graduation ceremony for the class of 2014, at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., May 28, 2014.
A woman stands alone in the niqab she recently started wearing. Her 17 year old sister has just married, leaving her alone in the house with her widowed mother and four siblings. The marriage proposals are already coming to her. She had dreamt of finishing high school and becoming a teacher.
Japan, Okuma, 2014. Inside the Central Control Room for Reactor 1 and 2 which both had a meltdown and exploded after the earthquake and tsunami hit the east coast of japan in 2011.
Poppies bloom amid wheat fields that were once the front line during World War I in Marne, France, June 4, 2014.
Italian navy rescues asylum seekers traveling by boat off the coast of Africa. More than 2,000 migrants in 25 boats arrived in Italy, June 12, 2014.
Pope Francis with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres during a joint peace prayer at the Vatican Gardens, Vatican City, June 8, 2014.
In Burma, more than 140,000 minority Rohingya Muslims have been forced to live in camps, where disease and despair have taken root. Here, Abdul Kadir, 65, who has a severe stomach ailment and malnutrition, is cared for by his wife in one of the camps, June 9, 2014.
Members of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces take their positions during clashes with the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the city of Ramadi.
Police patrol the area near where a man was killed following a shooting Naples, Italy.
Fans react as Brazil's forward Neymar is carried off the pitch on a stretcher after being injured during the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, July 4, 2014.
People run to shelter from hailstorm on the beach at Ob River, Novosibirsk, Russia, July 12, 2014.
Richard, 2, who had to have his leg partially amputated after falling from a train, waits for a bath from his mother, Emily Bermudez, in Ixtepec, Mexico, July 7, 2014
A man carries a child as another lies dead after two explosions on a beach in Gaza, July 16, 2014.
Relatives of four boys, all from the Bakr family, killed by Israeli naval bombardment, mourn during their funeral in Gaza City, July 16, 2014.
The body of a passenger from Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 which was shot down over Ukraine, July 17, 2014.
A Palestinian family who fled their homes is seen en route to seek shelter in a UN school in Khan Younis, central Gaza Strip, July 18, 2014.
Wounded Israeli soldiers are brought to a helicopter near Kafar Aza, Israel, July 23, 2014.
A Yazidi family, from Sinjar, wait to cross the Syrian-Iraqi border after being rescued from Mount Sinjar, Iraq, Aug. 10, 2014.
Three men found guilty by a Somali military court of killing civilians and masterminding a recent attack on the Presidential Palace stand tied to poles shortly before they were executed by a firing squad in capital Mogadishu, Aug. 3, 2014.
The funeral of Avraham Walz, 29, killed in an attack earlier that day by a Palestinian in a stolen digger in Jerusalem Aug. 5, 2014
The chess set made by the group of Western hostages held in Northern Syria by ISIS, Aug 8, 2014.
Indonesian villagers walk to the crater during the Kasodo ceremony at Mount Bromo, Probolinggo, Indonesia, Aug. 12, 2014.
A man backs away as law enforcement officials close in on him and eventually detain him during protests over the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 11, 2014.
Survivors of a helicopter crash, including Yazidi refugees and Kurdish and Iraqi Army personnel, onboard a rescue helicopter that transported them from the crash site back to Kurdish-controlled Dohuk Province in the Sinjar Mountains, Iraq, Aug. 12, 2014.
A man is doused with milk and sprayed with mist after being hit by an eye irritant from security forces trying to disperse demonstrators protesting against the shooting of Brown in Ferguson
Damaged goods lie in a damaged kitchen in downtown Donetsk, Ukraine, Aug. 26, 2014.
Rahaf Yousef, 13, a Syrian refugee from Daraa, poses for a portrait in her family's trailer as she is surrounded by female relatives on the day of her engagement party at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, Aug. 29, 2014.
Children play on the hills in Kathmandu, Sept. 3, 2014.
Medical staff carry James Dorbor, 8, suspected of having Ebola, into a treatment facility in Monrovia, Liberia.
The cabin inside the 66 ft long fishing boat that sunk off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa Oct. 3, 2013, killing 366 migrants, is seen on Sept. 22, 2014.
Japan's swimmers compete in the free combination synchronised swimming event final during the 2014 Asian Games at the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Centre in Incheon, Sept. 23, 2014.
New York Yankees' Derek Jeter jumps after hitting the game-winning single against the Baltimore Orioles in the ninth inning of a baseball game, New York, Sept. 25, 2014.
Mariattu Kanu, 4, who is suspected of being infected with Ebola, lies on the floor amid body fluids in a ward for Ebola victims at a hospital in Makeni, Sierra Leone, Sept. 27, 2014.
Mountain lodges near the top of Mt. Ontake in Tokyo, Japan are covered in volcano ash, Sept. 28, 2014.
Joshua Wong, a 17-year-old protest leader at democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.
A pro-democracy protester sleeps on a concrete road divider on a street outside the Hong Kong Government Complex in Hong Kong, Oct. 5, 2014.
A man in a hazardous material suit cleans the apartment unit where a man diagnosed with the Ebola virus was staying in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 6, 2014.
A suspected migrant runs back to Miguel Aleman, Mexico after being pursued by agents near Roma, Texas, Oct. 8, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic attend a military parade to mark 70 years since the city's liberation by the Red Army in Belgrade, Oct. 16, 2014.
A Turkish couple share a romantic sunset at the back of a ferry on the Bosphorus, in Istanbul, Oct. 17, 2014.
A camp full of Rohingya refugees on the edge of Sittwe, Burma, Oct. 18, 2014.
PALESTINE. Gaza. 2014. Schoolchildren head to class at the Sobhi Abu Karsh School in the Shujai'iya neighborhood. Operation Protective Edge lasted from 8 July 2014 – 26 August 2014, killing 2,189 Palestinians of which 1,486 are believed to be civilians. 66 Israeli soldiers and 6 civilians were killed.  It's estimated that 4,564 rockets were fired at Israel by Palestinian militants.
CHINPALCINGO, MEXICO - 31 OCTOBER 2014:Holding portraits of the missing students in Chinpalcingo Zocalo (Main Square) while a woman sell ballons for the Dia de los Muertos. Chilpancingo de los Bravo is the capital of Guerrero State and is located just 14 km from the Raul Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa College. This city is the head of the demonstrations against the government for the lack of proof and responsibilities for the 43 disappeared students on September 26th in Iguala.
A scaffold carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center in New York City, Nov. 12, 2014.
A snow-covered field is seen near Buffalo, New York, Nov. 21, 2014.
Odell Beckham of the New York Giants scores a touchdown in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Nov. 23, 2014.
Ferguson, Mo. after Grand Jury decision
Riots break out on West Florissant Avenue between Ferguson Avenue and Chambers Road following the news that the St. Louis County grand jury has decided to not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown, Nov. 25, 2014.
Blue Sky Days
Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak waves as he is transported from a military helicopter to an ambulance outside Maadi military hospital in Cairo, Nov. 29, 2014.
Sweetie Sweetie, believed to be 4, who was orphaned by Ebola, sits in her bedroom at the group home where she now lives in Port Loko, Sierra Leone.
In this unranked gallery, TIME presents the top 100 photos of the yearProtesters march in the street as lightning flashe

Jeff Roberson—AP
1 of 101

TIME Picks the Top 100 Photos of 2014

2014 was heart wrenching year that brought with it a litany of terror, turbulence and tragedy -- from the escalating conflict in Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists to an reignited war in Gaza that led to the death of more than 2000 Palestinians and 73 Israelis; and from Ebola's deadly outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone t0 the renewed debate about race in America after the killing of unarmed black men Michael Brown and Eric Gardner.

On a lighter note, though, 2014 also saw New York bid farewell to Yankees captain Derek Jeter who signed off with a walk-off hit, and Germany's footballers won the FIFA World Cup by famously beating hosts Brazil 7-1 in a one-sided semi-final and defeating Lionel Messi's Argentina in the final.

TIME's photo editors present an unranked selection of the best 100 images of the year.

Read next: The Most Surprising Photos of 2014

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