National Geographic photographers have taken more than 21 million images during the past decade as part of our quest to take our print and digital readers on visual journeys to all corners of the world. As the 2010s drew to a close, our editors selected 15 images, by 14 photographers, that resonated the most with us during the past 10 years.
Then we asked you to pick your favorites by voting in an Instagram Story on @natgeo. Your top five selections reflect a broad range of our coverage, with an emphasis on the natural world: The heartbreak of a dying species of rhino. The amazing way in which a hummingbird feeds itself. A bear devouring a bison, and warding off other scavengers, on an iconic American landscape. Alex Honnold, 2,500 feet above the ground, during his stunning, rope-less climb up El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. And the face of a woman who had died, soon to be transplanted onto the face of another woman who wanted a second chance at life.
It’s always perilous to try to put together a “best of” list like this, and if you don’t see your favorites in the top five, check out the rest of our best of the decade list. And don’t forget to check out The best photos of 2019 and The best unpublished photos of 2019.
And as always, thanks for reading National Geographic.