<p>Like many indigenous people in the Amazon, the Awa keep wild animals as pets and seem particularly fond of monkeys. Baby monkeys are usually acquired when their parent is shot for food. The monkeys are much loved and often spend much of the day sleeping on people's heads especially when they are young like this one. <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbz8n3SDIeR/liked_by/"><b>1,964,229 likes</b></a></p>

Like many indigenous people in the Amazon, the Awa keep wild animals as pets and seem particularly fond of monkeys. Baby monkeys are usually acquired when their parent is shot for food. The monkeys are much loved and often spend much of the day sleeping on people's heads especially when they are young like this one. 1,964,229 likes

Photograph by @chamiltonjames

Our 18 Most Popular Instagram Photos of 2017

From the first view of the eclipse to the effects of climate change, see the photos you liked most on the @natgeo Instagram.

How do we curate the feed of raw nature, worldly wonder, and global adventure that 83.7 million people follow on the National Geographic Instagram account? We don't. All we do is share our password with a hundred of our favorite photographers and encourage them to post often (but not too often)—and somehow, it works.

Photography isn't best described in statistics and numbers, but we can say that 2017 was another year of growth. We gained more than 17 million new followers, logged 6.1 million comments, and totaled 1.4 billion likes. We continued to grow our issue-area accounts, including @NatGeoTravel and @NatGeoAdventure. We saw new photographers join our photo community, Your Shot. And we crowned new winners in our 2017 Nature and Travel Photographer of the Year contests. Altogether, this reach allows us to share National Geographic's original mission—"to explore the world and all that's in it"—with more people, in more places, every day.

Here are our 18 most-liked Instagram images from 2017. All received well over a million likes, crowdsourcing their way to the top. We have high standards for our photos, and our readers, thankfully, do too.

Read This Next

An icy world is in meltdown, amid penguin population shifts
This sacred valley could become the next national monument
This 50-year project is tracking the Cascades' melting glaciers

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet