Great photographs of 2015

Bright Side has 20 photographs that impressed the editors last year. I’ve chosen a few that impress me.  The captions are theirs.

Police d*gs in China queue for lunch.

Cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.


Source: Muhammed Yousef, National Geographic

A cycling team from Rwanda sees snow for the first time.

A herd of sheep pass through a gate.

Feeding the “birds” in Ecuador. [JAC: this must be the Galapagos]

A cat: the view from below.

The heavens open: Copenhagen, Denmark:

With Mom.

A walrus becomes embarrassed when it’s given a cake of fish for its birthday; Norway [JAC: I’d say “overwhelmed”]


  1. Stephen Barnard
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted May 22, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    “The heavens open” was amazing. I’m a big fan of weather pictures, and videos. I should have been born when “storm chaser” was a thing.

    • Ed Neubauer
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Hello, Mike. Sadly, I think it is a fake. As soon as I saw it, I thought “supercell somewhere in the Midwestern U.S.” It is the internet though – judge for yourself.

      • Posted May 22, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Okay, I’ll leave it in to show how several people were fooled.

      • darrelle
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        Smells like a cover-up to me. I’m thinking aliens. A mothership.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        What surprised me was that it was over “Nyhavn” – one of the most famous tourist traps of Denmark, up there with the Little Mermaid and Elsinor.

      • Posted May 27, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        Good detective work! Have you a link to the original thunderstorm photo? I suppose it was impressive enough. I wonder what sort of a person would do so much photoshopping just to deceive others.

    • Posted May 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, that one looked dubious to me, too.

  3. Trevor H
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Nice pics…

    Finally bought your FvF book – will start reading it soon

  4. Posted May 22, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    That reminds me of the Cat Scan site!

  5. Steve
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    The photo from Ecuador is from Parque Seminario in Guayaquil. I have heard stories of the free-range iguanas from several Ecuadoreans

    • Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that’s downtown in the biggest city of Ecuador. You guys have squirrels, we have iguanas.

      They often shit on people’s heads when they (the iguanas, not the people) are up in the trees.

      • Posted May 27, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Good example of distantly related vertebrates occupying the same ecological niche in different regions (in this case, shitting on people’s heads defines the niche 🙂 ).

    • Posted May 23, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Right. Those are standard green iguanas, not marine iguanas as would be the case for the Galapagos.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Ditto – I doubted the Galapagos connection purely on the logic that the Galapagos were populated by invasion from the nearest (current-wise) bit of land, so you’d expect them to have similar animals to the land – which is around-about Ecuador.
      Geological point : the Galapagos are a series of oceanic islands which are the tips of a volcanic “hot spot” on the “East Pacific Rise” part of the mid-ocean ridge system. They rose in approximately this position out of the depths of the ocean. Think of the footage of Surtsey Island rising out of the sea near Iceland in the 1960s, and the ongoing study of it’s colonisation from Iceland.
      What they are not is a piece of land sheared off the South American continent and plate-tectonically drifted into place with an indigenous population of terrestrial animals and plants. Such as Tierra del Fuego, or Australia.
      I don’t have the ecological terminology to express the difference precisely, but you’d probably expect different patterns of endemic populations between the “colonisation at range” scenario versus the “differentiate a stable ecology in situ” scenario. Something like one group differentiating widely into a variety of niches that it doesn’t occupy elsewhere – which is precisely the “Darwin’s Finches” story. Where as if you’d differentiated an in situ ecosystem, you’d have finches, nuthatches, raptors and pigeons all co-evolving together.

  6. Posted May 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink


  7. Tom
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Steve. Guayaquil is overrun with land iguanas such as those pictured. There are street vendors who sell melons to the tourists to feed them. Not only are they on the ground, but in the trees and crawling over anyone who looks like a prospective food source.

    I’ve never seen groups of land iguanas in the Galapagos, only an isolated few away from populated areas. The ocean iguanas are found is large groups, but it is prohibited to feed or touch them. They largely ignore human presence.

  8. DrBrydon
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    You can’t fool me. That’s not a herd of sheep passing through a gate, that’s TSA screening in Orlando.

    • Dan McPeek
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Hilarious Dr. B; you da man!

    • Diane G.
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:50 am | Permalink


  9. George
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    That is some mother cheetah. She has kept four kits alive! And provides shade for all of them.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      She has done well so far, but there would be a long way to go.

  10. Zado
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    That walrus picture is priceless.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Brings a new (and probably better) meaning to a “fishcake“.

  11. keith cook + / -
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Nice little interlude… thanks,
    smiles for the walrus ‘coo coo cachoo’ moment, those are big paddles to hide behind.

  12. Lars
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Those iguanas look like Iguana iguana to me, not one of the species found in the Galapagos.

    • Achrachno
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      You’re right. They look like Iguana iguana because that’s what they are — aka green iguana. Very widespread in tropical America — but not on the Galapagos. The Galapagos land iguanas (c. 3 sp.) are in another genus.

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    So strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, through which the flock must pass, after all.

  14. Posted May 22, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    If memory serves, none of the Galapagos iguanas have striped tails, and they feed exclusively on seaweeds. The ones in the photo do look exactly like the Ecuador iguanas. See here and this video.

  15. Diane G.
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    I kept thinking the picture I was looking at was the best one–until I came to the next photo! What a day brightener. If I had to pick out favorites I guess they’d be the d*gs, the bikers, the hedgehogs, and the walrus.

    I stumbled a bit over “herd of sheep”–but really, that looks way too big for what I think of as a flock!

  16. Charles Minus
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Regarding the sheep passing through the gate, my first thought was, if there were two gates, would they appear as waves?

    • Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Sheep particle-wave duality! What is the mutton wave function?

      (Similarly for pigs/fish and the bacon/poisson wave function.)


    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      That is an experiment screaming to be carried out!

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