It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words. However the top photos which have been picked for World Press Photo awards say more than a thousand words. 

From the horrors of gang violence and conflict to the wondrous sight of some of nature’s most stunning sights, these photos are some of the most iconic photos clicked over the last year. 

Check them out right here: 

Contemporary issues, singles. 

b’Tianjin, a city in northern China shrouded in haze | Photographer : Zhang Lei’
b’Adam Abdel, 7, was severely burned after a bomb was dropped by a Sudanese government Antonov plane next to his family home in Burgu, Central Darfur, Sudan | Photographer : Adriane Ohanesian’
b’Lamon Reccord stares down a police sergeant during a protest following the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by police in Chicago, Illinois, USA |xc2xa0Photographer : John J. Kimxc2xa0′

Contemporary issue, stories. 

b’Abdoulaye, 15, is a talibe imprisoned in a room with security bars to keep him from running away | Photographer: Mario Cruzxc2xa0′
b’xc2xa0Indigenous Munduruku children play in the Tapajos river in the tribal area of Sawre Muybu, Itaituba, Brazil | Photographer: Mauriocio Lima’

The tribesmen of the Munduruku, who for centuries have sanctified the Tapajos River on which their villages sit, are fighting for survival. Brazil’s government plans to flood much of their land to build a $9.9 billion hydroelectric dam, the Sao Luiz do Tapajos, as part of a wider energy strategy across the Amazon rain forest.

b’xc2xa0Raheleh, who was born blind, stands behind the window in the morning. She likes the warmness of the sunlight on her face | Photographer : Zohrer Saberixc2xa0′

Daily life, stories. 

b’xc2xa0A Chilean scientist walks above the Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity on the Bellingshausen Russian Antarctic base. Photographer: Daniel Berehhulak’

Chilean, Chinese and Russian research teams in Antartica seek to explore commercial opportunities that will arise once the treaties protecting the continent for scientific purposes expire.

b’xc2xa0Tibetan prayer flags, known as Lung-ta, on a hillside in the Larung Valley of Sertar County | Photographer: Kevin Frayer’
b’General view of Complexo do Alemao from Papo Reto collective headquarters | Photographer: Sebastixc3xa1n Liste’

General news, singles. 

b”A doctor rubs ointment on the burns of a 16-year-old Islamic State fighter, in front of a poster of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, at a Y.P.G. hospital compound on the outskirts of Hasaka, Syria | Photographer: Mauricio Lima”
b’Refugees travel in darkness through Europe to avoid detection in Lesbos, Greece | Photographers: Paul Hansen’
b’xc2xa0 Aerial view of the destruction after the explosion in Tianjin, China | Photographers: Chen Jie’

General News, stories. 

b’xc2xa0| Photographer: Sergey Ponomarev’
b’A Syrian man carries the body of a child, killed in an air strike by government forces in Douma, Syria | Photographers: Abd Doumany’
b’A man passes salvaged belongings to his wife out from the window of their destroyed home xc2xa0in Nepal | xc2xa0Photographer: Daniel Berehulak’

Long Term Projects

b’xc2xa0Photographer: Mary F Calvert’

US Army Spc. Natasha Schuette, 21, was pressured not to report being assaulted by her drill sergeant during basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Though she was hazed by her assailant’s fellow drill instructors, she refused to back down and Staff Sgt. Louis Corral is now serving four years in prison for assaulting her and four other female trainees. The US Army rewarded Natasha for her courage to report her assault and the Sexual Harassment/ Assault Response & Prevention office distributed a training video featuring her story. She is now stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Series portraying women who have been raped or sexually assaulted during their service with the US Armed Forces. At the moment, only one out of ten reported sexual violence cases goes to trial and most military rape survivors are forced out of service. Victims suffer from the effects of Military Sexual Trauma, (MST), which include depression, substance abuse, paranoia and feelings of isolation.

b’xc2xa0Howie sits beside his wife Laurel in what he calls their xe2x80x9chis and hersxe2x80x9d chairs as they get their weekly chemotherapy treatments | Nancy Borowick’

A daughter photographs her own parents who were in parallel treatment for stage-four cancer, side by side.

The project looks at love, life, and living, in the face of death. It honors their memory by focusing on their strength and love, both individually and together, and shares the story of their final chapters, within a year of each other.

b’At dusk, the skyline of central Pyongyang, North Korea | Photographer: David Guttenfielder’

North Korea has been one of the most isolated and least understood countries. Few outsiders have ever had a glimpse of the country and there have been very few independent photographs ever made there. This series documents urban and rural North Korea, capturing the daily life of its citizens, military events and ceremonies.

Nature, singles. 

b”A massive ‘cloud tsunami’ looms over Sydney as a sunbather reads, oblivious to the approaching cloud on Bondi Beach | Photographer Rohan Kelly”
b’Divers observe and surround a humpback whale and her newborn calf whilst they swim around Roca Partida in the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico | Photographer: Anuar Patjane Floriuk’
b’Colima Volcano in Mexico shows a powerful night explosion with lightning, ballistic projectiles and incandescent rockfalls | Phtographer: Sergio Tapiroxc2xa0′

Nature, stories. 

b’A Sumatran orangutan threatens another nearby male in the Batang Toru Forest, North Sumatra Province, Indonesia | Photographer: Tim Laman’
b’xc2xa0Photographer: Brent Stirton’

A view of the largest herd of elephants in Zakouma National Park. Severe poaching over the last decade saw the number of elephants decreasing. Since management of the park changed, security of elephants has been improved.

b”A male Furcifer ambrensis, endemic to Montain d’Ambre, in its native habitat | xc2xa0Photographer: Christian Ziegler”

People, single. 

b’A child is covered with a raincoat while she waits in line to register at a refugee camp in Prexc5xa1evo, Serbia | Photographer: Matic Zorman’
b’A mine worker takes a smoke break before going back into the pit | Photographer: Matjaz Krivic’
b’Portrait of a Syrian refugee family in a camp in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. The empty chair in the photograph represents a family member who has either died in the war or whose whereabouts are unknown | Photographer: Dario Mitidieri’

People, stories. 

b’xc2xa0Photographers: Kazuma Obara’

“My mother said that it was a typically quiet day, warm and windy. She and my father opened the window and they felt completely safe on the day of the explosion, the 26th of April 1986.”

The world’s worst nuclear accident happened on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Just 5 months after the disaster, a girl was born in Kiev just 100 km south from Chernobyl. The wind included a great amount of radioactive elements, and the girl became one of the victims of the tragedy. This series of pictures represent the last 30 years of the life of that invisible girl. All pictures taken on old Ukrainian color negative films, which were found in the city of Pripyat, located 5 km from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

b’xc2xa0Photographer: Daniel Ochoa De Olza’

Young girls between the age of 7 and 11 are chosen every year as ‘Maya’ for the ‘Las Mayas’, a festival derived from pagan rites celebrating the arrival of spring, in the town of Colmenar Viejo, Spain. The girls are required to sit still for a couple of hours in a decorated altar.

b’Raindrops cover portraits left in a street memorial in honor of the victims near one of the places stormed by gunmen of the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks | Photographer:xc2xa0 Daniel Ochoa De Olza’

Sports, singles. 

b”Czech Republic’s Ondrej Bank crashes during the downhill race of the Alpine Combined at the FIS World Championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado, USA | Photographer: Christian Walgram”
b’Photographer: Greg Nelson’

During the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 2015 Mens Basketball Tournament game with Wichita State vs. Indiana, Ron Baker shoots over Nick Zeisloft whilst Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Rashard Kelly battle for position at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

b’Members of the Neptun Synchro synchronized swimming team perform during a Christmas show in Stockholm, Sweden | Photographer: Jonas Lindkvist’

Sports, stories. 

b’Evgeny Solovyov, head coach of HC Vetluga preparing the stadium for the match | Photographer: Vladimir Pesnya’
b’Photographer: Christian Bobst’

Kherou, a young wrestling champion, performs a ritual in the water of the sea while pouring milk over his body in order to obtain the reinforcement of a ghost who lives in the stones at the shore.

b’Photographer: Tara Todras Whitehill’

Erison Turây puts on his football outfit in his house in the city of Kenema, Sierra Leone. Turay founded the Ebola Survivors Football Club to support survivors, after 38 members of his family had died.

Spot News, single. 

b’A man passes a baby through the fence at the Hungarian-Serbian border in Rxc3xb6szke, Hungary | Photographer: Warren Richardson’
b’Demonstration against terrorism in Paris, after a series of five attacks occurred across the xc3x8ele-de-France region, beginning at the headquarters for satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo | Photographer: Corentin Fohlen’
b’The body of a victim killed in gang-related violence in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. This is the fourth gang-related killing on the same street in one night. Police have no witnesses | Photographer: Niclas Hammarstrxc3xb6m’

Spot News, stories. 

b’Photographer: Sameer Al Doumy’

Smoke rises from a building following reported shelling by Syrian government forces in Douma, Syria.

Douma, a rebel-held city in a suburb of the capital Damascus, lies in the opposition bastion area of Eastern Ghouta and has been subject to massive regime aerial bombardment. The area has also been under a crippling government siege for nearly two years as part of a regime attempt to break the rebel’s hold in the region. Douma and small rural towns in the Eastern Ghouta area were recorded as suffering from the highest number of fatalities since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights. Government planes regularly bomb Douma and other small towns in Ghouta, which is an agricultural belt around the capital, leaving a constant trail of destruction and loss of lives.

At the end of September 2015, Russia launched air strikes in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The thunderous shelling in and around and the city has forced civilians from the town to join the growing number of more than four million Syrians fleeing the country since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011.

b’xc2xa0A wall of rock, snow and debris roars toward Everest Base Camp, Nepal | Roberto Schmidt’
b’A refugee man holds a young girl as others climb over broken down border fences to enter Turkish territory | Photographer: Bulent Kilic’