30 Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken

 

These 30 powerful photos are famous and poignant, they will forever be cemented in history. The images that were captured are so intense, they are impossible to be forgotten. They said a picture is worth a thousand words… but it’s impossible to say just how many words these are worth. Prepare to be left speechless…!

They can be cute, beautiful, funny, or enchanting, but these pictures are powerful. They are gripping and unforgettable because of the volumes they speak about the human condition – about some of the best and worst moments of contemporary human existence.

 

We should warn our readers that some of these pictures may upset them, while others may fill them with joy. But that’s precisely because these images reflect some of the best and worst parts of the human experience and world events. Our post of must-see photos from the past described our history while these photos, for the most part, describe our present – our suffering and our triumphs, our perseverance and our failures, our compassion and our hatred, our intelligence and our stupidity.

Some of these photographs may mean more to some of our readers than to others. But hopefully, they will remind us all that the world can always use a little bit more love, tolerance, compassion and understanding. 

1. Starving boy and missionary

Powerful-Images-01Image credits: Mike Wells

2. Inside an Auschwitz gas chamber

Powerful-Images-02Image credits: kligon5

3. Heart surgeon after 23-hour-long (successful) heart transplant. His assistant is sleeping in the corner.

Powerful-Images-03Image credits: James Stanfield

4. Father and son (1949 vs 2009)

Powerful-Images-04Image credits: Vojage-Vojage

5. Diego Frazão Torquato, 12 year old Brazilian playing the violin at his teacher’s funeral. The teacher had helped him escape poverty and violence through music

Powerful-Images-05Image credits: salvemasnossascriancas.blogspot.com

6. A Russian soldier playing an abandoned piano in Chechnya in 1994

Powerful-Images-06Image credits: drugoi.livejournal.com

7. Young man just found out his brother was killed

Powerful-Images-07Image credits: Nhat V. Meyer

8. Christians protect Muslims during prayer in the midst of the 2011 uprisings in Cairo, Egypt

Powerful-Images-08Image credits: Nevine Zaki

9. A firefighter gives water to a koala during the devastating Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, Australia, in 2009

Powerful-Images-09Image credits: abc.net.au

10. Terri Gurrola is reunited with her daughter after serving in Iraq for 7 months

Powerful-Images-10Image credits: Louie Favorite

11. Indian homeless men wait to receive free food distributed outside a mosque ahead of Eid al-Fitr in New Delhi, India

Powerful-Images-11Image credits: Tsering Topgyal / AP

12. Zanjeer the dog saved thousands of lives during Mumbai serial blasts in March 1993 by detecting more than 3,329 kgs of the explosive RDX, 600 detonators, 249 hand grenades and 6406 rounds of live ammunition. He was buried with full honors in 2000

Powerful-Images-12Image credits: STR News / Reuters

13. Man Falling from the World Trade Center on 9/11. “The Falling Man.”

Powerful-Images-13Image credits:  Richard Drew /AP

14. Alcoholic father with his son

Powerful-Images-14Image credits: imgur.com

15. Embracing couple in the rubble of a collapsed factory

Powerful-Images-15Image credits: Taslima Akhter

16. Sunset on Mars

Powerful-Images-16Image credits: nasa.gov

17. Five-year-old gypsy boy on New Year’s Eve 2006 in the gypsy community of St. Jacques, Perpignan, Southern France. It is quite common in St. Jacques for little boys to smoke

Powerful-Images-17Image credits: Jesco Denzel

18. Hhaing The Yu, 29, holds his face in his hand as rain falls on the decimated remains of his home near Myanmar’s capital of Yangon (Rangoon). In May 2008, cyclone Nargis struck southern Myanmar, leaving millions homeless and claiming more than 100,000 lives

Powerful-Images-18Image credits: Brian Sokol

19. A dog named “Leao” sits for a second consecutive day at the grave of her owner, who died in the disastrous landslides near Rio de Janiero in 2011.

Powerful-Images-19Image credits: Vanderlei Almeida / Getty Images

20. “Wait For Me Daddy,” by Claude P. Dettloff in New Westminster, Canada, October 1, 1940

Powerful-Images-20Image credits: Claud Detloff

21. An old WW2 Russian tank veteran finally found the old tank in which he passed through the entire war – standing in a small Russian town as a monument

Powerful-Images-21Image credits: englishrussia.com

22. Flower power

Powerful-Images-22Image credits: Bernie Boston

23. A woman sits amidst the wreckage caused by a massive earthquake and ensuing tsunam, in Natori, northern Japan, in March 2011

Powerful-Images-23Image credits: Asahi Shimbun, Toshiyuki Tsunenari /AP

24. The Graves of a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband, Holland, 1888

Powerful-Images-24Image credits: retronaut.com

25. Greg Cook hugs his dog Coco after finding her inside his destroyed home in Alabama following the Tornado in March, 2012

Powerful-Images-25Image credits: Gary Cosby Jr. / AP

26. Demonstration of condom usage at a public market in Jayapura, capital of Papua, 2009

Powerful-Images-26Image credits: Adri Tambunan

27. Russian soldiers preparing for the Battle of Kursk, July 1943

Powerful-Images-27Image credits: Shirak Karapetyan-Milshtein

Update: BoredPanda reader Leif-Erik pointed out that this photograph was actually created in 2006-2007 for a photo competition. It is based on archive photos from the war in Russia in 1941-1945.

28. During massive floods in Cuttack City, India, in 2011, a heroic villager saved numerous stray cats by carrying them with a basket balanced on his head

Powerful-Images-28Image credits: Biswaranjan Rout / AP

29. An Afghan man offers tea to soldiers

Powerful-Images-29Image credits: Rafiq Maqbool / AP

30. Some parents, likely now in their 70′s, still looking for their missing child.

Powerful-Images-30Image credits: reddit.com

(A big thanks to BoredPanda for collecting them.)

    • Kornaz V Vygintas Bobina

      Someone needs a chill pill. Can’t solve all the world problems.

    • Annarose

      If you can’t feed them, don’t breed them.

  • Aussie Bloke

    the condom picture was more likely in Papua New Guinea, these people don’t look African, there are lots of dark skinned people all over the world!!