National Geographic, one of the world's largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions has long established itself as one of the leading sources when it comes to impressive photos not just of nature, but of humanity as a whole and now that 2016 is coming to a close they've put together a list of their top 52 images taken this year.
Impressive as always the list has been compiled from 91 photographers, 107 stories and a staggering 2.2 million photos. Listicles aren't always the greatest, but when they're published by National Geographic you're rarely ever left disappointed. Below we've compiled a list of out 20 favourites but you can view the full list here.
1. 16-year-old giant panda Ye gets photographed lazing around inside China's Wolong Nature Reserve.
2. A group of rhinos on a South African ranch have their horns trimmed in the hopes that selling them will be legalised. Unlike elephant ivory, rhino horn will grow back when cut properly.
3. Silverside fish group together for protection from predators, swirling through mangroves and coral reefs near to Cuba.
4. A three-week-old calve of the Cody elk follows its mother up a 4,600-foot slope during migration towards Southeastern Yellowstone.
5. Tracking changes in sea ice the Norwegian research vessel Lance drifts with the ice for more than five month in a rare voyage from arctic winter and into spring.
6. Rooftoppers Kirill Vselensky and Dima Balashov perch on a cornice in Moscow to get the perfect shot.
7. Blood drips from the beak of a Rüppell’s vulture.
8. A composite photo of day-to-night made from 1,036 images showing a mountainside in Yosemite National Park.
9. A grizzly bear defends a buffalo carcass from ravens in Grand Teton National Park.
10. Thermophiles (microbes) living inside the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone give it a vibrant appearance.
11. Space engineer Pablo de León tests a space suit at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center that's destined for Mars.
12. Spider Monkeys make great pets for the indigenous people of Peru's Manú forest.
13. Steven Donovan performing a flip into a pool at Glacier National Park.
14. Denali’s 92-mile-long Park Road in Alaska, which is only open five days a year to private vehicles, is blocked by a bear-jam.
15. When the sun goes down, the capital of Taiwan becomes a sea of vibrant lights.
16. A saddleback tamarin holds onto to a young girl called Yoina Mameria Nontsotega as she takes a dip in the Yomibato River, located inside Peru’s Manú National Park.
17. A diver stands next to a tiger shark in the Bahamas.
18. In search of the fruit from a strangler fig a Bornean Orangutan climbs a tree 100 feet above the ground.
19. Sunset at the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia at Delphi.
20. Sandhill cranes arrive at the Platte River in Nebraska to be met by a storm.