It's been an incredible year for photography and over the past 12 months we have been fortunate and also unfortunate enough to witness some of the most defining moments of the 2012.
The Huffington Post's own picture editors have searched through thousands of news, sport and entertainment photographs and have hand-picked the 12 most defining pictures of 2012's biggest events.
2012 provided no shortage of photographic material, from the tragic to the funny to the absolutely inspirational.
An Italian firefighter is lowered from an helicopter onto the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy. The ship floundered with the loss of 32 lives
A riot police officer tries to extinguish flames from a petrol bomb thrown by protestors outside the Greek parliament, Athens. Riots and demonstrations were widespread across many parts of Europe as people protested against austerity measures in the midst of the Eurozone crisis.
Prince Harry with Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt doing his signature sign after a short sprint, at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. The Prince was on his first official Royal tour and was a massive hit with practically everyone he met.
The space shuttle Enterprise, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flies near the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline in New York City. The iconic spacecraft was retired from service and is now a museum piece.
A "supermoon" is seen above the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon with the closest approach the moon makes to the Earth.
The Queen's rowbarge 'Gloriana' leads the man-powered section past the Houses of Parliament during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames in London. The 1,000 strong flotilla was the largest ever congregation of boats the Thames has ever seen.
James Holmes appears in court at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes, 24, stood accused of shooting dead 12 people and wounding 58 others at a cinema in Aurora.
Mo Farah celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win gold ahead of Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia and Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa of Kenya in the Men's 5000m Final on Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Olympic fever built to a crescendo and swept over the nation in the summer with Team GB producing some truly stunning sporting moments.
Smoke rises over Saif Al Dawla district in Aleppo after days of heaving and intensive shelling in Syria. The civil war has devastated many parts of the country with an estimated 40,000 people killed.
Vehicles are submerged on 14th Street near the Consolidated Edison power plant in New York after Superstorm Sandy battered the east cost of America. The superstorm killed 253 people and caused at least £40.43bn ($65.6bn) of damage
President Barack Obama waves as he walks on stage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha at his election night party in Chicago. Obama fought a close and incredibly expensive election battle with Republican, Mitt Romney, winning a second term.
Prince William poses for pictures with his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as they leave the King Edward VII hospital four days after she was admitted for treatment for acute morning sickness. The couple announced they were expecting on the 3rd.