91 Pictures That Amazed Us During 2013 (PHOTOS)

20/12/2013 10:12 | Updated 25 January 2014

From meteor showers to photo-bombing tigers, some of the most recognisable pictures of the year have been captured by SWNS.

The news agency's award winning photographers and contributors have brought you extraordinary scenes of rioting in the wake of Margaret Thatcher's death and harrowing images of the Glasgow helicopter crash.

They were also on hand to see disgraced former minister Chris Huhne emerging from prison and the Rolling Stones performing at the Glastonbury Festival.

From close encounters with sharks to sumptuous Autumn landscapes, picture editor Jon Mills has combed through his archive to bring you his favourite images from 2013.

He said: "News never ceases to shock and inspire and our photographers are there in the thick of things, day after day, to capture each and every moment."

  • 1
    Snapper Penkdix Palme , 27, caught the tiny tree frog sheltering from the rain in his neighbour's back garden. The aquaphobic amphibian clung on to the stem of the green leaf for a staggering 30 MINUTES as it was lashed by wind and rain. In the amazing series of photographs, the two-inch high frog appears to angle the makeshift umbrella towards the direction of the fierce downpour. Huge droplets of water gather at the bottom of the leaf and surrounding branch while the clever frog remains dry. Talented Penkdix, who only took up photography six months ago, said he was shocked when he stumbled upon the unusual scene in his hometown of Jember, East Java, Indonesia.
  • 2
    This group of kayakers got the treat of their lives when they were joined in the sea by a massive basking shark. The group were out for an evening paddle around the coastal town of Peel on the Isle of Man just off the west coast of the Island. The incredible images were taken by Keirron Tastagh, founder of Adventurous Experiences, who was leading the kayak trip. Tastagh commented: “The Isle of Man is a known hotspot for Basking Sharks, but it’s rare to have everyone in the group experience such a close encounter.
  • 3
    This cute puppy will always be able to show her owners she loves them - after being born with a perfect HEART-shaped patch. Adorable 16-day-old Valerie is a Jack Russell-Chihuahua-cross and is one of 25 dogs in the household. But owners Joanne and Dave Boardman will never be able to miss their new addition with the striking brown fur patch which resembles a perfect love-heart on her back.
  • 4
    London’s Bonfire Night celebrations as seen from 800ft/244m above ground in The View from The Shard, the visitor attraction at the top of Western Europe’s tallest building.
  • 5
    Lightning between the Perth suburbs of Beachborough and Caversham - the November photo of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s annual calendar.
  • 6
    A woman had a miracle escape yesterday when a lorry flipped over and careered into her living room. The driver was also lucky to cheat death in the horror smash on the A90 in the tiny village of Lonmay, Aberdeenshire. He was rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with minor injuries and although the woman was uninjured she was said to be "badly shaken". Mark McDonald, 26, took these dramatic pictures which show the cabin of the lorry upside down and its trailer lying in the woman's living room. He said: "No one's sure how it happened but the trailer has actually squashed the house, it's right through the living room. "The lorry driver has been taken to hospital, but he's fine, somehow there's nothing wrong with him - he's not hurt. "The woman was actually sitting in the living room at the time and she's OK as well, but she got quite a scare and was badly shaken up by it”
  • 7
    Caffrey the cat has purrfect balance - he gets around on just TWO legs. The impaired Persian can WALK and RUN despite missing both his front and back limbs on his left side. Amazed vets have told owner Sue Greaves they have never seen another case like it. She resisted calls to put down the crippled cat - and insists he is as content as any four-legged feline.
  • 8
    A British tourist who miraculously survived plunging from a hotel balcony in Thailand has learned to walk and talk again despite missing – ONE QUARTER OF HIS HEAD. TOWIE extra Lee Charie, 32, fell from the balcony in Koh Tao and smashed the left side of his skull on December 18 last year while he was travelling in the far eastern country. Swimming pool maintenance worker Lee was found by hotel staff lying on the ground and was rushed to a local clinic before being transferred to a larger hospital on Koh Samui. When he arrived at the hospital Lee lost consciousness for two days before medics managed to bring him back to life. Lee, an extra for TV mockumentary The Only Way Is Essex, had to have part of his skull removed while in intensive care for a fortnight and his family were told he could be paralysed down his right-hand side. But luckily Lee was strong enough to be transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge on January 18 - with the piece of skull in a BOX.
  • 9
    This van driver and his passengers had a flipping lucky escape when their vehicle was catapulted through the air - before wedging itself against a HOTEL. Amazingly the man and two boys were able to scramble free of their stricken motor, which landed nose-down in a grass bank with its wheels balanced precariously against the building. Nobody was hurt in Saturday's accident, that happened as the driver swerved to avoid a car on the busy A3075 near Newquay, Cornwall. Simon Hill, owner of the White House Inn, said that luckily no guests where the other side of the wall where the white van struck.
  • 10
    These are the head-spinning 'star trail' images captured by a young photographer who spends his nights studying the Scottish skies. Kirk Norbury, 21, took the snaps deep in the Galloway forest, home to Scotland's first 'dark skies' park where observers can see the sky free from light pollution. The stunning shots of what appear to be fireworks are actually just photos of stars taken on a long exposure - with the rotation of the earth adding the effect of motion. Kirk, 21, of Ayr, said yesterday (Thur): "Scottish skies are among the clearest in the world and there is no better place to watch them than from Galloway forest.
  • 11
    These are the incredible scenes of 8ft snow drifts in the warmest corner of the UK - the holiday isle of Guernsey. The Channel Island has ground to a halt over the past three days following the worst snow storms in decades. These pictures were taken by Danielle Stonebridge, 21, a Guernsey resident and part-time photographer, of her dad Dave, 61. Luckily for residents on the island, work has begun and most of the snow is now thawing out.
  • 12
    Six police were injured - one seriously - as violence erupted at a street party to 'celebrate' the death of Baroness Thatcher. Trouble flared after midnight when a 200-strong crowd refused police requests to peacefully disperse in Easton, Bristol. Officers donned riot gear and used shields and batons as they were pelted with bottles, cans and rubbish. Firecrews were called to tackle a series of bins which were set on fire by the mob and a police car was damaged by the flying missiles.
  • 13
    Daredevil Guerlain Chicherit, 34, sped towards a ramp in his specially built Mini Countryman at an exact 37mph. He then hit the quarter-pipe and took off - flipping a full 360 degrees backwards before landing rear wheels first on other side of the snow-covered ramp in Tignes, France. The jaw-dropping stunt was the result of four years of preparation with Frenchman Chicherit becoming the first person to successfully backflip a car.
  • 14
    A stranded vehicle near Barr Beacon in the West Midlands. Thousands of homes are still without power and many roads remain impassable after severe weather affected much of the UK over the weekend. In Scotland several thousand homes were affected after snow and strong winds damaged power cables. In Northern Ireland some households in remote areas have been warned it could be several days before their supplies are reconnected. The Met Office issued a warning for ice as temperatures remain low. It warned of lying snow melting and then refreezing overnight into Monday - leading to icy patches across much of the UK. Also strong to gale-force winds will affect some roads, especially over high ground, where snow drifts have accumulated.
  • 15
    A heavenly message which can only be read from above has remained virtually unnoticed for more than 20 years. Peter Gunner spent decades carefully pruning specially laid out willow cuttings which map out the words from the Bible passage John 14:6: “Jesus said to him: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’.” The 62-year-old wanted to create a maze in a Sussex field of his favourite verse from the Bible that people could lose themselves in as a metaphor for life. He said: “You walk around in it but you don’t really know what your life is going to look like from above.” This image is provided for one time use only to accompany SWNS story SWTREES February 7 2013. No sales, no archiving.
  • 16
    Prince William takes part in the The Jerudong Trophy match at Cirencester Park Polo Club, Cirencester, Gloucestershire,14 July 2013.
  • 17
    Olympic athlete and gold medalist Jessica Ennis MBE at her wedding to Andy Hill at Hathersage Church, Derbyshire. Beaming Olympic gold-medalist Jessica Ennis told how she felt "amazing" as she tied the knot (on Saturday).?Stunning heptathlete Jessica, dressed in an elaborate white wedding gown and floor-length veil, married long-term boyfriend Andy Hill at Hathersage church in Derbys., surrounded by around 150 friends and family. Glen Minikin /
  • 18
    At 11.30am on Monday September 23, there was a robbery at a convenience store in Ilminster, Somerset. See SWNS story SWGUN; This video shows the moment of the robbery as an armed gunman challenges a security guard and makes off with his money bag. An investigation has begun and Police are appealing for anyone with information about the robbery to call on 101.
  • 19
    A lottery winner’s luck ran out when he wrote off his GBP100,000 Bentley Continental – after he tried to drive through a flooded road. Hapless Robert Johnson, 65, splashed out on the brand new motor three years ago after scooping the GBP5million lottery jackpot in 2008. But he was forced to ditch his “pride and joy” when he drove through flood water in Tewkesbury, Glos, shortly after 8am on Wednesday 2 January 2013. The wealthy management consultant and landowner was driving along a country lane on the outskirts of the town when his car got swamped by 3ft of water after a stream burst its banks. Grandad-of-one Robert rang the AA and a rescue truck arrived but was unable to tow the car to dry land because Bentley’s can only be towed from the front. Rising flood water meant the AA truck was unable to reach the car – forcing Robert to leave the jet black vehicle to the mercy of the floods.
  • 20
    A brave surfer makes the most of the stormy weather at the Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwall. 03/10/2013
  • 21
    This years Edinburgh Christmas schedule is launched with a spectacular preview of the hit international circus show LIMBO. The act includes music, dance, acrobatics, the highlight being Heather Holliday sword and fire eating. 24/09/13
  • 22
    Sir Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, launches the 2013 festival which celebrates the interaction between technology and art.
  • 23
    Spectacular view from the top of the Forth Road Bridge. One thousand exclusive tickets for a once in a lifetime chance to scale the heights of the Forth Road Bridge are to go on sale from Wednesday 30th Oct at 1pm. Demand is expected to be high for these on-off tower top trips which will take place in July and August 2014 in the run up to the Forth Bridges Festival. 28/10/13
  • 24
    A homeowner has been ordered to tidy up the front of his property after it became so overgrown with ivy and weeds - it now covers his ENTIRE house. Lazy Ken Mould's three-bedroom detached home has been completely consumed by rampant ivy and conifers leaving it invisible to passers-by. The 50-year-old's garden is so overrun with plants not even the chimney of the house manages to poke above the mass of foliage. The deep wilderness extends so far forward from the house on the quaint cul-de-sac in Rugeley, Staffs., the shape of the building can no longer be made out from the pavement. Amazingly Mould still lives INSIDE the house with his wife Diane, 50, despite the roof and first-floor windows being totally hidden under a thick covering of ivy.
  • 25
    Princess Beatrice visits the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) in Edinburgh to mark her first official engagement in her role as Patron of The Sick Kids Friends Foundation.
  • 26
    A rainbow and sunshine on a glen south of Kingussie after the morning rain has subsided.
  • 27
    Heel Hitler - Here's Patch the puppy with an uncanny resemblance to Nazi leader Adolf. A dark mark on his top lip mirrors the Fuhrer's famous moustache. And another large brown area over his left ear completes the look of the evil dictator. But the resemblance ends there as seven week-old Patch has a gentle and loveable temperament. The tiny puppy, a cross between French bulldog and a shih tzu, has two brothers and lives with owner Clare Whitehead in York. / Glen Minikin
  • 28
    Phillip Simelane is arrested by West Midlands Police on Harborne Road, Birmingham just hours after the murder of Christina Edkins. The man accused of murdering Birmingham schoolgirl, Christina Edkins will appear in court today Wednesday 2 October, where he is due to enter a plea. Phillip Simelane, from Walsall, is accused of murdering 16-year-old Christina as she travelled on a bus to her school in Halesowen. Christina was stabbed as she sat on the top deck of a bus as it headed along the Hagley Road, Birmingham at around 7.30am on March 7. She died at the scene. The case against Simelane, aged 23, was last heard on 6 September during which Birmingham Crown Court heard that he was deemed unfit to stand trial. The case was adjourned until 2 October for further psychiatric reports.
  • 29
    Five sheep stand on a stone wall to escape the frost covered grass as the sun rises over Malmesbury, Wiltshire, November 26 2013. Temperatures have fallen well below freezing in the South west for the first time this year.
  • 30
    A former Villa goalkeeper drove his ex-girlfriend to the brink of suicide in a harassment campaign. Ex-England youth international Matthew Ghent was branded a “true stalker” by a judge after he admitted harassing the pretty probation officer, whom he met on a dating website. The 32-year-old, from Tamworth, bombarded her with 70 emails and text messages after their six-month relationship ended and she refused to go on a holiday he had booked behind her back. A court heard that Ghent – who was previously convicted of attacking another ex-girlfriend – even turned up at the woman’s office and only left when her colleagues threatened to call the police.
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