46 Powerfully Moving Photos of Humanity

Warning: Some photos are graphic and should be viewed at reader’s risk.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

And these photographs are riveting, unforgettable and extraordinarily moving. They say a tremendous amount about the human condition – and some of the best and worst moments in human existence.

We should warn our readers that some of these images may be upsetting, while others may fill you with joy. But that’s precisely because these images reflect some of the best and worst parts of the human experience.

Whatever emotions they conjure up, it is our hope that these images will remind everyone that the world can always use a little more love, tolerance, and compassion.


Participants take part in a mass yoga class to mark the summer solstice on Times Square in New York, June 20. Yogis gathered on Times Square to celebrate the longest day of the year during the event which features four free mass yoga session at the heart of Manhattan.

01 - Times Square

Man embraces his girlfriend in the street after she is knocked down by police in a Vancouver riot.

02 - Riot Kiss

Starving boy and missionary.

03 - Starving boy and missionary

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

04 - Doctor heart transplant

The patient not only survived the surgery, but outlived his doctor.

05 - Patient survives

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

06 - Mother daughter reunited

Soldier Kyle Hockenberry fulfills his promise

07 - Wounded soldier

A 4-month-old baby girl in a pink bear suit is miraculously rescued from the rubble by soldiers after four days missing following the Japanese tsunami.

08 - Tsunami baby rescued

Anna Fisher, astronaut, with stars in her eyes on the cover of Life magazine in 1985. She was the first mother in space.

09 - Anna Fisher Astronaut

100,000 monks in prayer for a better world.

10 - 100,000 monks

Violinist, Nancy Dinovo, cries while playing during a service at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver for the September 11 victims.

11 - 911 Violinist

12 - 3113-934x

13 - Dance

14 - Butterfly

A father’s note to his son.

15 - Gay letter

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

16 - Catholic Protestant Graves

17 - Beautiful african woman

8-year old leukemia patient gets final wish

18 - Christmas Carol Wish

A daughter spreading her joy for the world to share.

19 - Daughter's sign

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

20 - Teacher violin funeral

The famous “Falling Man” – Photograph of a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:41:15 a.m. during the September 11 attacks in New York City.

21 - The Falling Man

A journalist dashes across a bridge to rescue a baby during Civil War. [1936]

22 - Journalist rescues baby

Inside an Auschwitz gas chamber

23 - Gas Chamber

A Rwandan boy left scarred after being liberated from a death camp.

24 - Scars

“The Tank Man’s” lonely act of defiance against the Chinese regime in Tiananmen Square.

25 - Tank Man

Agim Shala is passed through a barbed wire fence to his grandparents at a camp for refugees of the Kosovo War

26 - Toddler barbed wire

27 - Baby yoga

Supporters celebrate as Minnesota legalizes gay marriage.

28 - Gay marriage legalized

29 - Girl Smoking

30 - Jewish liberation

Soldier nurses kitten during Korean War

31 - Kitten Korean War

Earthrise from the Moon.

32 - Earthrise

A Mursi tribe woman discovers Vogue magazine, Ethiopia.

33 - Vogue

Afghan man serves tea to a soldier.

34 - Afghan man tea

Boy rescues his dog from a flood

35 - Dog flood

American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee are finally reunited with their families five months after they were imprisoned in North Korea.

36 - Journalists reunited

17-year-old Jan Rose Kasmir offers a flower to soldiers during the Pentagon anti-war protest in 1967.

37 - Offer flower

A woman mourns the loss of her husband.

38 - Tombstone tears

A child of the Erbore tribe, Ethiopia.

39 - Tribe child

A Japanese man is reunited with his dog after a tsunami separated them.

40 - Dog reunited after tsunami

41 - Flute

42 - Kid and cat

Captain Donald Spindler pulls 6 year-old Aaliyah Frazier from a fire in Indiana.

43 - Fire rescue

44 - Double Decker Bus

New York City’s first legal gay marriage.

45 - First gay marriage

Window washers at Children’s Hospital dress as superheroes to bring joy little patients.

47 - Superhero costumes

46 - Old Love

A daughter with her father, just moments before her wedding.

48 - Father at wedding



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