Take a look back at 2012 in pictures: A year marked by Olympic trials, a Royal invasion, constant campaigning and an impending apocalypse.
George, 7, of Woodruff, SC, puts up a sign in preparation for a campaign stop by Republican presidential candidate and former US Sen. Rick Santorum at the Beacon Drive-In on Jan. 18 in Spartanburg, SC.
Participants ski in the 30th edition of the Belalp Witches Ski Race on Jan. 14 in Belalp, Switzerland. The race is inspired by a legend dating back to the Middle Ages, of a witch who tormented villagers in the area until she was burnt to death.
Folks gather at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, open for the first time on MLK Day.
Onlookers watch as the Disney Fantasy cruise ship is hauled backwards by tugboats down Ems River after the ship departed from a shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The newly-completed 130,000-ton ship can accommodate 5,450 passengers, cast and crew.
Mark McMorris of Canada soars over the Winter X feature as he practices for the men's snowboard slopestyle finals during Winter X Games 2012 at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, CO.
Osi Umenyiora, No. 72, (L) and Devin Thomas, No. 15, of the New York Giants celebrate after the Giants defeated the Patriots by a score of 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on Feb. 5.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the eighth tee during the pro-am event prior to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club on Feb. 8 in Dubai.
A US Marine Corps helicopter flies past the US Capitol with a full moon lighting the sky on Feb. 7. The night’s moon marks the peak of its waxing.
A devotee has his body pierced with hooks before taking part in the Thaipusam procession at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Feb. 7 in Singapore. Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai. Devotees pray and make vows. When the prayers are answered, they fulfill the vows by piercing body parts, such as their cheeks, tongues and backs, before carrying a "Kavadi" along a 2.5-mile route.
Adele attempts to hold her Grammys in the press room of the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The singer took home 6 awards at the 54th annual show, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
Andrew Mueller, 10, competes with his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Stella in the Junior Showmanship Preliminaries at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in NYC.
First Lady Michelle Obama performs in Des Moines, IA, during an event highlighting her "Let's Move" initiative.
A fan writes a message on a tribute wall in Manila, Philippines, for the late singer-actress Whitney Houston. Fans worldwide mourned after learning of her death on Saturday.
Japanese children wear loincloths as they splash about in freezing cold water during Saidaiji Naked Festival, at Saidaiji Temple on Feb. 18 in Okayama, Japan. The festival is one of Japan's more quirky ones.
A reveler, from the Vila Isabel samba school, parades on the first night of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome.
In this handout provided by Friends Furever, Chris De Aboitiz rides a wave with his surf dog during the Surfing Dog Spectacular on March 12 at Noosa beach in Queensland, Australia. The VetShopAustralia.com.au Surfing Dog Spectacular was the first official dog surfing event held in Australia, and opened the Noosa Festival of Surfing.
Members of a plumbers' union dye the Chicago River green for St. Patrick's Day in Chicago. The river was first dyed green in 1962; the practice has become a St. Patrick's Day tradition in Chicago.
The entrance of the Anne Frank Center in New York City opened on March 15, 2012 as an attempt to inspire tolerance by sharing the life and thoughts of Anne Frank, a victim of the Holocaust.
The Kentucky Wildcats celebrate after defeating the Kansas Jayhawks in the national championship game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.
Easter week in Spain is traditionally celebrated with processions. In the town of Zamora, penitents walk up Calle Balborraz during the procession of the Cofradia de la Virgen de la Esperanza.
A boy splashes elephants with water during the Songkran Water Festival in Thailand's Ayutthaya province. Songkran, the most celebrated festival of the year, marks the start of Thailand's traditional New Year
Chinese lanterns decorate the area around the ArtScience Museum in Singapore. A total 2,228 lanterns were hung around the museum to commemorate the passengers on board the maiden voyage of the Titanic 100 years ago.
Singer Santi White performs onstage during the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field in Coachella, CA.
A member of the Cryophil Winter Swimmers Club lies on floating ice on the Yenisei River in Siberia.
The space shuttle Enterprise, mounted atop a NASA 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, flies over New York City. Originally housed at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Enterprise will be demounted from the carrier plane and placed on a barge that will be moved by tugboat to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum.
Mario Gutierrez (R) reacts after winning the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY
Queen Elizabeth II attends the state opening of Parliament.
Maikos, or apprentice geishas, observe the solar eclipse on Monday with solar viewers at a shrine in Kyoto. The sun and moon aligned over the Earth in a rare astronomical event -- an eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.
Nayan, a 2-year-old Asian elephant, is squirted with water by keepers to cool him down in his enclosure at Chester Zoo in northern England.
A man spreads rose petals, which will be used to make incense sticks, on the floor to dry in Lahore, Pakistan.
Fireworks over Buckingham Palace mark the end of The Diamond Jubilee Concert from The Mall on June 4th in London. This year -- for only the second time in history -- the UK is celebrating the 60th anniversary of a monarch’s reign, and thousands of well-wishers from around the world flocked to London to witness the spectacle of the weekend's celebrations.
Boys play in heavy rain at a Buddhist monastery used as a collective shelter for people displaced by recent violence in Sittwe, Myanmar.
Amanda Jacobs dives into a quarry lake at the Beaver Dam Swimming Club in Cockeysville, MD, where residents seek ways to avoid the heat after electric power was knocked out by a major storm.
Bernhard Eisel of Austria drives the peloton as they defend the yellow jersey of race leader Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain during the 2012 Tour de France from Macon to Bellegarde-Sur-Valserine in France.
Serena Williams and Venus Williams of the USA celebrate with their winner's trophies after their Ladies' Doubles match against Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships in London.
Performers dressed as oversized traditional figures dance through the streets during the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain.
Fires light the ancient megalithic monument of Stonehenge as part of the Salisbury International Arts Festival near Amesbury, England. The Fire Garden, which will run for 3 consecutive nights at the UNESCO World Heritage site, has been created by French arts group Compagnie Carabosse.
Wild ponies are herded into the Assateague Channel for their annual swim to Chincoteague Island in Virginia. Every year, the wild ponies are rounded up to be auctioned off by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.
The faithful pray on the path to the Hassan II Mosque -- the 7th-largest mosque in the world -- as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in Casablanca, Morocco.
Fireworks explode over Olympic stadium, officially bringing the London 2012 Olympic Games to a close, with the help of royalty and rock stars -- Queen, The Who, George Michael and the Spice Girls, to name a few.
In Acre, Israel, children play at an amusement park as Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Yawalapiti men wrestle as part of this year's 'quarup,' a ritual held over several days to honor the death of a person of great importance to them, in Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State. This year the Yawalapiti tribe honored 2 people -- a Yawalapiti Indian who they consider a great leader, and Darcy Ribeiro, a well-known author, anthropologist and politician known for focusing on the relationship between native people and education in Brazil.
Baseball prodigy Christian Haupt throws the ceremonial first pitch before the game between the San Diego Padres and hist favorite team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
People take part in a sunset yoga session as the Tribute in Light shines over the Brooklyn Bridge over the East River on the 11-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York. The Tribute in Light is an art installation near the site of the World Trade Center in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks.
A model presents a creation from Project Runway alum Christian Siriano's Spring/Summer 2013 collection during New York Fashion Week.
President Barack Obama holds on as he is hugged and picked up by Big Apple Pizza owner Scott Van Duzer in Fort Pierce, FL, while campaigning across the state by bus.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, watch a dancing dragon as they attend a cultural event in Queenstown on day 2 of their Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East in Singapore.
Shop owner, Herbert Lipah, is happy to show off a selection of Lederhosen shorts at his store. Shoppers can find lederhosen that are over 100 years old in his Lederhosenwahnsinn in Moosach, Munich, just in time for the start of Oktoberfest.
Thousands of fans sing along with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith during the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas, “the biggest live music event in radio history.”
Dean O'Malley flies using a JetLev, a water-powered recreational jetpack flying machine in Newport Beach, CA. O'Malley will attempt to establish a new world record for flight of the JetLev by making a 26-mile-open-ocean crossing from Newport Beach to Avalon, Catalina Island.
PSY performs his international hit “Gangnam Style” at Kyunggi University in Suwon, South Korea. The song is No. 2 on the Hot 100 Billboard chart currently, and the music video has the most YouTube likes in history.
Devotees carry an idol of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh for immersion into the Arabian Sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, India. Ganesh idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing and later immersed in a river or the sea, symbolizing a ritual seeing-off of his journey towards his abode and taking away with him the misfortunes of all mankind.
Paint the town ... pink? That's the idea behind the Breast Cancer Campaign's "Turn London Landmarks Pink." The infamous Tower of London is illuminated pink for breast cancer awareness month.
Inava Kuzmanouska and Rachel Cooper’s sculpture, Mirador, can be seen at the Sculpture by the Sea outdoor exhibition in Sydney. The exhibition features 100 artworks that line the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk.
A woman wears a metal structure comprising of 1,151 oil lamps for a prayer ritual at the Navratri festival in Ahmedabad, India. The vibrant festival is held every year for 9 nights to celebrate the Hindu goddess, Durga, who symbolizes power and the triumph of good over evil.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, as they are joined on stage by Michelle Obama and Ann Romney at the conclusion of the final US presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida.
A couple in costumes and creepily-realistic gory makeup participated in the “Evil Spirits Parade” flash mob in Krasnoyarsk, Russia on Halloween.
San Francisco Giants fans celebrate after the baseball team won the MLB World Series against the Detroit Tigers.
President Obama shares a moment with his daughters, Sasha and Malia, as he pardons the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey at the White House. The turkey named Cobbler and its companion, Gobbler, will spend the rest of their lives at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens in Virginia.
President Barack Obama celebrates his reelection on stage with first lady Michelle Obama, VP Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, after his victory speech in Chicago.
The Rockerfeller Center Christmas Tree is lit during the 80th annual Lighting ceremony in NYC.
The Third Battalion Yorkshire Regiment soldiers return home from a 6-month tour of duty in Afghanistan and march through York, England in their homecoming parade.
Attempting to break the skinny-dipping world record, people line up to be counted before diving into the water at Papamoa Beach in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Thousands hold up candles and sing to honor King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 85th birthday in Bangkok. The King has reigned since 1946, making him the world’s longest reigning monarch alive.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class EO3 John Chen, 23, from Lakehurst, NJ, kisses his new bride, Victoria Chan, 25, from Manhattan, as they pose for photographers after they were married in a civil ceremony at New York City's Office of the City Clerk. Hundreds of couples packed the office in lower Manhattan to be married on the date 12/12/12 as this will be the last such triple date for almost a century until January 1, 2101.
Two women paddle on stand-up paddle boards at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.
People dressed in green costumes imitating extra-terrestrials talk with journalists while in the view of Bugarach, the highest point of the Corbieres massif, in southwestern France. Surrounded in legend for centuries, Bugarach has become a focal point for many Apocalypse believers as rumors have circulated that its mountain contains doors into other worlds, or that extraterrestrials will return here on Judgment day to take refuge at their base. Residents of the tiny southern French hamlet, are witness to a rising influx of Doomsday believers convinced it is the only place that would survive judgment day, December 21, 2012.