At the end of each year, National Geographic 
rounds up its best photos - and here we will take a look at 20 of them. 
Every day throughout the year, National Geographic releases a Photo of the 
Day - some classic, others quirky, but they always select an image with a 
story to tell. In their pick for 20 of the best photos, this year, they 
selected photographs with the most shares, likes and comments from the 
social sphere. Let's take a look:

 

 

1. Cracking the Surface, Lake 
Baikal

National Geographic 2015

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Photographer Alexey Trofimov, captured quite 
an unusual picture of the ice, here. He writes that the 'ice on Lake 
Baikal is a very interesting phenomenon.'

 

2. The Village, 
Hungary

National Geographic 2015

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This photograph was taken by Gabor Dvornik, 
who lives half a mile from The Village, which is set on a natural reserve 
in Sz§dliget Hungary. While the air in this place is special every season, 
it is especially rare to have a nice, mist day. 'It was utterly ghostly 
and very moody out there' he writes.

 

3. When Penguins Attack, 
Antarctica

National Geographic 2015

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Captured with a GoPro on Antarctica's sea 
ice. The photographer, Clinton Berry had studied the movements of the 
penguins for weeks. The day that this shot was taken, there were over 60 
penguins and Berry says that there was a bit of luck involved 
too.

 

4. Against the Wind, 
Canada

National Geographic 2015

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In this shot, photographed by Domnic Roy, a 
snowy owl appears to be fighting against the elements during extreme 
weather conditions near Quebec City, Canada.

 

5. Something's Fishy, British 
Colombia Coast, Canada

National Geographic 2015

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Photographed by Ian McAllister using an 
underwater housing, this shot captures an intimate portrait of a wolf 
wading through the inter-tidal zone on the British Colombia coast in 
Canada. The wolf took a break from eating herring roe to investigate the 
photographer's half-submerged camera.

-   

 

6. Who's There?

National Geographic 2015

While taking this photo, Cezary Wyszynski 
imagined this mouse thinking 'Who was knocking at my 
door?'

 

7. Falls in Autumn, Plitivice Lakes 
National Park, Croatia

National Geographic 2015

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This is the country's oldest and largest 
National Park, which boasts 16 terraced lakes, formed by natural 
travertine dams that change color throughout the day. This photo was taken 
by Vedrana Tafra.

 

8. Bioluminous Larak, Iran  

National Geographic 2015

This shot was taken along the shore of 
Larak, Iran - an island in the Persian Gulf. 'The magical lights of the 
Plankton enchanted me so that I snapped the shot,' Pooyan Shadpoor 
says.

 

9. Mother of the Forest, 
Madagascar

National Geographic 2015

The boabab trees on Madagascar are 800 years 
old. They are home to snakes, bats, bush babies, bees and at times, 
humans. The trees are an important source of water - once can store up to 
4,000 liters of water in its trunk. This photo was taken by Marsel Van 
OOsten.

 

10. Fox Found, Gran Paradiso 
National Park, Italy

National Geographic 2015

Gran Paradiso National Park, was once a 
royal hunting retreat. Here, a red fox lies in wait, camouflaged by the 
autumn woods. This photo was captured by Stefano 
Unterthiner.

 

11. Dancing with the Moon, 
Iceland

National Geographic 2015

The vivid beams of light are a result of 
collisions between charged particles released from the sun's atmosphere 
and gaseous particles in Earth's atmosphere. This shot was captured by 
Andrew George.

 

12. Winter White, Gran Paradiso 
National Park, Italy

National Geographic 2015

Another great shot taken at Italy's Gran 
Paradiso National Park by Stefano Unterthiner. Among the wildlife 
inhabiting this pare are ibex, chamois, red foxes and ermines (pictured 
here).

 

13. Big Baby, 
Tonga

National Geographic 2015

This young humpback whale was captured in 
the waters off Tonga. Karim Iliya writes that she 'could not help but wave 
and smile at the newborn whale almost three times my length' Curiosity got 
the better of it and emerging from under its mother's fin, it swam toward 
me, approaching less than 30 centimeters (11 
inches).

 

14. Bird Feeders, 
China

National Geographic 2015

Abderazak Tissoukai was near Xingping in 
China's Guanxi region when he took this shot - a cormorant fisherman at 
sunset. 'Xingping is definitely one of the most beautiful places in China, 
with its scenic karst landscapes, and it traditional and genuine people,' 
he writes.

 

15. Kit Friendly, 
Estonia

National Geographic 2015

This kit fox appears to be weighing the 
presence of Kalmer Lehepuu's camera lens. He writes that 'on one beautiful 
evening, the mother went to get food and left the kits on their own.' 
Lehepuu then snuck closer to observe them.

 

 

16. Shining Through, Apostle 
Islands, National Lakeshore, Wisconsin

National Geographic 2015

This shot, taken by Ernie Vater, captures 
the setting sun shining the rough ice on the shore of a frozen Lake 
Superior. Part of the beauty of this place is its silence. Vater writes 
'you hear nothing except for the occasional creaking of the 
ice'.

 

17. Yellow Jellies, Rock Islands of 
Palau

National Geographic 2015

These golden jellyfish are harmless to 
humans, they spend much of their time following the sun as it moves across 
the sky. Sunlight for these jellyfish is essential. Captured by Ciemon 
Frank Caballes.

 

18. All the Fish in the Sea, Cabo 
Pulmo

National Geographic 2015

'This is what our oceans should look like', 
Jeff Hester, who captured this shot says. But Cabo Pulmo, a marine park 
off Mexico's Baja California, hadn't always been this 
way.

 

19. Imperial Blossoms, 
Japan

National Geographic 2015

These weeping cherry tree blooms, were 
captured on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan. They 
typically bloom in late March and early April. This photo was taken by 
Yukio Miki.

 

20. Hull-o, Caribbean Island of 
Bonaire

National Geographic 2015

This photo shows a diver gazing at Hilma 
Hooker, a cargo ship purposely sunk off the Caribbean island of Bonaire - 
a popular destination for scuba divers.