Some of the past year's most intriguing photos...
Photo Descriptions / NBC News Archives - 2014
Waves break against a Spanish cargo ship that was torn in half off the beach in Anglet, France,on Feb. 5, 2014. The Spanish cargo ship carrying fertilizer was split in two after hitting a sea wall during high winds and leaked fuel into the water. Two helicopters lifted a dozen crew members to safety, said Jean Espilondo, the mayor of Anglet. Photo Source – Regis Duvignau / Reuters.
People run for shelter during a hailstorm on the beach at Ob River in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, Russia, on July 12, 2014. Photo Source – Nikita Dudnik / AP.
Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with airstrikes, including this one on July 29, 2014 in the Tuffah neighborhood, during a 50-day conflict with Palestinian militants from Hamas in July and August. Israel sought to cripple Hamas’s ability to fire rockets and use tunnels to stage attacks. Photo Source – Mohammed Saber / EPA.
A mother holds her children as their house burns during a fire in a residential slum in Manila, Philippines, on April 29, 2014. The fire left more than 30 families homeless and three residents injured, according to the Manila Fire Department. Photo Source – Dennis M. Sabangan / EP.
Marina owner Mitzi Richards carries her granddaughter as they walk on their boat dock on the dried-up Huntington Lake in California on Sept. 23, 2014. The lake was only at 30 percent capacity. California experienced its third year of severe drought, the worst in decades, threatening to drain underground aquifers and let the taps run dry for some 40 million people. Photo Source – Mark Ralston / AFP - Getty Images.
A scaffold carrying two workers is stuck 68 floors above ground at 1 World Trade Center on Nov. 12, 2014 in New York City. Two window washers were left dangling from the nation's tallest skyscraper when a cable suddenly developed slack. The workers held on to the teetering platform for two agonizing hours until firefighters used diamond cutters to saw through a double-layered window and pull the men to safety. Photo Source – Spencer Platt / Getty Images.
Residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency at the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, Syria on Jan. 31. Yarmouk, the largest of nine Palestinian camps in Syria with 18,000 civilians, has been under a tight government blockade since mid-2013. Photo Source – UNRWA via Reuters.
Medical staff carry James Dorbor, 8, suspected of having Ebola, into a treatment facility in Monrovia, Liberia, on Sept. 5, 2014. More than 18,100 people have been infected and more than 6,500 have died in West Africa since the initial case in Guinea a year ago, in an area bordering Sierra Leone and Liberia. Photo Source – Daniel Berehulak / The New York Times via Redux.
A golfer hits a tee shot as African migrants sit on a border fence during an attempt to cross from Morocco into Spain's north African enclave of Melilla on Oct. 22., 2014. Tens of thousands of migrants try to force their way into Europe every year, but nowhere is this constant struggle more dramatic than the two Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, which offer the only land route between the world's richest and poorest continents. Photo Source – Stringer / Reuters.
An ISIS militant remains standing following an airstrike on Tilsehir hill near the Syrian town of Kobani on Oct. 23, 2014 as seen from Yumurtalik, a village on the Turkish side of the border. Photo Source – Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images.
A Kurdish woman runs away from a water cannon near the Syrian border after Turkish authorities temporarily closed the border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Turkey's Sanliurfa province on Sept. 22. Turkey said that some 130,000 people had flooded across its border from Syria as Kurdish fighters battled ISIS militants trying to capture a strategic town. Photo Source – Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images.
Ukrainian riot police stand in front of a ring of fire around Kiev's Independence Square during the ongoing protests in Ukraine, on Feb. 19, 2014. Ukrainian riot police launched a massive assault on thousands of anti-government protesters in central Kiev. Photo Source / Sergey Dolzhenko / EPA.
Protesters catch fire as they stand behind burning barricades during clashes with police on Feb. 20, 2014 in Kiev. Photo Source – Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images.
Ten-year-old Macy Friday looks back at her family after meeting Hillary Clinton during a campaign event for Sen. Mark Udall in Denver's Union Station on Oct. 13, 2014. Photo Source – David Zalubowski / AP.
A boy brandishes a knife as he stands in front of a barricade during a demonstration after French troops opened fire at protesters blocking a road in Bambari, Central African Republic, on May 22, 2014. Photo Source – Goran Tomasevic / Reuters.
A massive mudslide swept a wall of debris through a small riverside neighborhood near Arlington, Wash., on March 22, 2014. The 1-square-mile mudslide killed 43 people and destroyed about 30 homes. Authorities believe the slide was caused by ground made unstable by recent heavy rainfall. Photo Source – Ted S. Warren / AP.
A staff member examines a 14-year-old male orangutan found with air gun metal pellets embedded in his body at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Center in Indonesia on April 16, 2014. The center has cared for over 280 orangutans rescued from palm oil plantations, poachers and pet owners. Over 200 have been reintroduced into the wild. Photo Source – Sutanta Aditya / AFP - Getty Images.
An Afghan refugee child chases bubbles released by other children on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Aug. 8, 2014. For more than three decades, Pakistan has been home to one of the world’s largest refugee communities: hundreds of thousands of Afghans who have fled the repeated wars and fighting in their country. Photo Source – Muhammed Muheisen / AP.
Protesters and student demonstrators hold up their cellphones in a display of solidarity outside the headquarters of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on Sept. 29, 2014. Hong Kong was plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists took over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. Photo Source – Xaume Olleros / AFP - Getty Images.
A girl reads a book on her balcony as smoke rises from the chimneys of a steel plant on a hazy day in Quzhou in China's Zhejiang province on April 3, 2014. China's Premier Li Keqiang said in March the country would "declare war" on pollution as part of efforts to upgrade the economy and shift the focus away from heavy industry. Photo Source – William Hong / Reuters.
A Palestinian boy looks up during a rain storm in Gaza City on Oct. 19, 2014 while walking through a neighborhood destroyed during the 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas. Photo Source – Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images.
Corbin Crawford, 12, left, holds his brother, Dylan Crawford, 7, as the pair await rescue from shifting ice above a hydroelectric dam on the Des Moines River near Fort Dodge, Iowa, on March 20, 2014. The boys were stuck adrift on a sheet of ice about 75 feet from the west bank of the river for nearly an hour before firefighters saved them. Fort Dodge Police officer Tim Breon talks to them at left. Photo Source – Hans Madsen / The Messenger via AP.
A sloth peeks out from behind a door on a floating house on Lake Janauari near Manaus, Brazil, on May 20, 1024. Photo Source – Felipe Dana / AP.
A wildfire burns next to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, Calif. on Sept. 7, 2014. About 120 firefighters and 11 aircraft fought the blaze, which may have erupted from embers of a fire sparked by lightning several weeks earlier. Photo Source – Michael Frye / AP.
A protester stands in front of police vehicles during a demonstration on Nov. 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out in Ferguson and across the country in November, after a grand jury declined to indict the officer, Darren Wilson. Wilson disputed the account of some witnesses that Brown had his hands up when he was fired on. Photo Source – Justin Sullivan / Getty Images.