35 Photos That Will leave You Speechless

01. Robert Landsburg was about 7 miles from Mt St Helens when it erupted in 1980. He had only enough time to take a few photos before realising he was doomed. In an effort to protect his pictures his final act was to rewind the film in his camera, pack it in his bag and lay down on top of it before the fatal ash cloud reached him. These are the two most intact pictures of the three shots he had time to take, (credit to u/TheSpericalMiracle who posted these to r/Historyporn a month ago.

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02. In 1987, Ferrato rode along with the Minneapolis police as they responded to 911 calls. A boy named Diamond made a call saying that his father was physically attacking his mother. He was the first child Ferrato had seen stand up for his mother at a moment when most children would be afraid. The image of his bravery not only left an impression on Ferrato and the police, but was hailed as one of the most influential photographs in the world by Life Magazine. Twenty years later, Ferrato searched for and found Diamond. His parents are still together and maintain a healthy relationship with their son.

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03. Bruce McCandless making the first untethered spacewalk

Bruce McCandless making the first untethered spacewalk

04. The Lynching of Jesse Washington in my home town.

The Lynching of Jesse Washington in my home town.

05. “Earthrise” – Taken by astronaut Bill Anders on Apollo 8.

Earthrise - Taken by astronaut Bill Anders on Apollo 8.

06. 14-year-old boy fell from wheel-well of japan airline as it took off from sydney in 1970

14-year-old boy fell from wheel-well of japan airline as it took off from sydney in 1970

07. Jonestown Massacre, a bit NSFL

The very concept of cults has always kind of scared me. For example: Charles Manson, David Koresh, and especially Jim Jones. Because of that, this image is one of the single most horrifying things that I have ever seen. A quote that explains how I feel about almost all of the photos in this thread:
“If it makes you laugh, if it makes you cry, if it rips out your heart, that’s a good picture” -Eddie Adams (a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist)

Jonestown Massacre, a bit NSFL

08. The image used as proof that advanced shutter technology worked.

I saw this during a random trip to the Wisconsin Dells. Taken in 1886, the photographer had his son jump between two rock formations to prove his new photography invention actually worked. wikipedia
I’m speechless when I see it now and I can’t even imagine how I would feel if this was the first moving image I had ever seen.

The image used as proof that advanced shutter technology worked.

09. On a lighter note, this is believed to the oldest documented wheelie. Some soldiers coming home in 1936.
And it makes me happy to no end.
edit: Come to think of it, I have no idea where these soldiers are coming home from. I just know that’s how the image was titled.

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10. Two seconds before execution – Polish resistance members, Warsaw Uprising 1944.
Look at their faces – each of them reacts differently to the inevitable.

We still honor their memory in Poland
Two seconds before execution - Polish resistance members, Warsaw Uprising 1944.

11. I’m not 100% sure where this is but I always thought it was amazing.
Huge wave hitting lighthouse

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12. Conrad Schumann’s defection to West Berlin He’s jumping the wire between west and east berlin in 1961, just as the Berlin Wall is being built.

Conrad Schumann's defection to West Berlin He's jumping the wire between west and east berlin in 1961, just as the Berlin Wall is being built.

13. As a sports fan in general, Clint Malarchuk’s slashed throat still makes me gasp every time I see it.

As a sports fan in general, Clint Malarchuk's slashed throat still makes me gasp every time I see it.

14. Police officer hit by Molotov Cocktail during Greek riots.

Police officer hit by Molotov Cocktail during Greek riots.

15. Thousands of wedding rings confiscated from those in Concentration Camps

Thousands of wedding rings confiscated from those in Concentration Camps

16. I’ve always been amazed at the silent aggression in this picture..
(For the curious, google Oka crisis – a land claim clash between the Mohawk and the Canadian Government circa 1990)

FACE TO FACE

17. Luis Padillo and Soldier

Luis Padillo and Soldier

18. This non-photoshopped nat geo photograph. It’s stunningly beautiful.

This non-photoshopped nat geo photograph. It's stunningly beautiful.

19. Drawings of North Korean concentration camp by an escaped prisoner

Drawings of North Korean concentration camp by an escaped prisoner

20. Statue in the center of Stalingrad during the battle – this is one of the most famous photos from the Battle of Stalingrad which is known as one of the bloodiest battles in human history. 1 to 1.5 million people died in the battle lasting from August of 1942 to January of 1943. It was the turning point on the Eastern Front and the photo exemplifies the brutality and inhumanity experienced by both Russian and German alike

Statue in the center of Stalingrad during the battle

21. Couple in each others embrace in the final moments of life after Bangladesh factory collapse

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Edit: It’s possible they were not a couple, I just said that because most articles claimed they were. Either way it’s breath taking, perhaps even more so if they are strangers. Just looking for someone to experience a final moment of humanity with.

Couple in each others embrace in the final moments of life after Bangladesh factory collapse

22. This was poster earlier this year with the title “Most people don’t know what war looks like. We are too separated. This is a brief glimpse.”

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23. Protestors consoling weeping riot guard.

Protestors consoling weeping riot guard.

24. The Elephants Foot of the Chernobyl disaster. A mix of Sand and Radioactive Material. Which could kill you very quickly.

The Elephants Foot of the Chernobyl disaster. A mix of Sand and Radioactive Material. Which could kill you very quickly.

25. Woman and child falling from a fire escape

Woman and child falling from a fire escape

26. After winning the coin toss but crashing the plane on his attempt, Wilbur Wright looks on as his brother Orville makes history.

After winning the coin toss but crashing the plane on his attempt, Wilbur Wright looks on as his brother Orville makes history.

I love the body language that Wilbur has as he watches his brother make the first heavier-than air, powered, manned flight (very specific, yes, but also pretty historic). You can see the footprints he left in the sand as he ran along, holding the wing of the glider up during its takeoff run. The photo has amazing quality, given the circumstances it was taken under.

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28. As a linemen myself, and everyday having to put something in my hands that could potentially kill me instantly. This picture gets to me.

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The photo was taken in 1967 by Rocco Morabito called The Kiss of life.
I’m sorry for not giving more information I didn’t think this would get many upvotes.

J.D Thompson is the one giving the mouth to mouth, Randall G. Champion is the one who made contact. The photo was taken in 1967 by Rocco Morabito called The Kiss of Life. Champion went on to live an extra 35 years and died in 2002. Thompson is still alive today.
Edit: For those who don’t know when someone makes contact, it means they made a simple mistake which can happen to anybody in this line of work and made contact with probably 7500 volts. Based on what it looks like to distribution, if it would have been transmission, he wouldn’t be with us.

29. Mars lander descent photos captured from orbit

Mars lander descent photos captured from orbit

30. The text of the speech Nixon planned on giving to the American people if the crew of Apollo 11 were stranded on the moon.

The text of the speech Nixon planned on giving to the American people if the crew of Apollo 11 were stranded on the moon.
It’s chilling to think of the collective sorrows of an entire planet going up at that news.

31. The ruins of Dresden.

The ruins of Dresden.

It’s amazing to think this city was one of many that was absolutely destroyed. The grandiose scale that was WWII is astonishing and terrifying.

32. Journal entry president Theodore Roosevelt recorded on February 14, 1884, the day his wife, Eleanor, and mother, Martha died

Journal entry president Theodore Roosevelt recorded on February 14, 1884, the day his wife, Eleanor, and mother, Martha died

33. After the earthquake in Haiti, NSFL

After the earthquake in Haiti, NSFL

Edit: I tend to lurk, but when I saw this askreddit, I instantly knew that I had to post this. It’s been burned in my memory since I first saw it. At first response, I still have no words, but, as I force myself to think about the photograph, I can pull together some thoughts: first, that there is horrible tragedy in this world, and there are people who have dealt with it in such a more real and direct way than I may ever have to. Next, (cliche, perhaps) that the world is not a fair place, and I am lucky to have made it as far and with such relative luxury as I have, as the children in the picture never got the chance to. And third, that I am thankful, in a morbid way, for the journalists who go to areas and crises such as this. We hear on the news about the numbers of the dead, and we see helicopter footage of flattened towns, but until someone has gone into the thick of it, it’s often impossible for us to get a feeling for the true enormity of the situation and connect to it. Remember that, while we see one instant of one child’s body in the air, the photographer was there for the whole throw. And the one before it. And the one before that. And, quite likely, many more before and after and many other horrific situations that we can scarcely imagine. And although the photographer’s plight is self-inflicted, were it not for his or her work, we wouldn’t be able to connect to this horrible tragedy hundreds of miles away, and, if that connection leads to even a modest amount of donations or one volunteer worker that travels to help those in need, then that photographer has done a service to humanity at large.

34. The man who found his dog after digging for 30 hours in the Washington Tornado

The man who found his dog after digging for 30 hours in the Washington Tornado

35. Chinese monk praying for a dead elderly man in a train station

Chinese monk praying for a dead elderly man in a train station

I guess I should add that I lived in China and have seen a few monks in train stations travelling. Chinese train stations tend to be pretty cut throat and unpleasant.