MailOnline Travel’s ultimate pictures of 2015: A jawdropping volcanic eruption in Chile, a cheetah who surprised a safari tourist and an image of a…

  • From prestigious photographic competitions to quirky animal snaps, this year has seen a plethora of iconic images
  • Pictures that went viral in 2015 include the tourists who stripped on a sacred Malaysian mountain, upsetting locals
  • Images of the couple who sailed round the world with their cat, Georgie, were among the most shared of the year




Breathtaking dusky sunsets in Burma, heartbroken pets watching owners pack for their Discount Holidays © holiday and an engineer taping up the engine of an easyJet plane.

There were so many captivating photographic moments in 2015, it was hard to decide on the most memorable.

One of the most-read travel stories of year was the unveiling of the world’s largest yacht, owned by a Russian billionaire, that made a dramatic debut with its 300ft high ostentatious masts during its first sea trials in northern Germany in September.

And the quality of photographs submitted for competitions run by National Geographic and Sony raised the bar of spectacular natural images, transporting readers to spellbinding Myanmar fishing villages and the captivating forests of Borneo.

Incredible images have also sprung up on social media sites, such as the gigantic rat that got stuck in a hotel toilet and an obese dog named Hank being wheeled on to an American Airlines flight.

Here are MailOnline Travel’s pick of the best images published this year.

A captivating image from the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards1 was by photographer Zay Yar Lin from Burma, who shared2 this image of a fisherman ‘leg rower’ from Innlay Lake in Myanmar rowing his boat with his legs

This curious cat3 got up close and personal with a tourist while on safari at the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya. The wild cheetah, with its razor sharp claws and teeth, sure is one moggy you’d rather not have curling up on your lap. But, nevertheless, the bold animal hopped into the back seat of a jeep as it drove through the African plains – much to the shock of Irish holidaymaker Mickey McCaldin

Eduardo Minte from Chile captured the spectacular moment the Calbuco Volcano – the third most active volcano in Chile – erupted for the second time this year. The volcano had been dormant for the last 43 years until this April. The image was also submitted to the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards45

They are not recognised by neighbouring countries, do not know their ages, and have little concept of reading or writing. The Bajau people are known as the ‘sea gipsies,’ as they spend most of their time living on boats and working in the turquoise Pacific Ocean. Photographer6 R hahn7 spent eight days among the sea nomad children in Borneo, learning and capturing8 their fascinating aquatic lives

Taken by Russian ambulance driver Boris Dmitriev, 30, a series9 of stunning pictures revealed the beauty of the night sky looming above rural Russian meadows and Georgia’s mountainous landscapes

One of the most striking images10 entered into this year’s National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest was this entry by Andrew Suryono11 of an orangutan in Bali protecting himself from the rain with a taro leaf

Alex Bernasconi has travelled the world capturing images of mother nature at her best, and now has compiled some of his most stunning photographs into book Blue Ice. This breathtaking picture shows Chinstrap penguins – a small species which inhabits the Antarctic Ocean – on an iceberg in the Southern Ocean. The book, published by Papadakis, is available in bookstores and online at thegmcgroup.com121314

In May a passenger on board an easyJet flight was shocked to see an airport worker applying tape15 to the engine shell moments before take-off. Contrary to popular belief, it is not duct tape.

It is believed the item is actually speed tape, widely used in aviation to carry out quick repairs on flights so as to avoid delays

This image of a young calf breaching just metres away from photographer Michaela Skovranova was taken during a tour in Tonga Vava’u called Swimming with the Gentle Giants. The young calf created a mesmerising underwater explosion upon landing. It was one of the most exhilarating moments of her life, she told MailOnline Travel 1617

One of the most shared stories of 2015 was the heartwarming tale of Matt and Jessica Johnson18, both 32, who decided to give up their ‘American Dream,’ quit their jobs, sell their possessions and raise enough money to buy their dream boat19. They shared some shots of their paradisiacal life sailing around the world with their adorable cat, Georgie

The awe-inspiring landscape of China was transformed into a multi-coloured palette of reflective mirrors thanks to the skill of one photographer, Alex Goh Chun Seong20

A fearless daredevil diver came face-to-face with a four metre long American crocodile in an extraordinary photo-shoot21. Italian thrill-seeker Roberta Mancino fulfilled a long-held dream by swimming with the reptiles in the Gulf of Mexico

British backpacker Eleanor Hawkins was among those who stripped off up a sacred mountain, which locals said upset the gods and triggered a 6.0-magnatude earthquake, killing 18 climbers. The former 12,000-a-year public schoolgirl Miss Hawkins, 24, from Derby, was jailed for three days, fined 850 for ‘committing an obscene act in public’ and deported

Steve McCurry’s amazing new book, India22, documents the raw and exciting moments encountered throughout the 30 years he’s been visiting the country. This image was taken in Haridwar, India, and shows a young child dressed as the Hindu Deity Lord Shiva. Steve McCurry: India, was published by Phaidon23 in October and is the perfect way to escape to the captivating nation

An obese dog24 named Hank was wheeled on to an American Airlines flight and treated like a king first-class style in October, as onlookers stood by, amazed at the pampered pooch’s size

The world’s largest yacht, owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, made a striking impression25 when it took its first sea trials in Kiel, northern Germany in September. At 468ft long and with three huge masts nearing 300ft high, the yacht has a price tag of 260million but the simplest of names – ‘A’

French photographer R hahn26 moved to the city of Hoi An in Vietnam to pursue capturing the fascinating nation on camera, producing images27 such as this young student against a vibrant yellow backdrop

This cringe-worthy image, reminiscent of a scene from a horror film, showed a massive rat caught trying to sneak its way up into a US hotel room through a toilet – getting stuck in the process.

The terrifying picture was uploaded by a hotel guest’s relative on Reddit 2829

Murad Osmann has won 2.6 million followers on Instagram with his stunning pictures of being lead to the corners of the earth by his partner Natalie Zakharova. Their adventures30 saw them travel to Hollywood, Bali, Jong Kong and Singapore – all captured in his signature style, with his hand stretching out to his beautiful girlfriend, who is leading the way

It was scene that would bring a tear to the eye of any Russian oligarch, supermodel or top football star. Dramatic photos31 emerged in August showing a superyacht, believed to have a market value of approximately 4million ($6.2million), sinking off the coast of the idyllic Greek island of Mykonos. Photos obtained by Boat International32 show most of the superyacht submerged, with just its bow sticking out of the water. Thankfully none of the occupants were said to be hurt

Getting ready for a new Discount Holidays © holiday is always an exciting time. But while travellers are delighted at the prospect of a couple of weeks drinking sangria on the beach, their pets33 are often less than impressed about being left behind, like this heartbroken kitten

Charlie Smith34, 29, and her fianc , who goes by the name Captain, 34, made the choice to sell their house and put their wedding plans on hold to embark on a new life in May this year. Leaving behind everything they knew, the thrillseeking couple departed their home in Jersey, Channel Islands and so far have sailed their way round the west of the Mediterranean, France, Spain, Italy, Elba, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearic Islands. This stunning image shows them diving into the deep blue on their travels

Photographers around the world shared their most hilarious pictures for this year’s inaugural Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. Among the entries35 was this cheeky picture of a hamster apparently levitating

Two-year old Loki, a hybrid of a Siberian husky, Malamute and Arctic Wolf, and his owner Kelly Lund from Colorado, love nothing more than sharing incredible outdoor adventures36 together.

Their impressive photographs saw them rack up an army of Instagram37 fans this year, ending the year on a whopping 824,000 followers

A Scottish tourist was left in shock after unwittingly capturing the image of a bizarre sea creature in his Discount Holidays © holiday snaps38 – which left online readers baffled.

Harvey Robertson, 52, was on a boat cruise with his family in Corfu when he took the mysterious photographs inside a sea cave

They’re the picture of professionalism during the flight, but once passengers have disembarked the fun takes off for cabin crew.

A craze39 emerged that involves stewards and stewardesses clambering into the overhead bins and photographs of them crammed inside being uploaded to Instagram with a hashtag of #overheadbin

Leonardo Edson Pereira, 23, and his girlfriend Victoria Medeiros Nader, 18, stunned readers with their fearless photographs40 dangling precariously off Brazil’s 2,769-foot-high Pedra de Gavea


  1. ^ 2016 Sony World Photography Awards (
  2. ^ shared (
  3. ^ curious cat (
  4. ^ Calbuco Volcano (
  5. ^ 2016 Sony World Photography Awards (
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  10. ^ striking images (
  11. ^ Andrew Suryono (
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  13. ^ Blue Ice (
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  15. ^ applying tape (
  16. ^ Michaela Skovranova (
  17. ^ MailOnline Travel (
  18. ^ Matt and Jessica Johnson (
  19. ^ dream boat (
  20. ^ Alex Goh Chun Seong (
  21. ^ photo-shoot (
  22. ^ India (
  23. ^ Phaidon (
  24. ^ obese dog (
  25. ^ striking impression (
  26. ^ R hahn (
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  29. ^ Reddit (
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  32. ^ Boat International (
  33. ^ pets (
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  35. ^ entries (
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  38. ^ Discount Holidays © holiday snaps (
  39. ^ craze (
  40. ^ fearless photographs (

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