2015 was a year filled with incredible moments caught on video. Moments that stunned the world and moments that inspired. Here’s the look back at the most memorable from 2015.
Tragedy on live TV
A terrible tragedy captured live during the morning show on WDBJ-7, a local television station in Virginia, stunned the world.
Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and photographer Adam Ward, 27, were gunned down by a former colleague during an interview at a local plaza.
WARNING: The following video may be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised.
The gunman, identified as Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, and also known as Bryce Williams, was fired from WDBJ in 2013. He fled the scene after the shooting and later shot himself on Interstate 66 after a vehicle pursuit.
“Our hearts are broken,” said WDBJ-7 station general manager Jeffery A. Marks of the deaths of Parker and Ward.
Dashcam horror in Taiwan
Dramatic dashcam video captured the final seconds of a TransAsia Airways flight in February as it banked sharply on its side, clipped a van on an elevated roadway and plunged into a river.
The turboprop was carrying 58 people when it crashed shortly after takeoff in Taipei. Forty-three people died.
Alberta farmers get up close with a tornado
Alberta farmer Andrew Hougen was harvesting lentils one morning in August when he captured video of a tornado touching down outside Foremost, Alta.
Hougen, his brother, and father were about 20 km south of Foremost on Highway 879 at the time. Hougen said he took the video as they drove away from the tornado.
An unlikely courtroom reunion
Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mindy Glazer was presiding over a bond hearing for 49-year-old Arthur Booth, who was suspected of burglary, grand theft, fleeing and resisting arrest.
Glazer recognized Booth as a former middle school classmate. The former classmates enjoyed their reunion for a brief moment before Booth’s smile crumbled into weeping.
Mother of the year? Baltimore mother scolds rioting son on camera
A Baltimore woman was hailed as the ‘mother of the year’ by some after video captured her slapping and scolding her son for taking part in Baltimore riots in late April.
On social media, many applauded the mother’s actions, calling her the “mother of the year.”
Definitely not the mother of the year
An Indiana mother gained worldwide attention after a shocking video surfaced of her telling her 6-year-old to punch and hit another woman during a fight between the two women at a Walmart.
Best hug of the year
A long-time Arizona Coyotes’ fan got a standing ovation and maybe a few bruises at the game in April after his son – who had been serving a tour in Afghanistan – surprised him before the puck drop.
Trudeaumania in the metro
The morning after Justin Trudeau’s historic election victory, the new prime minister was in a Montreal metro station shaking hands and taking selfies with voters on their way to work.
The informal event captured the attention of the country and generated millions of views on social media.
Videojournalist gives refugees a poor welcome to Hungary
A video journalist was caught on camera tripping and kicking fleeing refugees during a chaotic scene at a refugee registration camp in Hungary.
The journalist was fired later in the day after the video had surfaced.
Syrian refugees arriving in Canada received a warmer welcome as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeted them at Toronto’s Pearson airport.
The Royal family had a couple of hilarious moments go viral in 2015. Let’s start with the little Welsh girl who was accidentally smacked by a saluting soldier just moments after the child gave Queen Elizabeth II a bouquet of flowers at a Colours Parade for the Royal Welsh Regiment in Cardiff. The Queen didn’t seem to notice the incident.
The video was so hilarious that Global Edmonton’s Shaye Ganam and Erin Chalmers couldn’t help cracking up while delivering the story.
Prince Philip may have topped that one when he was caught on camera using the f-word.
The 94-year-old Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth was sitting with members of the RAF Club to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain when he became irritated with the lollygagging photographer.
“Just take the f—ing picture,” Philip can be heard telling the photographer as he waves his hand at the man.
Great animal videos are always a staple in any annual retrospective. But in 2015, a few memorable animal encounters took the prize.
A mother bear and her five cubs were captured on video during a hot summer day in August as they frolicked in the backyard of a family home in New Jersey.
The bears take turns going for a swim, playing with the inflatable pool toys, take turns on the slide, and play with the garden hose. All while the family inside the home watched and hilariously commented.
A U.K. couple wasn’t as lucky in their encounter with a humpback whale.
The amazing video shows a fully grown humpback whale jump out of the water and land on top of a pair of kayakers in a tandem kayak. They emerged uninjured – but a little shaken.
Luckily, the same can also be said of pro surfer Mick Fanning who fought off an attack by a great white shark during a competition in South Africa in July.
Fanning was in the water with his surfboard when he could be seen making a sudden movement, and the shark’s fin nearby. Boats quickly raced to Fanning and pulled him from the water.
The three-time world champion was unharmed.
The winner is Miss Colombia. Wait, no, my bad.
Miss Universe pageant host Steve Harvey had one of 2015’s most cringe-worthy lapses when he mistakenly crowned the wrong contestant.
The Colombian contestant was already wearing this year’s Miss Universe crown when Harvey returned to announce on live television that he had mistakenly read from a cue card, and that the contestant from the Philippines was actually this year’s winner.
Bus driver sent flying through windshield and survives
A bus driver’s terrifying ride through the windshield of his bus serves as a strong reminder why you should always wear a seatbelt.
Video released by the Albuquerque, New Mexico transit department shows the shocking moments before, during, and after a head-on collision between a bus and a pickup truck on Jan. 2.
Train vs. snow. Train wins.
Heavy snowfall in New Brunswick in January and February created the perfect setting for a great viral video.
The video, captured by Darren Gordon, shows a train blowing through snow drifts at a crossing in Salisbury. At one point, you can’t see the train because the snow is so thick. But then the train hits the last snowbank, covering Gordon and his camera.
Tim Hortons employee throws coffee and timbits at customer
Surveillance footage from a Michigan Tim Hortons appears to show an employee trying to assault a customer with hot coffee and the chain’s tiny donuts during an incident in October.
The dumbest way to kill a spider
A man with an apparent case of arachnophobia caused a fire at a suburban Detroit gas pump by putting a lighter to what he says was a spider near his fuel door.
Lifesaving leap saves firefighter from burning
Shocking video out of China shows the moment a firefighter was forced to leap from the window of a burning building – after being set alight himself.
Despite catching fire and jumping from a tall window, CCTV reported the man suffered only minor injuries.
Devastating explosion rocks Tianjin, China
The Chinese port city of Tianjin was rocked by two explosions in August – one of which was reported to be the equivalent of 21 tons of TNT – that killed over 100 people.
American Daniel Van Duren captured the most intense footage of the frenzied moments before, during and after the devastating explosion.
Disaster strikes Nepal
A tourist in Bhaktapur, a short distance from Kathmandu, caught on camera the moment April’s devastating earthquake hit the city causing thousands of deaths and widespread damage.
Bhaktapur is filled with Hindu temples and other elaborate structures and buildings, and is known as Nepal‘s Cultural Gem.
The earthquake also triggered a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest.
The terrifying video above shows the instant a group of climbers at a Mount Everest base camp were forced to run from the avalanche.
Attack on Paris
The terrorist attacks on Paris in November shocked the world and left at least 129 dead and hundreds more wounded.
The attacks struck at the heart of Paris, including explosions near Stade de France, shootings at a popular Cambodian restaurant and Le Bataclan concert hall, where gunmen opened fire on the crowd attending an Eagles of Death Metal concert.
The chaos, drama and sadness were captured by many who witnessed the tragic events that unfolded on November 13th and the days following as the city tried to come to grips with this tragedy.
With files from – Elton Hobson, Jenny Sung, Andrew Russell, James Armstrong, Erika Tucker, Adam Frisk, Tania Kohut, John Hadden, Nick Logan, Laura Brown, Associated Press.