Humans continue to alter Earth in ways both mundane and extreme, as diverse as rocket ships punching through the sky to scooping up rocks from a volcano’s mouth. This crop of images, pulled from National Geographic’s Pictures of the Year 2022, shows that influence as: new scientific developments, like ribbon-y curls of ultra-thin ceramic; natural appreciation, including hikers who march like ants atop the Bears Ears monument in southeast Utah; and altered animal behavior, such as the gathering of wild elephants and domesticated cattle munching on a trash heap in Sri Lanka.
Throughout 2022, 132 photographers took 2.2 million images for the magazine from 60 countries, according to National Geographic. Check out 10 of the very best in the gallery below.
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For more on this story, visit natgeo.com/photos.