26 of the Most Thought Provoking Photographs of All Time

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We frequently say a “photograph is worth a thousand words”, but sometimes they are worth even more. In this incredible series of photographs, the lens captures scenes that take us deep emotional journeys causing feeling ranging from uplifting joy to overwhelming sadness. The thought provoking power of these photos start us on a journey of thought and feeling that exceeds “a thousand words” with ease. The photo of the starving child’s hand being gently held by a missionary brings us feelings of despair and questions of how to help. The vision of the exhausted surgeon and  his assistant remind us of the immense sacrifice many doctors give to save lives and practice medicine. Each of these pictures capture moments filled with raw emotion and powerful stories, proving the impact of the camera.

Starving boy and missionary

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Image credits: Mike Wells

Inside an Auschwitz gas chamber

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Image credits: kligon5

Heart surgeon after 23-hour-long (successful) heart transplant. His assistant is sleeping in the corner.

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Image credits: James Stanfield

Father and son (1949 vs 2009)

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Image credits: Vojage-Vojage

Diego Frazão Torquato, 12 year old Brazilian playing the violin at his teacher’s funeral. The teacher had helped him escape poverty and violence through music

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Image credits: salvemasnossascriancas.blogspot.com

A Russian soldier playing an abandoned piano in Chechnya in 1994

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Image credits: drugoi.livejournal.com

Young man just found out his brother was killed

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Image credits: Nhat V. Meyer

Christians protect Muslims during prayer in the midst of the 2011 uprisings in Cairo, Egypt

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Image credits: Nevine Zaki

A firefighter gives water to a koala during the devastating Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, Australia, in 2009

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Image credits: abc.net.au

Terri Gurrola is reunited with her daughter after serving in Iraq for 7 months

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Image credits: Louie Favorite

Indian homeless men wait to receive free food distributed outside a mosque ahead of Eid al-Fitr in New Delhi, India

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Image credits: Tsering Topgyal / AP

Man Falling from the World Trade Center on 9/11. “The Falling Man.”

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Image credits:  Richard Drew /AP

Alcoholic father with his son

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Image credits: imgur.com

Sunset on Mars

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Image credits: nasa.gov

Five-year-old gypsy boy on New Year’s Eve 2006 in the gypsy community of St. Jacques, Perpignan, Southern France. It is quite common in St. Jacques for little boys to smoke

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Image credits: Jesco Denzel

Hhaing The Yu, 29, holds his face in his hand as rain falls on the decimated remains of his home near Myanmar’s capital of Yangon (Rangoon). In May 2008, cyclone Nargis struck southern Myanmar, leaving millions homeless and claiming more than 100,000 lives

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Image credits: Brian Sokol

A dog named “Leao” sits for a second consecutive day at the grave of her owner, who died in the disastrous landslides near Rio de Janiero in 2011.

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Image credits: Vanderlei Almeida / Getty Images

“Wait For Me Daddy,” by Claude P. Dettloff in New Westminster, Canada, October 1, 1940

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Image credits: Claud Detloff

An old WW2 Russian tank veteran finally found the old tank in which he passed through the entire war – standing in a small Russian town as a monument

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Image credits: englishrussia.com

Flower power

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Image credits: Bernie Boston

A woman sits amidst the wreckage caused by a massive earthquake and ensuing tsunam, in Natori, northern Japan, in March 2011

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Image credits: Asahi Shimbun, Toshiyuki Tsunenari /AP

The Graves of a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband, Holland, 1888

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Image credits: retronaut.com

Greg Cook hugs his dog Coco after finding her inside his destroyed home in Alabama following the Tornado in March, 2012

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Image credits: Gary Cosby Jr. / AP

Russian soldiers preparing for the Battle of Kursk, July 1943

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Image credits: Shirak Karapetyan-Milshtein (created in 2006-2007 for a photo competition)

During massive floods in Cuttack City, India, in 2011, a heroic villager saved numerous stray cats by carrying them with a basket balanced on his head

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Image credits: Biswaranjan Rout / AP

An Afghan man offers tea to soldiers

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Image credits: Rafiq Maqbool / AP

Via BP

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