Video: Extreme Moments of 2010

When the earth cracks under your feet and splits into a crater the size of a three-story factory, you know that nobody’s going to believe you unless they see it for themselves.

The next best thing: pictures. We can never resist the biggest, the brightest, the tallest, the smallest, that rare, fleeting moment — like a sinkhole.

Photos: Stunning amateur images win big photo contest

The year certainly brought extremes in weather, as records were broken for hot and cold throughout the United States. Poor South Dakota, now gripped in the chilly embrace of a blizzard-laden winter, had no less than seven presidential disaster declarations in 2010. But attention turned east when Washington, D.C., was brought to a standstill by snow and when a rare tornado dared to skip through Brooklyn.

We also witnessed some whoppers of a fish tale this year. In France, angler Raphael Biagini reeled in a 30-pound koi carp that wouldn’t fit in your average ornamental pond. The “legendary goldfish,” however, was allowed to return to the lake whence it came — after a snapshot, of course. In South Africa, a sea critter was the aggressor: A 40-ton whale body-slammed a yacht, but seafarers Ralph Mothes and Paloma Werner were able to motor back under their own power.

Other jaw-droppers in 2010:
Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper at 818 meters and then some, officially opened in January.
• Sultan Kosen of Turkey is currently the world’s tallest man at 8 feet, 2 inches — but misses the record by 9 inches.
• Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal is currently the world’s smallest man at 26.4 inches. His stature’s good enough to get him a gig as Nepal’s goodwill ambassador.
• It’s Christ the King versus Christ the Redeemer, as the Polish town of Swiebodzin takes on Rio de Janiero for world’s tallest Jesus. According to the 78-year-old priest, Reverend Sylwester Zawadzki, who got the statue built, it measures 33 meters (108 feet), a meter for every year the religious figure lived. If you include the mound and the crown, it’s 167 feet, taller than Rio’s 125-footer.
• A bad landing caused Lufthansa Cargo flight LH8460, reportedly carrying chemicals and weapons, to bounce three times on the runway, split open, and catch fire, but everybody survived.
• And always captivating: the best meteor showers of the year.

–Vera H-C Chan

Yahoo! Year in Review editorial lead for four years running, Senior Editor Vera H-C Chan dissects news events and search trends to share the why behind what’s hot on the Web.

The Yahoo! Year in Review videos are produced by the Original Video team at Yahoo! News. The executive producer is Anna Robertson, Emmy award-winning producer for “Good Morning America” and the current director of social media and original video at Yahoo! News.

Related links:

When Snowmaggedon brought the White House to a halt
Video: Inspiring Moments of 2010
Video: Top News Stories of 2010

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