They say a picture says more than 1000 words, and that’s especially true when they show death, disaster and destruction. From starving children to terrorist attacks and war, photographers have always been there capturing what most people never (want to) see. It’s all about being there at the decisive moment, right when the action happens. Looking through their camera they document nothing but the truth, sometimes more gruesome and disturbing than they actually realize at the moment.
South African photographer Kevin Carter committed suicide a year after taking a picture of a vulture watching a starving child during the famine in Sudan in 1993. That’s what taking these kind of shocking photographs can do to a human being. Others struggled with reality when coming back from a war zone, where they have witnessed and photographed the worst things that humans are capable of.
We’ve selected 10 of the most shocking photographs that cannot be unseen. Not for the fainthearted, definitely not for those who think the world is a fairytale. Don’t look at these images over lunch, because they might destroy your appetite. Prepare for a roundtrip through the bottom of the world, where only the saddest, worst and most horrifying things happen. And then realise that all these images are 100 percent real.
10 World Trade Center 9/11
9 Abu Ghraib Torture
8 Mass Grave Bergen-Belsen
7 Lynching of Young Blacks
6 Buddhist Monk Thich Quang Duc Sets Himself Ablaze
5 The Falling Man
4 Bhopal Gas Tragedy
3 Rwandan Genocide
2 Saigon Execution
1 Vulture Stalking a Child
On a trip to Sudan in March 1993, South African photographer Kevin Carter spotted this starving toddler on his way to a feeding center when a hooded vulture landed nearby. Because he was told not to touch the children for fear of transmitting diseases, he just took the picture as "being his job." After he took the shot though, he did chase away the vulture. Nobody knows if the kid actually lived or died, but Carter did won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography the year after. A few months later he committed suicide.
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