History’s Rarest Images: 50 Photos That Will Stop You In Your Tracks

Some of the most rare photos are also the ones that stop us in our tracks as we linger on the image. The emotion, the horror, the joy…whatever the feeling the photo captures, it’s just stunning to behold. These are the images that stay with us. The images that we talk about to our friends over drinks. Sometimes these are also the images that change the world. Scroll through the gallery and bare witness to some of history’s rarest images.

Nuclear bomb test at Bikini Atoll – 1946


In the 1940’s, the United States conducted a series of nuclear bomb tests around the world. Over 216 nuclear tests were conducted via the atmosphere, underwater, and space. One of the best documented and shocking tests was at Bikini Atoll in 1946. From 1946-1958, 23 nuclear bombs were detonated at seven sites on the atoll.

The one pictured above was visually the most shocking ever documented and was called “Operation Crossroads”. The two tests in 1946 were called Able and Baker. Baker (seen above) was detonated in just 90 feet of water and caused massive damage and contamination to the atoll. The contamination to the area was so bad, they cancelled a third test that was to be called Charlie but was later detonated off the San Diego coast under the name Operation Wigwam.

A salute for a fallen hero and father – 1963


In one of the dozens of powerful images from the JFK assassination and following funeral is this image of 3-year-old John F. Kennedy Jr. As his father’s funeral procession drives by, the toddler raised his hand to salute his dad one last time. The Kennedy clan had many losses of family before their time. JFK’s brother Robert was assassinated just a few years after this photo was taken in 1968. In another shocking twist, JFK Jr.(pictured here saluting) died with his wife when he was flying his airplane and encountered some engine trouble. He couldn’t correct the malfunction and crashed off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He was only 39 years old.

Love in the middle of an actual riot in Canada – 2011


In Vancouver, Canada, two people crossed path in a twist of fate as the infamous 2011 Stanley Cup riots raged around them.  The two people were both trying to get out of downtown and the out of the riots way when the woman, Alex Thomas, fell to the ground. In that moment, a man named Scott Jones came running over and bent down to comfort her. What happened next was a moment that couldn’t be made up for a movie. The two embraced and kissed as a photographer snapped the famous photo. The two are still together today and living in Melbourne, Australia.