BBC Future

2012: Weird and wonderful pictures

  • Indoors if wet
    Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde won acclaim for creating clouds in empty rooms with a fog machine. (Courtesy: Berndnaut Smilde and Ronchini Gallery)
  • Whale Madrid
    Two Beluga whales play with a football at the Beijing Aquarium in May. (Copyright: AFP/Getty Images)
  • Home-made plane
    Chinese farmer Zhang Xuelin spent 11 months – and the princely sum of £200- building a motorcycle-plane. But the aircraft failed to get off the ground. (Copyright: Reuters)
  • One lump or two?
    The latest sensation for coffee connoisseurs – beans plucked from elephant dung. They don’t come cheap, however – they retail at $1100 (£680) per kilo. (Copyright: Getty Images)
  • Panda porters
    Workers wear panda costumes as they carry a box to transport Giant Pandas back to the wild at a nature reserve near Wolong, China. (Copyright: AFP/Getty Images)
  • Picking a winner
    This otter, named Ferret, picked Germany as the winner against Denmark at Euro 2012 his enclosure in Aue, eastern Germany. They beat Denmark 2-1. (Copyright: AFP/Getty Images)
  • Peeping Tom?
    A rare Tiger Cat peers from its enclosure at a zoo in Mulhouse, eastern France. The Tiger Cat lives in South and Central America. (Copyright: AFP/Getty Images)
  • Prehistoric baby
    The well-preserved body of a baby woolly mammoth, nicknamed Lyuba, went on show in Hong Kong in April. The body is thought to be 42,000 years old. (Copyright: Getty)
  • Holding the pose
    Yoga teacher Tao Porchon-Lynch showed no sign of giving up yoga – becoming the Guinness World record holder as the oldest yoga teacher at the age of 93. (Copyright: Reuters)
  • All dressed up...
    Two attendees of this year’s Comic Con in London in October, dressed as characters from the video game Journey. (Copyright: Getty Images)
Some of the year's more off-the-wall pictures, including a clever otter, football-playing whales... oh, and men dressed as pandas...

More amazing image galleries of the year:

A year in space

The year in technology

A year of discovery

People of the year

The year in weather

The year in wildlife

Future visions

Places

New frontiers

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