BBC Future

2013: Stunning places on Planet Earth

  • Bridge over coloured water
    A train is reflected in the River Tweed, which straddles the English and Scottish border, near Berwick-Upon-Tweed, as it crosses the illuminated Royal Border Bridge. (Reuters)
  • Tropical Christmas
    Paddle boarders float past Rio de Janeiro's famed Christmas tree in Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in Brazil. Next year the lagoon will be used in Olympic events. (Getty Images)
  • Light fantastic
    The Northern lights, or Aurora borealis, are pictured near the village of Vik in southern Iceland. (AFP/Getty Images)
  • Dune sea
    A view of Yueyaquan Crescent Lake in Dunhuang, in China's northwestern Gansu province. Formerly a Silk Road trading stop, the lake is a popular tourist resort. (AFP/Getty Images)
  • Bright lights, big city
    A view of night-time New York taken by a crew member of the International Space Station (ISS) in March, with Central Park just left of centre. (AFP/Getty Images)
  • Instant island
    A violent earthquake in Pakistan in September created a small island of mud and rock off the southwest coast – though scientists believe it won’t last for long. (DAS/CNES/AP)
  • Winning view
    Tony Bennett won the Take a View - Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards Mist and Reflections category with this shot of the UK’s Crummock Water. (Tony Bennett/Take A View/PA)
  • Sea power
    Wind turbines off the coast of the German island of Borkum in the North Sea. Germany's costly incentives to boost renewable power generation have faltered in 2013. (Reuters)
  • The big thaw
    A barren summer landscape in Greenland during the July summer. The melting of Greenland and Arctic ice has been linked to recent heatwaves and downpours in the US. (Getty Images)
  • Serene green
    An aerial view of a sailboat on Lake Ammersee near Herrsching in southern Germany, during the heat of the European summer. (AP)
From a dazzlingly painted railway bridge to an oasis in a dune sea, we look at some of the most inspiring places on planet Earth in 2013.

More amazing image galleries of the year:

The year in weather

The year in space

The year in design and architecture

The year in wildife

People of the year

The year in transport

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