By Amanda

LifeBuzz Staff

National Geographic’s Top 20 Photos Of 2015 Are The Best Ones Yet.

National Geographic has spent decades at the forefront of wildlife and travel photography and storytelling, and there are endless amazing photographs to browse in their archives. Despite their long and storied history, 2015 just might have been their best year yet -- and the best photos on the National Geographic website have come from its readers.

Each day of the year, the site showcased on photo to celebrate: Sometimes classic, sometimes bizarre, and always accompanied by an awesome story. These are the most popular images of the year: The ones with the most shares, likes, and ability to pack a punch. #17 is kind of mind-blowing.

#1. Bioluminous Larak

The incredible shore of Larak, Iran, an island that's treated to the presence of luminescent plankton that pile up on the sand.

Bioluminous Larak

Pooyan Shadpoor

#2. When Penguins Attack

Clinton Berry captured this photo with a GoPro on Antarctica's sea ice. "I studied the movements of the penguins for weeks," Berry wrote. "They walked in the same area almost every day. We would get maybe a dozen or less going by. The day this was taken there were over 60 penguins. It was a bit of luck involved too."

When Penguins Attack

Clinton Berry

#3. The Village

Located in Sződliget, Hungary, this house looks like something out of a fairy tale. “It was utterly ghostly and very moody out there,” wrote photographer Gabor Dvornik. “I felt like I was in a fantasy tale, in an enchanted land. I was so euphoric that I made around 500 captures and walked around the lake two to three times.”

The Village

Gabor Dvornik

#4. Against the Wind

A snowy owl trying to brave the elements in Quebec City, Canada. “I knew that many snowy owls were in the area,” wrote photographer Dominic Roy, “but it’s not always easy to find them.”

Against the Wind

Dominic Roy

#5. Mother of the Forest

800-year-old baobab trees in Madagascar, photographed by Marsel van Oosten. The baobab is considered the mother of the forest, because the trees tend to form ecosystems of their own that support life for both animals and humans -- the tree can store up to 4,000 gallons of water in its trunk.

Mother of the Forest

Marsel Van Oosten

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