Rare & Powerful Historical Photos Ever Discovered

Circus Elephant Being Transported in the Early 1930's

Established way back in 1871, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was an American traveling circus company billed as ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’; largely due to weakening attendance and high operating costs, the circus closed on May 21, 2017, after 146 years in existence. Still, the circus remains a fixture in the US and beyond, and elephants have long been an integral part of the experience – this picture depicts the transportation of a circus elephant in the early 1930’s.

What Makes A Moment "Historic"

In some cases, only the passage of time and the consequence of that 'moment' makes us realize just how special it was; in other cases, regardless of time, context or place, we just KNOW that what we're looking at will ultimately have a huge say in shaping human history - with this in mind, we decided to gather together some of the most powerful and shocking historical photos ever taken. some of these photos have shaped human history.

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

An aerial view of the damaged Chernobyl nuclear-power plant, photographed a few weeks after the disaster, in May 1986. On April 26, 1986, a series of explosions and failures destroyed Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4. Several hundred staff and firefighters were faced by a fire that burned for 10 days sending radioactive radiation around the world. More than 50 reactor and emergency workers were killed in the immediate aftermath.

German Soldiers Reaction to Concentration Camps Footage, 1945

As part of the allied policy of postwar denazification, “forced confrontation” brought Germans face-to-face with the worst works of the Third Reich. The image shows the faces of German prisoners of war, captured by Americans. The original photo can be found in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Meltdown Forms the World's Most Dangerous Lava Flow

The “Elephant's Foot” Eight months after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, this solidified lava mass of melted nuclear fuel was discovered in the ruins of the reactor building. At the time of its discovery, the emitted radiation was high enough to be lethal in less than three minutes.