A world of surprising splendor, captured by AP photographers

Through the eyes of Associated Press photographers, the world of 2018 was always captivating, sometimes comical, often awe-inspiring — and above all, beautiful.

They saw beauty in the disarray of clothing left behind by 450 refugees and migrants, rescued from a boat off the Libyan coast; in the clouds of smoke from a California wildfire, captured from aloft; in the toil of a Mexican farmworker, surrounded by a carpet of cabbage.

They found splendor in some of the most unexpected places. At an Israeli bodybuilding exhibition, competitors flex and glisten; at a Brazilian fashion show, sex workers shimmy and strut.

There are oddities: goats in a tree in Morocco. Painted aboriginal performers in traditional dress passing through airport security in Papua New Guinea.

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But some of the most striking images mingle beauty, tragedy and even horror. We glimpse a young man in a body bag, one of thousands of migrants gone missing in South Africa. A South Carolina man, hand to his face, is battered by the winds and storm clouds of Hurricane Florence.

And a Rohingya woman takes her infant son, the product of a rape by six Myanmar soldiers, from her 8-year-old daughter as the girl looks away — a family arrayed like the figures of a Renaissance painting, in Bangladesh, in the terror of the 21st century.

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