What a crazy, roller coaster of a year.

If 2020 redefined the way we work and live, then 2021 got us used to it. Any thoughts that everything would return to normal have largely been shelved and while times have been occasionally tough, it’s certainly made things interesting with plenty of ups and downs along the way.

Given the dominance of the pandemic It would be easy to fill a calendar of imagery with COVID related material, but we’ve decided to mix it up a little and pick out some of the other stories and images from the last 12 months.

There were some strange events that unfolded. Check them out below.

At Sesimi, it was a huge year of big steps forward. We launched a new name and a new look to go with an all new platform. It’s so exciting to see all the hard work come to fruition. Our product is at the forefront of Martech, but has had big advancements. It’s faster and more powerful and has to be seen to be believed. Speaking of which, all the marketers that have seen the new platform have given us a resounding thumbs up.

From all of us at Sesimi, we hope you and your family have a wonderful festive season and a safe, prosperous New Year. Here’s to a huge 2022.

– Andrew Baker, Sesimi CEO

January

Image credit: Leah Mills/ Reuters

Washington DC, USA

What a way to start the year, with President Trump launching into a speech that swung into a plea for rowdy supporters to converge on the Capitol following his 2020 election loss. “We fight. We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he says. And they did, in dramatic scenes that have never been seen before.

Image credit: CNN

Not long thereafter, Trump’s control of the social media megaphones was ripped away when Zuckerberg’s Facebook banned him for 2 weeks (since extended to January 2023) while Twitter disabled his account permanently. The following graph of Trump’s Social media activity gives you an idea of the impact of his removal from platforms back in January…

Tallies of likes and shares come from the 100 most highly liked and shared posts on Facebook and Instagram for each Trump statement.

February

Image credit: Associated Press

Myanmar


A coup by the Tatmataw brings back full military rule to Myanmar, after years of democracy (of sorts), with the country’s ousted civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, detained and later charged in a secret court. The takeover triggered nationwide protests, which began peacefully, but became deadly over time following brutal military crackdowns.

Space


Astronomical teams confirm a planetoid almost four times further from the Sun than Pluto (which itself is almost 40 times further away than Earth) is the most distant object orbiting within our solar system ever observed. Aptly named Farfarout takes a thousand earth-years to travel around the sun.

Image credit: Associated Press

Rhode Island, USA


Toy giant Hasbro drops the ‘Mr’ honorific from the Potato Head brand giving the much loved spud a gender-neutral name: Potato Head. The move is greeted with resounding approval by GLAAD – the LGBTQ advocacy group.

March

Image credit: Associated Press/ Miguel Morenatti

Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland


After being dormant for 800 years, a volcano in southwestern Iceland explodes, spewing a fountain of lava nearly 100 yards into the air and spilling rivers of lava down its two sides.


Image credit: Getty Images

San Francisco, USA


Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, auctions off his first every tweet, with the proceeds going to charity. The purchaser used the cryptocurrency Ether to win the bid, the equivalent of $2.9m.

Image credit: Maxar Technologies

Suez Canal, Egypt


Ever Given – a monster cargo ship 400 metres long and weighing 200,000 tonnes – becomes stuck and causes a 400 vessel traffic jam until it’s released six days later by Egyptian, Dutch and Italian tugs. The estimated cost of the blockage was… well, inestimable, given that around 12% of global trade passes through the canal every day.

April

Image credit: Metropolis Collectibles

New York, USA


When initially released in 1938, the first Superman comic sold for 10 cents. Fast forward to April 7, 2021 and a mint copy of that first edition went under the hammer for a cool $3.25m. Apparently, there’s estimated to be another 100 of them out there, so check Grandma and Grandpa’s lofts as soon as possible.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Jezero Crater, Mars
NASA makes history by launching a small helicopter “Ingenuity” from the surface of Mars for a short, but sweet first flight into the thin Martian atmosphere. It’s the first test of powered flight on another planet and while the initial test was brief, Ingenuity has the capacity to fly around 300 metres for up to 90 seconds. Not bad given the Wright Brothers only managed 12 seconds on their first attempt.


Image credit: Associated Press/ Julio Cortez

Minnesota, USA
After 10 hours of deliberation, a jury finds former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd in a history making trial. It’s the first time in Minnesota State history a white police officer is found guilty of murdering a black man. He is later sentenced to 22 ½ years behind bars.

May


Image credit: Reuters Carlos/ Osorio

Canada
Canada becomes the first nation to authorize the use of the Pfizer’s PFE.N COVID-19 vaccine for 12-15 year olds, with Alberta to become the first province to begin the vaccination rollout.

Image credit: Weibo

Hangzhou, China
Officials from Hangzhou Safari Park apologise to the public for not alerting them to the fact that three leopards had escaped a week earlier and had been roaming the streets in residential areas. Miraculously, no one was hurt during the week the leopards were at large. Sadly, one is still missing, feared dead.


Image credit: Getty Images

Argentina
In what was neatly characterised as a ‘Comedy of Errors’ Argentine news reported the death of English Playwright William Shakespeare from COVID-19. Pay TV channel Canal 26 presenter Noelia Novillo announced that “one of the most important writers in the English Language – for me, the master” had died, when in fact it was his namesake William ‘Bill’ Shakespeare who had passed away at the age of 81 in the UK.

June

Massachusetts, USA
Michael Packard, a lobster diver, is mistakenly swallowed whole by a humpback whale, and held within the giant’s mouth for around 30-40 horrifying seconds off Provincetown. “I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew, it was completely black. I could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in his mouth.”


Image credit: Reuters

British Columbia, Canada
Canada’s hottest ever day of 46.6 degrees Celsius (116F) is recorded in Lytton. The record didn’t stand for long, being broken by a whopping three degrees Celsius two day later.

July

Image credit: Christies New York

London, England
Leonardo da Vinci’s sketch ‘Head of a bear’ – which could fit neatly on a post-it note, sells for $12.2m at Christie’s auction rooms. Dated from around 1480, the piece is one of eight known drawings by the master that is still in private hands.


Image credit: Virgin Atlantic

Space
Richard Branson flies to the edge of space onboard Virgin Galactic, beating Amazon founder and fellow billionaire, Mark Bezos by just a matter of days.

August

Image credit: Reuters

Yunnan Province, China
A herd of elephants undertake a 500km trek across China in search of sanctuary, causing the temporary displacement of 150,000 people in their path. Before finally arriving in southwest China, they had plundered crops, raided a retirement home and become the darling of China’s social media.

Image credit: NASA/ JPL

Europe
A raging heatwave in Europe and northern Africa smashes records and is a scary indicator of the planet’s changing climate. Both Sicily and Spain recorded their highest ever temperatures, while Greenland’s ice sheet, located above freezing point is rained on for the first time in history.


Image credit: Reuters

Kabul, Afghanistan
After twenty years of war, the Taliban sweeps in and takes control of Kabul following the exit of allied forces. Afghan President Ghani flees the country as they enter the city, proclaiming that he wanted to avoid further bloodshed.

September

Image credit: bitcoin.com

El Salvador
The Central American country becomes the first in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, making it a national currency alongside the US dollar. Despite Bitcoin dropping nearly 10% in value at that moment, El Salvador President Bukele announced that they had “just bought 200 new coins” doubling their cryptocurrency holding.

Image credit: Sky News

New York City, USA
UK teenager, Emma Raducanu, becomes the first qualifier to win a major title in the Open era by defeating fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in the US Open Final.

October

Image credit: WHO

Geneva, Switzerland
The World Health Organisation endorses Mosquirix – the first vaccine shown to significantly reduce Malaria on tests on young African children. The significance of the development of the vaccine is huge given that it is reported to have wiped out half of all people who have ever lived and continues to be one of the biggest killers today.

Image credit: Sotheby’s

London, England
Banksy’s inspiring, self-shredding “Love is in the bin” sells for $25.4m. It was partially shredded the moment the hammer came down on the Sotheby’s sale three years ago, and was sold for 17 times what it fetched in 2018.

Image credit: The New Mexican

New Mexico, USA
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins is tragically shot and killed on the set of the Western film Rust by Alec Baldwin when he fires a revolver loaded in error with a live round. The actor is subsequently sued by members of the production team.

November

Image credit: Addy Graham/ University of Arizona

Space
Studies reveal a mysterious asteroid traveling around the sun close to our planet might actually be a chunk of the Moon. Kamo oalewa (Hawaiian for “an offspring that travels on its own”) is the size of a ferris wheel and is known as a quasi-satellite.


Image credit: Reuters/ Mario Anzuoni

Los Angeles, USA
#FreeBritney activists erupt in cheers following the verdict to suspend Britney Spears father from the conservatorship that had imprisoned the singer for the last ten years.

Image credit: Alain Jocard/ AFP

Paris, France
Einstein’s early sketches on the general theory of relativity haul in a massive $18m at Christie’s, nearly ten times what it was thought to net at auction. Comprising no less than 54 pages – most of which are filled with Einstein’s handwriting, the document is one of only two in existence connected to his workings on relativity.

December


Image credit: AP/ Mayfield Kentucky/ Mark Humphrey 

USA

Communities across five US states are ravaged by a vicious barrage of nearly 30 tornados, one of which remained on the ground for over 200 miles (a record) from Arkansas to Kentucky. One of the hardest hit towns was Mayfield in West Kentucky, where factories and homes were ripped apart. More than 70 people lost their lives in the storms, with Biden declaring a state of emergency for Kentucky.


Image credit: EyePress News/ AFP

England

Boris Johnson declares an ‘Omicron emergency’ warning that a ‘tidal wave of Omicron is coming’. With the new virus variant starting to take hold in the UK, work-from-home guidance has returned, with a 20% drop in commuter traffic on the London Tube in just a matter of days.