In today's fast-paced, 24-hour, at-this-instant news cycle, it can be hard to remember what happened last month let alone over the past year. Instead of wracking your brain to rememeber the major events of 2012, sit back and relax as you breeze through our photo essay of the biggest international news events of 2012.
Fileshares took a hit and you couldn't pirate that Ryan Gosling movie.
When Megaupload shut down in January, the Justice Department called it "among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the US." The shutdown and following arrests of the company's leaders fell a day after major websites went black in protest of the SOPA anti-piracy bill.
Facebook went public. Expectations did not meet reality.
EMMANUEL DUNAD/AFP/Getty Images.
It's pretty safe to say that Mark Zuckerberg, banks and shareholders collectively hit the (nonexistent) dislike button (by the way, can you get on that please, Facebook?) during the social media behemoth's less-than-grand entrance to Wall Street.
The eurozone kept having its crisis
Greece, Portugal and Spain flirted with bankruptcy, France got a new president and austerity never looked so German.
And the Middle East kept erupting.
From violent dictators to government uprisings, the Middle East continued to be volatile in 2012. (In this GlobalPost photo, Free Syrian Army fighters take a tank shell from a tank. All but one died in the attack.
But no crisis was big enough to stop the London Olympics...
LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/Getty Images.
...or the Queen from having fun.
South Korea gave the world Gangnam Style...
...while North Korea gave us Kim Jung Un.
The 2012 US presidential election turned into the most expensive and meme-y campaign in history.
The Lady was freed and Myanmar (kinda) reformed.
Pussy Riot rioted.
China and Japan play(ed) a game of "Whose island is it anyway?"
JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images.
Red Bull launched one of the biggest PR stunts in history and let daredevil Felix Baumgartner barrel a record 24-miles down from the edge of the earth.
The .gif turned 25 and had the best comeback career ever.
Ecuador granted Wikileaks founder Julian Assange political asylum...but he'll never get there.
A record number of Tibetan monks self-immolated.
Bath salts and Mayan Calendars gave 2012 a bad rap.
Things were legalized around the world.
DAVID MCNEW/Getty Images.
FREDERIC J BROWN/AFP/Getty Images.
Frankenstorm Sandy hit the Caribbean and US
MICHAEL BOCCHIERI/Getty Images.
Violence broke out between Israel and Hamas and made war social media-friendly.
Twenty children and six adults were shot dead in Sandy Hook Elementary bringing the debates of gun control and mental illness back to the spotlight.
ALEX WONG/Getty Images.
... and we're still waiting to see if the world is ending, as the Mayas had predicted.