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Most popular stories of 2011

From the death of Muammar Gaddafi to mapping penis sizes around the world, here are GlobalPost's most popular stories of the year.

India cheerleader 2011 05 13Enlarge
A Kochi Tuskers Kerala cheerleader waves at the Indian Premier League cricket match between Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on May 2, 2011. The IPL began importing foreign women to work as cheerleaders when the league started in 2008 in an attempt to attract more fans to the games, say Indian cricket journalists. (Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images)

2011 was a big year for GlobalPost. We included the work of more writers, living in more countries, writing more stories. We also brought in more traffic than ever before. Here's a list of the most popular stories on GlobalPost in 2011. Turns out, they aren't all about sex. (Just many of them.)

1. Gaddafi sodomy: Video shows abuse frame by frame

An analysis of video obtained by GlobalPost from a rebel fighter who recorded the moment when Col. Muammar Gaddafi was first captured confirmed that another rebel fighter, whose identity is unknown, sodomized the former leader as he was being dragged from the drainpipe where he had taken cover.

A frame by frame analysis of this exclusive GlobalPost video clearly shows the rebel trying to insert some kind of stick or knife into Gaddafi's rear end.

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2. Penis sizes worldwide: Yeah, there's a map for that

Well, finally. Thank you targetmap.com, a website with customized data maps, for a long overdue look at penis sizes around the world.

But before you get all excited, you must know that Asia does not fare exceedingly well.

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3. Video of Gaddafi's initial capture

In this exclusive footage obtained on the scene by Tracey Shelton of GlobalPost, Col. Muammar Gaddafi is caught by fighters for the new Libyan government.

The shock discovery of the former dictator, found cowering in a water drain in his hometown of Sirte in late October, was captured by Ali Algadi, a rebel fighter, with an iPhone just seconds after Gaddafi was dragged from the drain in which he was hiding.

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4. US teen stabbed 300 times in Satanic sex ritual, reports say (VIDEO)

An American teenager was allegedly stabbed more than 300 times while being held hostage by two women as part of a Satanic sex ritual.

Two women — Rebecca Chandler, 22, and Raven Larrabee, 20 — were arrested and were held on $150,000 bond.

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5. Egypt finds 17 lost pyramids

A satellite survey of Egypt reportedly found 17 lost pyramids along with more than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements.

The survey used infra-red images to detect underground buildings. Satellites above the earth were equipped with cameras that could pin-point objects on the earth's surface less than three-feet wide. The infra-red imaging then highlighted different materials under the surface.

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6. What is your Zodiac sign? Ophiuchus?

Zodiac signs were all the buzz last January. At least one astronomer claimed that individuals' astrological signs may be different than previously thought because of changes in the Earth's alignment.

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7. Groupon horror: Bakery must make 102,000 cupcakes

A small bakery experimented with using Groupon to attract customers, and the decision -- which in some ways proved wildly successful -- almost shut down the business.

Rachel Brown of Need a Cake bakery in the United Kingdom put an ad on Groupon, a group-discount website, offering 75 percent off on cupcakes to those who bought a dozen. The $40 cupcakes suddenly cost $10.

The bakery, based in Woodley, received 8,500 requests for a dozen cupcakes and suddenly had to make 102,000 cupcakes.

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8. India: the cheerleader who went too far

A beautiful blonde South African cheerleader came to India, dazzled cricket fans with her glamorous looks and fancy moves, and partied with the players after games. But then, and here was her fatal flaw, she blogged about it.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) reportedly fired the young woman, Gabriella Pasqualotto, and sent her back to South Africa after it became known that she was the anonymous writer of a blog detailing cricket after-parties.

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9. The end of Israel as we know it?

As the 2011 summer ended, Israel became regionally isolated like at no other time in the past 35 years.

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10. A win-win on drugs? Fighting gangs by legalizing pot

Copenhagen just got a lot closer to legalizing the sale of pot.

If approved by the Danish parliament, next year the city could grant licenses to individual marijuana growers. City-owned shops would then sell their crop to the public.

That prospect was deeply amusing to Israel, a burly dreadlocked Cuban in Christiania, the city’s self-declared “free town.”

"I will grow it!" he said with excessive zeal. "I’ve got this big bag of seeds."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/111213/most-popular-stories-2011