Skiiers dressed up as witches -- complete with pointy hats and brooms -- ride a ski lift at the 30th annual Belalp Witches Ski Race in Belalp, Switzerland on Jan. 14.

Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images
Belalp Witches
Skiiers dressed up as witches — complete with pointy hats and brooms — ride a ski lift on Jan. 14 at the 30th annual Belalp Witches Ski Race in Belalp, Switzerland.

Related on MNN: What's the story with fake snow?

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Rescue boats patrol near the half-sunken Costa Concordia cruise ship on Jan. 15 after it ran aground and keeled over off the Isola del Giglio the day before.

Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images
Keeling over
Rescue boats patrol near the half-sunken Costa Concordia on Jan. 15 after the cruise ship ran aground and keeled over off the Isola del Giglio. Of the 4,200 passengers and crew on the ship, at least 11 people have been confirmed dead and 21 people are still missing.

Related on MNN: Comparing cruise ship disasters: Costa Concordia vs. Titanic

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The Eagle nebula is seen in this striking Jan. 17 composite image taken by the European Space Agency's far-infrared telescope and the Herschel Space Observatory's XMM-Newton X-ray telescope.

Photo: far-infrared: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/Hill, Motte, HOBYS Key Programme Consortium; X-ray: ESA/XMM-Newton/EPIC/XMM-Newton-SOC/Boulanger
Eagle nebula
The Eagle nebula is seen in this striking Jan. 17 composite image taken by the European Space Agency's far-infrared telescope and the Herschel Space Observatory's XMM-Newton X-ray telescope.

Located 6,500 light-years from Earth in the Serpens constellation, the Eagle nebula is a vibrant nest of star-forming gas and dust particles.

Related on MNN: 7 images of ghostly nebulae

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Cyclists race along a road between the towns of Templers and Freeling in South Australia during stage one of the 2012 Tour Down Under on Jan. 17 in Adelaide, Australia.

Photo: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images
Touring 'Down Under'
Cyclists race along a road between the towns of Templers and Freeling in South Australia on Jan. 17 during stage one of the 2012 Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia.

Related on MNN: 12 reasons to start using a bicycle for transportation

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The keeled over luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia is seen off the coast of Giglio, Italy in this black and white satellite image taken on Jan. 17.

Photo: DigitalGlobe
A maritime disaster from above
The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia can be seen off the coast of Giglio, Italy, in this black-and-white satellite image taken on Jan. 17.

Related on MNN: How do you clean up a wrecked cruise ship?

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Protester Nadine Wolf demonstrates against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) outside the offices of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on Jan. 18 in New York City.

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
SOPA worries
Protester Nadine Wolf demonstrates on Jan. 18 against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) outside the offices of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in New York City.

The controversial legislation is supported by entertainment companies that want to prevent piracy of media, but critics — including Google and Wikipedia — believes it will promote censorship.

Related on MNN: Wikipedia, Google protest Internet bills

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A man rides a horse through a bonfire in the small village of San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain on Jan. 16 in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals.

Photo: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
Fiery traditions
A man rides a horse through a bonfire on Jan. 16 in the small village of San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals.

The 500-year-old Spanish tradition is believed to purify the animals and protect them for years to come, but critics say it's stressful to the animals.

Related on MNN: Vermont uses draft horse to lay cable for Internet access

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A Kingfisher rests on a snow-covered wooden pole in the frozen Dal Lake in Srinagar, India on Jan. 17.

Photo: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images
Pillar of snow
A colorful kingfisher rests on a snow-covered wooden pole in frozen Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, on Jan. 17.

Icy temperatures have frozen many bodies of water in Kashmir, and an avalanche warning has been issued in nearby snowbound hilly areas.

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People light candles and pray for the victims of the Kobe Great Earthquake during a Jan. 17 memorial ceremony to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the Great Hanshin earthquake that struck Kobe, Japan in 1995.

Photo: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images
Remembering the Great Hanshin earthquake
People light candles and pray for the victims of the Kobe Great Earthquake during a Jan. 17 memorial ceremony to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the Great Hanshin earthquake that struck Kobe, Japan, in 1995.

Mourners gathered early in the morning to pay their respects and light bamboo lanterns in the park for the 6,434 people who lost their lives in the 7.3-magnitude earthquake.

Related on MNN: Will 2012 be a year of many earthquakes?

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A female dolphin and her calf are transported by a team from the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the New England Aquarium to be released back into Cape Cod Bay, south of Boston on Jan. 14.

Photo: Julia Cumes/IFM/Getty Images
Cape Cod dolphins
A female dolphin and her calf are transported on Jan. 14 by a team from the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the New England Aquarium to be released back into Cape Cod Bay, south of Boston.

U.S. animal welfare advocates are perplexed by the dozens of dolphins that have beached themselves along the scenic Cape Cod shores since late last week. It is considered one of the largest cases of dolphins stranding themselves on land in years.

Related on MNN: Experts perplexed by 60 dolphins stranded on Cape Cod

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Maintenance engineer Darren Unsworth cleans one of the crystal Edwardian chandeliers that illuminate Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Jan. 16 in Blackpool, England.

Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Prepping for a season of dancing
Maintenance engineer Darren Unsworth cleans one of the crystal Edwardian chandeliers that illuminate Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Jan. 16 in Blackpool, England.

Blackpool's famous Tower Ballroom is undergoing an annual spring cleaning that includes lowering the ornate chandeliers so that each shard of crystal can be cleaned for the coming dancing season. The crystal chandeliers aren't the only thing to marvel at — the dance floor consists of 30,602 blocks of perfectly polished mahogany, oak and walnut.

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Workers fill a pauper's grave at Homewood Memorial Gardens with remains from the Cook County morgue of people who could not pay for a burial on Jan. 18 in Homewood, Illinois.

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
A pauper's grave
Workers fill a pauper's grave on Jan. 18 at Homewood Memorial Gardens in Homewood, Ill. Thes are remains from the Cook County morgue of people who could not pay for a burial.

Tough economic times have lead to an increase in the number of indigent burials the Chicago-area morgue must perform. Thirty people were buried in this grave. No mourners were present.

Related on MNN: Messy yard equals jail time for strapped homeowner

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