Tarragona’s castells is a top image of 2014

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TOWERING CHALLENGE: Tarragona’s spectacular human tower festival.

SOME of the most amazing images of the year have been chosen by press photography agency Barcroft Media, including one particular shot from a Spanish festival which generally has people wondering to themselves: “But what if they fall?”

The above image forms part of Barcroft Media’s Best Pictures from 2014 and was taken during the 25th Castells Competition held every October in Tarragona. A total of 30 ‘human tower’ groups gathered in a contest to build the most difficult human tower structure, an annual tradition in the Spanish city. The Castells competition is televised and news headlines usually focus on spectacular tower collapses, as well as showing those that are successful. Competitors need strength, co-ordination and a head for heights as they clamber up the human tower, and the falls can regularly be quite serious.

The castells have been awarded the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity designation, and the event is just one of a number of bizarre festivals that Spain is known for. Bizarre or not, the competition offers spectacular sights, thrills and spills, and was chosen by Barcroft Media’s celebration of the ‘amazing side of life’.

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The selection of photos also focuses on major news events from the year and other photos chosen for the this year’s top images include a volcanic eruption in Indonesia, an insight into life in the Ku Klux Klan and a man wearing the world’s largest turban.

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