2016 was a strange year for a lot of different reasons. It’s hard to think of a year in living memory that was as tumultuous and surprising as it, and for that reason we’ve decided to collect a list of the six craziest things that happened in 2016, in no particular order.

We Lost Two Of The Greatest Musicians The World Has Ever Seen.

The amount of celebrity deaths in 2016 was unparalleled, and entirely unprecedented. But for those of us with a deep affection for music, two of those passings hit the hardest – the insurmountable losses of both David Bowie and Prince. Both of these artists were icons, revolutionaries, and visionaries. They both opened doors for music in so many ways, and allowed new generations of musical innovators to flourish. Their cultural impact is undeniable, especially for their breaking down of gender norms. The stylistic choices of both artists allowed millions of people to realise that gendered clothing does not have to apply to everyone, and that freedom of expression is just that – absolutely free. Their contributions to songwriting, performance and to the music scene at large cannot be understated, and both will go down in history as two of the greatest musical and cultural figures who ever graced the world with their somewhat divine presence.

A Reality TV Star Got Into The White House – Making America Hate Again.

If five years ago you said to someone that Donald Trump of The Apprentice would replace Barack Obama as President Of The United States, you probably would have been laughed at. But lo and behold, that is exactly what came to be. After a brutal and divisive campaign that was anchored by racism, controversy, misogyny and hate, Donald Trump defied all of the media outlets and every political pundit to snatch the Presidential Election from Hillary Clinton’s grasp. The events of the 2016 election were entirely shocking, and signified deep unrest and an enormous divide in one of the world’s most powerful countries. Never before has such an unexperienced candidate held the highest office in the US, and though it is unclear how a Trump presidency will play out, it is absolutely certain we will all remember where we were on the historic day that he strutted on stage to give his victory speech, and bizarrely or in a feat of self awareness, played ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ by The Rolling Stones over the PA after he’d finished speaking. The inauguration is in less than 10 days now – let’s hope there is still a world left at the end of 2017.

More Superhero Movies Came Out In 2016 Than Any Year Before.

For longtime lovers of comic books, the influx of superhero movies over the last few years has been an enormous blessing. This bubble has been growing since 2008, when Marvel released the first Iron Man movie, also serving as the first entry in their sprawling connected film universe, and Warner Brothers unveiled the critically acclaimed and utterly adored The Dark Knight. But even for the biggest comic book loyalist, the expanding world of superhero movies is starting to get out of control. In 2016, 8 new superhero movies were released – and out of those, somehow a movie about a foul mouthed immortal mercenary with a lust for blood (Deadpool) was better than a movie about Batman fighting Superman. Just as with Trump’s election, if someone told you that would be the case 5 years ago, you probably would have laughed at them. The amount of superhero blockbusters released in 2016 was literally double that of 2015. But if you’re already sick of it all, you’d better strap in – because this year there are another 8 planned, and another 6 at least planned for 2018.

Stem Cells Successfully Help The Immobile To Walk Again.

Stem Cell research has been a point of much contention, both in the scientific community, and in the public debate sphere at large. The ethical implications of the process have been fiercely argued, and the benefits have been widely disputed. But in 2016, a clinical trial conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine established that stem cells can be life changing for stroke victims. The trial involved injecting modified human stem cells directly into the brains of several chronic stroke patients. Every procedure was successful, with no negative side effects, and only mild headaches reported by the patients. All 18 subjects showed significant healing after the injections – this included increased mobility and brain functionality, and in the best case allowed patients who were previously restricted to wheelchairs the ability to walk freely again. Regardless of your moralistic standpoint on the issue of stem cell research, it is undeniable that this kind of development, and the opportunities that it presents, is an amazing feat.

Kanye West Is Admitted To Hospital For Mental Health Issues.

Kanye West‘s ongoing antics over the past few years have been a source of endless entertainment for many of us. His outlandish statements and behaviour have constantly managed to shock us all, and draw vast amounts of media coverage. However throughout 2016 his rants became even more outlandish, until it all came to a head during his Saint Pablo tour. After a long rant about Jay-Z, the music industry, and Donald Trump at a show on the 10th of November, West was admitted to hospital against his will, as he was deemed a danger to himself. Reportedly, he had altered the course of medication that he was taking, and was feeling exhausted from a rigorous touring schedule, and his wife Kim Kardashian’s robbery at gunpoint only a few weeks earlier. Perhaps more shocking than these events was the media response to it – headlines like “Kanye Loses The Plot” or “Has Kanye Finally Gone Crazy?” said an awful lot about the way that our broader society views mental health, and the lack of respect we offer our pop culture figures in the realm of mental health.

Bob Dylan Wins The Nobel Prize For Literature, And Then Offers The Committee Radio Silence.

We’ve all been there. You get a text message and think “I’ll reply to that later” and then forget about it for a few weeks. You get invited to a party, and then it slips your mind and you just ghost it. But you’d think that getting contacted by the Nobel Prize Committee because you’ve received the Nobel Prize For Literature would be something you’d want to respond to – and you might want to go to the ceremony. Not Bob Dylan. It took him 5 days to acknowledge the award, and that acknowledgement was only with a small footnote on his website. Even though the committee said they thought he would show up to the ceremony, he decided not to do that either. On top of this rather strange response, there were many in the literature community who believed that a songwriter should not receive such a prestigious award, and the committee received a vast amount of backlash as a result. When Dylan finally acknowledged the award in his own words, two full weeks after the announcement, he said it was “amazing.” In relation to whether his lyrics can be considered literature or not, he simply said “I’ll let other people decide what they are. The academics, they ought to know. I’m not really qualified. I don’t have any opinion.” Bob Dylan, please never change.