12/20/2013 10:49 am ET

2013's Biggest Obsessions: Selfies, The Cronut And More

Who would have thought a Canadian politician, what a fox might say, and a croissant-donut hybrid would occupy our cultural consciousness in 2013? As ever, our obsessions this year were strange, unpredictable and will have long-since faded come 2014.

This story appears the special Year in Photos issue of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, available Friday, Dec. 27 in the iTunes App store.

  • Crossfit
    In 2013, everyone tried CrossFit. Despite critics' who called it a dangerous form of exercise, a recent study deemed the high-intensity program an efficient and powerful workout, provided you follow basic safety guidelines.
  • Grumpy Cat
    The internet celebrity known for her grumpy expression published a bestselling book this year, won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Friskies, and even landed the cover of New York magazine.
  • Rob Ford
    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford entered the news cycle when a video of him smoking crack cocaine surfaced. But that was only the beginning. The mayor proceeded to repeatedly put his foot in his mouth, leaving the internet unsure of whether they loved him, hated him or both.
  • Women
    According to Bing, women ruled 2013. The top five most searched people of the year were all women, the only two men to make it into the top ten were Justin Bieber and Barack Obama.
  • What Does the Fox Say?
    A surreal video from Norweigian comedy duo Ylvis, "The Fox," became a huge, end-of-summer-jam Internet hit. The premise of the tune: while most animals have a clear signature sound — “Dog goes woof. Cat goes meow.” — the fox's sound has, until now, remained a mystery.
  • Selfies
    The Oxford English Dictionary's word of the year, a selfie is a photograph a person takes of themselves, often via cellphone. The subject of a surprising amount of controversy, selfies have been blamed for sexualizing young women and used as an example of the "me" generation's narcissism. This year, however, they finally lost their stigma. Oxford noted that the frequency of the word in the English language increased by 17,000 percent since this time last year. Barack Obama is pictured here taking a selfie at Nelson Mandela's memorial alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron and Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt. So we're pretty sure they're not going away any time soon.
  • Twerking
    Miley Cyrus ruled quite a few news cycles this year. As 2013 waged on, important things like Syria's war were lost in discussions of twerking. The star began her total world domination when she delivered a controversial performance at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, in which she dressed in a teddy-bear getup and twerked against Robin Thicke (left). "What is twerking?" subsequently became the most searched question of 2013 on Google, while Cyrus was the most searched person of the year.
  • The Cronut
    The cronut is a croissant-donut hybrid created by chef Dominique Ansel for Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City. In 2013, people stood in neverending lines for a taste of the pastry, while knockoffs popped up around the country. The craze reached new levels of ridiculousness when scalpers began turning around and selling them for four times the price.
  • Kimye
    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, together known as Kimye, were everywhere in 2013, in no small part because of the birth of their daughter, North West, in June, their engagement in October, and the best of all, their “Bound 2” music video.
  • Prancercise
    Joanna Rohrback invented Prancercise – "A springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse's gait" – back in 1989, but it never caught on. That all changed in 2013. Rohrback uploaded a video of her fitness routine on YouTube and subsequently became a viral video sensation.