2021 was quite the rollercoaster ride! From unexpected events like the storming of the US Capitol Building by Donald Trump supporters to the highs and lows of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the year got off to a rocky start.
But we can’t complain too much, 2021 was definitely more eventful than 2020! For example, despite the challenges posed by the deadly Delta variant, Japan still managed to successfully pull off the delayed 2020 Olympics.
Speaking of remarkable achievements, Elon Musk made waves by launching a spacecraft filled with civilians into space and safely bringing them back. Talk about an out-of-this-world accomplishment!
If you thought things couldn’t get any more chaotic, let’s talk about NFTs. We’re still scratching our heads over the hype, but it didn’t stop Christie’s Auction House from joining the trend. They auctioned off an NFT for an astonishing $69 million!
Oh, and El Salvador made a groundbreaking move by adopting Bitcoin as a currency – what an age we live in!
Continue reading to explore a comprehensive account of the noteworthy events, news stories, musical hits, memorable quotes, and notable deaths that defined 2021.
Here we’ll unveil the most unforgettable happenings that took place during the extraordinary year of 2021.
Lil Nas X released a children’s book called “C is for Country.”
It ranked at number 8 for children’s books worldwide on this day.
Donald Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter due to the risk of further incitement of violence.
Five minutes after take-off, Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 crashed north of Jakarta, Indonesia, killing all 62 passengers.
Blue Origin’s New Shepherd rocket successfully launched on its 14th flight from Launch Site One, Texas.
It flew as mission NS-14 to test out a new and improved crew capsule, the same capsule used later in 2021 to fly Founder Jeff Bezos to space. This mission, however, had a very different passenger – one crash test dummy dubbed “Mannequin Skywalker.”
The UK hit a milestone after giving 10 million people a COVID-19 vaccination.
The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first Carnival festival in Rio occurred in 1723. Rio’s Carnival is a yearly event that starts on the Friday preceding Lent and ends on Ash Wednesday.
The Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars.
Perseverance is the largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world.
Hasbro announced that their Mr. Potato Head brand was changing its name to be gender inclusive.
The names of long-standing Potato Head toys, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, remained unchanged. Instead, the brand changed from Mr. Potato Head to just Potato Head.
Pope Francis made history when he became the first pope to visit Iraq.
The four-day visit was made possible by invitation from the Iraqi government and the largest Catholic church in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholic Church. Before this, a papal visit to Iraq was attempted in 2000, when Pope John Paul II wished to visit the city of Ur, but the Iraqi government denied him.
A 28-year-old man broke into a trading card shop in Japan and stole thousands of dollars worth of Pokémon cards.
Kensuke Nakanishi stole 80 Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards from the store totaling a worth of roughly 1 million yen ($9,120). He was later arrested.
Johns Hopkins University announced that the number of people who died worldwide due to the Covid-19 pandemic had reached three million.
A Texas resident narrowly avoided a felony after forgetting to return a VHS rental tape after 22 years.
Caron McBride unknowingly had a copy of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” since 1999. Even though the store had since closed, her record still stated she was guilty of “felony embezzlement.” The case was since dropped, but McBride suspected her record was the reason for difficulty acquiring jobs.
The World Health Organization approved the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
A nine-year-old boy died after being struck by lightning during a football coaching session in Blackpool, England.
The boy was taking part in a private coaching session when the lightning struck. He was taken to hospital but did not survive.
US President Joe Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday.
Thousands of pigeons went missing after a freak weather incident.
Over 250,000 pigeons that were raised from birth were released for a race. Only 10% of the pigeons returned, and it is believed that an unexplained weather event occurred which caused them to go missing.
Carl Nassib became the first openly-gay NFL player to play a regular-season game.
Former police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.
The sentencing was one of the longest ever given out to a police officer for the unlawful use of deadly force. Chauvin was the first white police officer in Minnesota to do time for the murder of a Black man.
Italy won their second EUFA Euro soccer title after defeating England in penalty shootouts.
Platform diver Tom Daley won his first Olympic gold medal in men’s synchronized diving, 13 years after his first Olympic games.
Supergiant Games released their most ambitious game to date, Hades, on PC, Switch, and macOS.
Hades was a huge step up from Supergiant Games’ previous releases in terms of plot and complexity. At the 2020 Golden Joystick Awards, it won both the best Indie Game Award and the Critic’s Choice Award.
Nicki Minaj’s Super Freaky Girl debuted at number one on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Dennis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
El Salvador established Bitcoin as legal tender.
Many considered the move a game changer, as it was the first case of a nation officially accepting cryptocurrency as legal currency. The law requires all businesses in El Salvador to accept Bitcoin as payment, providing they have the technological means to do so.
Two wild boars attacked Shakira in Barcelona while she was in a park, during which they took her bag of personal items.
The Russian Soyuz MS-18 spaceflight landed in the Kazakh Steppe, Kazakhstan.
The mission, flown by the Y. A. Gagarin spacecraft, was the 146th crewed Soyuz spacecraft flight. On its return from the International Space Station, it carried Russian film director Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild. They had spent twelve days aboard the station filming for the movie Vyzov (The Challenge).
Alec Baldwin accidentally used a live firearm during a movie rehearsal, during which he shot and killed a cinematographer.
The crew aboard the International Space Station celebrated Thanksgiving.
On Thanksgiving, the astronauts ran on a treadmill and called it a “turkey trot”! Special food was provided for the occasion; although still in vacuum-sealed packets, they enjoyed candied yams, crab bisque, turkey, and cherry blueberry cobbler to finish it all off.
The James Webb Space Telescope was launched from the Guiana Space Center.
Jointly developed by NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency, the telescope is the most advanced infrared telescope ever built. The first image captured by the telescope was released on July 11, 2022.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope began the multi-day process of unfurling its sunshield.
The James Webb Space Telescope, the most advanced infrared telescope ever launched into space, is so large that it had to be folded up like a transformer just to fit atop its launch vehicle. Three days after successfully launching into space, the telescope began the three-day deployment of its sunshield. This multi-layered shield is one of the most critical components of the telescope; for its infrared sensors to work at optimal levels, they need to be below -369.7 °F (-223.2 °C).
Here’s a glimpse at a few famous people who bid us farewell in 2021.
2021 In Music
2021 was a musical treasure trove filled with unforgettable hits that had us singing at the top of our lungs!
From the rebellious anthem “Good 4 U” by Olivia Rodrigo to the mesmerizing collaboration “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd and Ariana Grande, these chart-toppers infused our lives with excitement and had us feeling better after a difficult few years of lockdowns & madness.
Get acquainted with these music highlights from 2021 that are worth knowing.
Album of the Year
Taylor Swift enchanted listeners with her alternative masterpiece “Folklore” in 2021, claiming the Album of the Year Grammy and captivating hearts along the way.
Song of the Year
H.E.R. captivated audiences and won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 2021 with her powerful anthem “I Can’t Breathe.”
Best New Artist
Megan Thee Stallion’s fierce and unapologetic style won her the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2021, establishing her as a force to be reckoned with in the world of hip-hop.
2021 in Numbers
Here’s an interesting fact to begin with – while 2021 isn’t a prime number, the only numbers other than itself that it can be divided by are primes: 1, 47, and 43.
The Roman numeral representation of 2021 is MMXXI, while its binary equivalent is 11111100101.
Chinese Zodiac 2021
According to the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2021 was the Year of the Ox, which occurs every twelve years.
The Chinese zodiac isn’t just animals though, they also include five elements, Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. So not only was 2021 the Year of the Ox, it was actually the Year of the Gold Ox, which occurs once every sixty years!
Did you know that the Chinese calendar follows a lunar cycle? That’s why the Year of the Gold Ox actually started on February 12th, and lasted until January 31, 2022.
Those born in the Year of the Ox are diligent, dependable, and methodical. They are known for their strong work ethic, reliability, and determination to achieve their goals.
Camila Cabello and K.J. Apa are notable figures who were born in the Years of the Ox!
Did you know that in 2021, highest global temperature records were broken around the world?
More than 400 weather stations across the globe documented unprecedented temperatures, surpassing all previous records.
Notably, Death Valley, USA, registered a new maximum world temperature of 129.9°F (54.4°C).