It's almost the end of the year, which means it's time we look back at our biggest and best stories. There's been drama, there's been crime, and there's been at least one story about releasing your bowels in a tiny private jet. Here are this year's most read stories.
Though we don't particularly care about pageviews here, that's the big number at the top of every post. If you're curious, you can hover over that number to see unique visitors a story drew (the number we do care about), which is how these stories are organized.
Why were certain stories more popular than other stories? Most were popular on Facebook, others were unique and exclusive stories, and others are just entirely random. These aren't all our favorite stories (those are coming later), but a couple will make both lists. It's also worth noting there are a few weeks when Kinja launched where we have no unique visitor data.
All of the below numbers are as of today, but those numbers will obviously grow.
10. These Photos Of NYC's Subway Project Are Astonishing — 194,000 Unique Visitors
New York's work on the Second Avenue Subway is the first work of its kind since 1932 as the $4.5 billion project aims to reduce congestion. Thankfully, the MTA has a great photographer and Flickr account documenting the amazing scenes.
9. Watch NYC Bikers Attack Range Rover After Driver Runs Over Riders — 201,000 Unique Visitors
The story of Alexian Lien and the gang of bikers who attacked him captivated the media for more than a week, and Jalopnik was one of the first to report on the incident with a detailed rundown of each turn the story took. Raphael's clear, un-sensationalized breakdown of the events still holds up, even as the event necessitated multiple follow-ups.
8. The Ten Scariest Aircraft Landings Caught On Video — 218,000 Unique Visitors
What's there not to love in this Answer Of The Day? If you're like me, you can't help but imagine crashing into the ground and tumbling end-over-end every time you land in a plane. Give in to that fear and watch ten examples of worse landings than you've probably been in where everyone walked away.
7. I Can't Stop Watching Trucks Crashing Into This Low Ass Bridge — 253,000 Unique Visitors
What's better than video of a truck crashing into a low-ass bridge? A video compilation of numerous trucks crashing into the same bridge from multiple angles. I may have to spend a few more minutes today rewatching that.
6. Google Maps Has An Incredible Doctor Who Easter Egg — 262,000 Unique Visitors
Google, despite being a mega-company that knows everything you do, seems to have an enjoyably nerdy sense of humor. How else do you explain the TARDIS hidden inside a random police call box on a random London street?
5. Meet The Guy Who Drove Across The U.S.A. In A Record 28 Hours — 271,000 Unique Visitors
Doug DeMuro's stellar exclusive on Ed Bolian and his record-smashing trip across the United States was not only a ripping tale, it caused quite a bit of debate with former record holders Richard Rawlings and Alex Roy chiming in.
4. This Is The Most Embarrassing Plane Pooping Story Ever — 477,000 Unique Visitors
It was Friday afternoon when I saw this post come across my Twitter feed. I almost passed up clicking on it, then I almost passed out from laughing when I read it. Many props to Jason Torchinsky for making everything about this story sing.
3. Fast And Furious Star Paul Walker Killed In Fiery Car Accident — 490,000 Unique Visitors
There's not much to say other than Travis Okulski and Mike Ballaban did strong work tag-teaming the news and subsequent updates. It's a story we never wished to tell about an event we didn't want to happen, but as a reporter you can't choose the news, you can only choose to do a professional job reporting it.
2. This Is The Best Takedown Of The 'Speed Kills' Myth You'll Ever See — 714,000 Unique Visitors
Up to this point, this video was one of the most viral ever on Jalopnik. A Canadian filmmaker laid out an argument about irrational speed limits so thoughtful that people stuck around for 20 minutes of what's basically a polemic. If you haven't seen it yet, queue it up for your lunch break.
1. Swedes Develop Invisible Bike Helmet — 5.93 Million Unique Visitors
This entirely random story from a video that's been on the Internet for a while (it was posted on Gizmodo in 2010) somehow broke through on Facebook to become the most read Jalopnik story ever. It also gave us our best week, day, and month ever.
There are many conspiracy theories out there about why this happened, and it certainly didn't hurt that Jason gave it the perfect headline and topshot, but for now I'll just say this: Sharing stories on Facebook is a good thing. Please do it. Frequently.