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Women in sports

Interest in women’s sports and female athletes surged

womensports01Super BowlWomen’s World Cup20117%23%201551%Serena WilliamsRoger FedererNovak DjokovicRafael NadalAndy MurrayStan Wawrinka
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On July 5, the US women’s national soccer team defeated Japan, 5-2, taking the trophy as the champions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The team’s victory came midway through a year of major women-in-sports stories, and our searches reflected that.
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Interest in mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey spiked this year as her fame, and search status, reached fever pitch. Rousey knocked out Bethe Correia on August 1 in Brazil. But, it was the surprise Rousey knockout by Holly Holm that was the most-searched UFC match of the year—and the second most-searched fight of the year, behind only Mayweather-Pacquiao.
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Serena Williams, the current No. 1 ranked women’s singles tennis player, nearly took the Grand Slam title after winning all but the US Open tournament, and people kept searching for her as she scored win after win. People searched for Serena more than the top five seeded men’s players—Djokovic, Murray, Nadal, Wawrinka and Federer—combined.
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EU refugee crisis

A single image shone a spotlight on a crisis

refugeesJANNOV 7 1 d e a d f o u n d i n t r u c k i n A u s t r i a#HumanityWashedAshore photo releasedMigrantsEuropean Migrant CrisisRefugeesRefugee Help
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Though more than four million refugees have fled Syria since 2011, when its violent civil war began, the increase in searches on the topic, suggest that 2015 was the year that the crisis came into focus for many of us.

Two tragedies in quick succession drew worldwide public interest. In August, 71 refugees, dozens of them from Syria, died after being abandoned in a truck traveling from Germany to Austria.

Then, the story of Aylan Al-Kurdi, the three-year-old boy whose lifeless body was photographed on a beach in Turkey, brought the desperate plight of refugees vividly into focus.

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In the days and weeks following these incidents, people searched for how to provide aid and support to the refugees, particularly children, and what the US could do in response to the crisis.

Recent search volume continues to reflect interest in the situation and the evolving public discourse as people considered other aspects of the crisis.

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Exploration of
Mars and Pluto

New discoveries sparked our imagination

planets01MercurySaturnPlutoJupiterMarsOCTNOVWater on MarsPhotos of Pluto
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In July, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew closer to Pluto than ever before, and sent back stunning images of the dwarf planet. The photos show young mountains on Pluto's surface in surprising detail and reveal features that indicate Pluto might be geologically active.
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In September NASA announced conclusive evidence of water on Mars when the Curiosity Rover tracked salt lines on the surface indicating remains of flowing streams. NASA's recent discoveries have renewed public excitement about space exploration and the prospect of life on other planets.
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People have always searched on topics related to space exploration, but the expeditions to Pluto and Mars led to a major spike in the search trend this year. Searches for ‘Pluto’ alone increased almost 160 percent from June to July, while searches for ‘Mars’ spiked more than 530 percent from August to September after discovery of water on its surface.

As we look at our favorite planets as reflected in search, Mars as a near neighbor and favorite of science fiction writers tends to keep it at the top of our list.

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Gender identity

A magazine cover redefined gender identity

transgender01“Bruce”“Caitlyn”JANOCTJuly 15ESPY Award speechJune 1 Vanity Fair coverApril 24Diane Sawyer interview
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After coming out as a transgender woman this year, Olympian and reality-TV star Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner made her first public appearance on the July cover of Vanity Fair.
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While some criticized Jenner's reveal, others applauded the magazine for having a transgender woman on its cover—seeing the move as a win for transgender acceptance.

The topic of transgender identity trended like never before, with Caitlyn Jenner’s interview on 20/20 with Diane Sawyer and subsequent Vanity Fair story driving the discussion. Searches appeared to indicate an acknowledgment of Jenner's gender identity as people searched 3-to-1 for ‘Caitlyn Jenner’ over ‘Bruce Jenner.’

Paris attacks

The world stood with France

paris01JANDECNovember 13 attacksCharlie Hebdo attackSearches for NewsCharlie Hebdo attackNovember 13 attacksSearches for SupportJe Suis CharlieNovember 13 Paris supportT r i b u t e s f o r P a r i sP a r i s s y m b o lP ray for ParisP e a c e f o r P a r i sVive la FranceH o w t o h e l p F r a n c eP ope Francis speaks outS upport FranceParis Memorial
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Two of the year’s most-searched events centered on violent terrorist attacks in Paris as people tried to make sense of senseless acts.
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On January 7, two attackers burst into the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and began shooting. As the news broke, people sought answers through search. Soon interest in the hashtag #jesuischarlie spiked as many showed solidarity toward the French people and freedom of speech.

Most recently, on November 13, coordinated shootings and bombings in Paris killed 130 and injured more than 400.

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As the events of the Paris attacks unfolded, we sought to understand the violence and express our support for the victims.
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Women in sports EU Refugee Crisis Exploration of Mars and Pluto Transgender identity Paris attacks Top searches