Top 10 Reasons 2016 Was THE WORST

Script written by Spencer Sher.

From the moment David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey and many more celebrities died in January, many people decided 2016 was a shitty year. But then came a lot of other things that made 2016 terrible. Between the earthquakes in Italy, ISIS, Zika and the United States Presidential Election, there were a lot of horrible things about 2016. WatchMojo counts down ten reasons 2016 was the worst year ever. Don’t worry; it’s almost over…

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Script written by Spencer Sher.

Top 10 Worst Things About 2016

Nothing brightens up your day quite like reviewing all the awful things that happened over the past year. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Horrible Things About 2016.

For this list, we’re looking at the events, milestones and tragedies that went into making 2016 the worst year in recent memory.

#10: Brexit

This catchy portmanteau refers to the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union; a decision reached in the summer of 2016. A referendum was held to determine whether or not to remain within the EU – with 52% of citizens voting in favor of a “Brexit.” Hardly a black and white decision, the UK’s withdrawal will take years to finalize, with many estimating that a full withdrawal won’t occur until March of 2019. With the British Pound already taking a serious hit, many pundits have started to express concern over the future of the United Kingdom – with uncertainty arising around the future of European trade policy as well as the place of the UK and the EU in the eyes of the world.

#9: Earthquakes in Italy

On August 24th, 2016, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake rocked Central Italy in what was one of the worst natural disasters of the year. The massive quake killed 299 people and left 4,500 others without homes. While the epicenter of this catastrophe was near the small municipality of Accumoli, aftershocks were felt as far off as Rome, Florence and Bologna – hundreds of miles away. Controversies surrounding the disaster quickly emerged, as inspections of various collapsed buildings determined they had not been built in accordance with the antiseismic law of 1974. And, as if one earthquake wasn’t bad enough, another series of quakes shook Central Italy in October of that same year, all measuring higher than 5.5 on the Richter scale and rendering 100,000 people homeless.

#8: Fort McMurray Wildfire

As the flames began to spread across Northern Alberta, few could’ve predicted the destruction they would eventually cause. Beginning on the evening of May 1st, 2016, a state of emergency was issued for the areas around Fort McMurray – an urban service area known for its oil production. Within days, the wildfire had spread across more than 210,000 acres, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes. The fire was finally declared under control on July 5th – 65 days after the first warnings were issued. The most expensive disaster in Canadian history – with damage estimates coming close to $3.58 billion – it remains a miracle that there were no direct fatalities connected to the blaze.

#7: Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting

An innocent night out turned deadly when 29-year-old Omar Mateen murdered 49 people and injured 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12th, 2016. The situation ended after local police breached the interior of the club three hours after the shooting began, killing Mateen and rescuing several hostages. Though Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIL in a 9-1-1 call, this incident is considered both a terrorist attack and a hate crime, carrying the infamous distinction of being the worst attack on American soil since 9/11 and the deadliest mass shooting perpetrated by a single person in U.S. history. In November 2016, the city of Orlando revealed their intention to purchase the club for $2.25 million, with plans to turn it into a memorial.

#6: Zika

Not even mosquitoes could be trusted in 2016. The antagonists behind the 2015-16 Zika outbreak in the Americas, mosquitoes are spread disease by biting the exposed skin of unsuspecting individuals. While those infected with Zika will often have mild-to-no symptoms, it mustn’t be underestimated: pregnant women who contract the disease can pass it to their children, causing serious birth defects. While Zika vaccines were finally being tested on humans by the end of 2016, none had yet been confirmed as an effective prevention method. So, avoiding mosquito bites is still the best way to avoid infection. However, if you think you’re safe because you live in a mosquito-free environment, beware: the Zika virus can be passed from one person to another through unprotected sex.

#5: Police-Involved Shootings of Civilians

2016 was yet another year in which hundreds of civilians, primarily in the U.S., were shot and killed by police officers. While these types of incidents have occurred for decades, the fatal police shootings of Michael Brown and John Crawford III in 2014 sparked outrage, protests, riots and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The world watched as video footage of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile’s police-involved deaths in July 2016 went viral, for example. As debates on how to properly address the issue continue, uncertain feelings towards local law enforcement increase. Suggestions on how to tackle the issue have including mandating officers to wear body cameras; however, this hasn’t prevented almost 900 people from being killed in 2016, according to the Washington Post.

#4: ISIS

ISIS, which stands for The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is a terrorist organization responsible for war crimes, ethnic cleansing and various terrorist attacks across the globe. The main goal of the group is to form a Sunni Islamic state – one led by a supreme leader. While the group has been around since 1999, it’s their actions in recent years that have caused panic, outrage and fear in the hearts and minds of people the world over. In 2016 alone, ISIS has been responsible for thousands of deaths. From bombings in Istanbul, Brussels, Nice and Kabul, to a knife attack in a Minnesota mall and many more incidents, this organization perpetrated crimes in dozens of countries in 2016.

#3: European Migrant Crisis Continues

Between January 2015-March 2016, over one million people journeyed across the Mediterranean Sea from countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan in order to escape the various wars and persecutions occurring there. While many have crossed the sea with relative safety, others have not been so lucky: in 2015, almost 4,000 people died while attempting the trip. The majority of the migrants hail from Syria, with many seeking asylum from their country’s civil war – one that’s already claimed the lives of approximately 400,000 people, according to the United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria. Many European countries, like Germany, have graciously opened their borders to the incoming refugees; but as their citizens openly criticize the EU’s management of the situation, the crisis continues.

#2: The U.S. Presidential Election Campaign

If you feel like you’ve been watching coverage of this Presidential Election for years, you wouldn’t exactly be wrong: Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination on March 23rd, 2015 – a whopping 596 days before Election Day. The race to become the 45th Commander in Chief had many wondering when and if it would ever end, with the eventual battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton becoming a heated one, littered with bizarre moments from both parties; with one candidate under investigation by the FBI; and the other making controversial comments that attracted massive media attention. The protests, riots and other incidents that ultimately followed Trump’s election on November 8th highlighted how divided the United States really are.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions:
- Brock Turner
- Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy
- Flint Water Crisis Continues

#1: All the Celebrity Deaths

With each passing year, the world bids farewell to many of its most beloved celebrities. Yet, in 2016, the list of those lost carries a weight that feels somewhat disproportionate in relation to other years. Beginning with the passing of iconic glam rocker David Bowie in January, the year has at times felt like one never-ending funeral – with other well known celebrities like Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali and Prince passing away in the ensuing months. Some, like 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie, died under tragic circumstances; while others, like Leonard Cohen, passed away peacefully at the age of 82. Many of the well-known faces lost in 2016 were giants in their field, and they will not soon be forgotten.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think was the most horrible thing about 2016? For more entertaining Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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