The Blue Marble is the most reproduced image in history and here are five others

The image famously known as the Blue Marble is still the most reproduced image of all time. 

The first colour photo of the full Earth, taken by Apollo 17, on December 7th 1972  turns a half-century today. Captured 50 years ago today by the Apollo crew, Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, commander; astronaut Ronald E. Evans, command module pilot; and scientist-astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, on their last NASA mission to the moon. 

The Blue Marble is continuing to endure as the most reproduced image in human history, followed closely by The Queen, Che Guevara, and the classic V-J Day in Times Square. To celebrate the marvel that is the Blue Marble, we take a look at the 5 most reproduced images of all time.

The Blue Marble

The Blue Marble
Credit: Nasa

This translunar coast photograph shows the Mediterranean Sea, all the way to the polar ice caps of Antarctica. This not only marks the first full pic of the Earth but commemorates the first time the Ice Pole was ever captured in such a manner. You can see that most of the coastline of Africa is visible, alongside The Arabian Peninsula at the Northeastern edge of Africa. 

Queen Elizabeth

The Queen most reproduced photo of all time
Credit: Iconic Photos

Officially published and printed in 1967, John Hedgecoe took a series of profile shots of the Queen in 1966 after being commissioned by the Postmaster General. Hedgecoe’s profile portrait of The Queen was used on Royal Mail postage stamps, and coins, probably had no idea, it would go on to be so prolifically enduring. 


Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima
Credit: Medium

Alongside being one of the most reproduced images, is also probably the most parodied image in the world. Photographer Joe Rosenthal admitted that when he took a shot of five Marines and one Navy corpsman raising the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima’s Mt. Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945, he had no idea that he had captured the shot of a lifetime. He was actually setting up for a different shot when he randomly spotted the group of men planting the flag and quickly took a snap without even looking through the lens. This chance photo went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.


Guerrillero Heroico

Ernesto “Che” Guevara was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his portrait has literally become the poster child for, revolution and youthful rebellion in popular culture. Alberto Korda’s 1960 photo of Che Guevara, has been endlessly reproduced on posters, t-shirts, and walls the world over.

Che Guevera most reproduced photo of all time
Credit: PBS

V-J Day in Times Square

V-J Day in Times Square and blue marble most reproduced images of all time
Credit: Life

Often called “The Kiss,” this image is perhaps the most beautiful of the most reproduced images caught on film. Alfred Eisenstaedt’s spontaneously captured moment showcases the joy, and wonder, on the streets of New York, when the news of World War II came to an end on August 14, 1945. The energy of the image is palpable, as a sailor is seen swooping up a dental nurse and kissing her.  It was later discovered that the nurse was taken completely by surprise by the stranger.