We've All Seen These Iconic Photos. Here's The Remarkable Footage That Brings Them To Life.

If pictures are worth 1,000 words, GIFs must be worth millions. But nobody has time for millions of words about history's most iconic images, so just take a look at the GIFs below. This is your chance to get the "fuller picture," to see history come to life. In GIF form, history may literally repeat itself, but to see how it truly unfolded, that isn't such a bad thing.

American servicemen raise a flag at Iwo Jima.

iwo jima flag

Feb. 23, 1945. In this image, six servicemen (from left to right: Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, Michael Strank, John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, mostly hidden, and Harlon Block) appear to struggle to raise a flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. The video of the monumental, yet relatively brief moment shows just how much power this single snapshot carried.

Here's what it really looked like: The flag is successfully raised.

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Image: AP

Marilyn Monroe stands over a subway grate.

marilyn monroe grate

1954. It's not as if Marilyn Monroe breezily walked over a subway grate and got this famous look down in one try. Monroe shot multiple takes for this iconic scene in "The Seven Year Itch."

Here's one of her takes, which shows that the wind was a bit too strong at some points.

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JFK Jr. salutes his father's body.

jfk jr salute

Nov. 25, 1963. Absolutely heartbreaking. This was John F. Kennedy Jr.'s third birthday and took place three days after the assassination of his father.

Here's what it really looked like: John gets guidance from his mother.

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Muhammad Ali knocks out Sonny Liston.

May 25, 1965. This was the second fight between Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) and Sonny Liston. As you'll see below, the iconic photo showing Ali standing over his opponent is a little misleading.

Here's what it really looked like. Ali floated like a butterfly, then floated away fairly quickly, swinging his arm for only a brief moment.

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Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists.

black power salute olympics

Oct. 17, 1968. After finishing first and third in the 200m at the Mexico City Olympic Games, the medal-winners made this salute for the duration of the American national anthem. The two were banned from the Olympic village following the display. Smith has since said that this was not a "black power" salute, as is often assumed, but rather the gesture that represented the struggle for human rights for all.

Here's what it really looked like: Second place remains unfazed.

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Buzz Aldrin stands with the American flag on the moon.

apollo 11 flag moon

July 20, 1969. After taking a giant leap for mankind, Neil Armstrong photographed his fellow moon traveller, Buzz Aldrin, next to the flag. This probably wasn't a conspiracy.

Here's what it really looked like: The setup is just as awkward as any other staged photo.

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"Tank Man" makes a stand at Tiananmen Square.

June 5, 1989. Most people recognize this image, but don't realize just how many forces "Tank Man" was attempting to stop, or that he ended up climbing onto the tank. The true identity of "Tank Man" actually remains a mystery and it is unknown whether he is still alive.

Here's what it really looked like: The bags get waved around.

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Firemen raise the American flag at the WTC wreckage.

ground zero firefighters flag

Sep. 11, 2001. Recovery requires a team effort. The firefighters: George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and Billy Eisengrein. An alternate shot was taken from above.

Here's what it really looked like: It takes a team.

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Michael Jackson dangles his child off a hotel balcony.

michael jackson baby window

Nov. 19, 2002. Perhaps a moment we'd all like to forget, but still worth seeing what actually happened. The child is Prince Michael II, who was only nine months old at the time.

Here's what it really looked like: Even Jackson seems surprised.

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President Barack Obama hugs his wife, Michelle, in what was then the most retweeted photo ever.

Aug. 15, 2012. This hug took place during a summer campaign stop in Iowa, but the photo didn't become iconic until being tweeted after Obama's successful reelection in November.

Here's what it really looked like: A long embrace with multiple kisses.

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Bonus: Ellen Degeneres breaks the Obamas' Twitter record with this Oscars selfie.

March 2, 2014. If you watched the 2014 Academy Awards then you've already seen this footage.

Here's what it really looked like: Brad Pitt deems the selfie "not bad."

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the servicemen in the Iwo Jima photo as "soldiers." The photo depicts five U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy corpsman.



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