The best GoPro videos from 2014

Forget about the rise of Ukip and Russell Brand's revolution; 2014 was all about one tiny camera

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The Independent Online

Ebola caregivers may have been named TIME's Person of the Year and Nigel Farage may be Briton of the Year according to The Times (yes, really), but in the world of technology and home videos, 2014 was all about the GoPro.

The GoPro is a compact and lightweight camera that allows users to shoot high-definition video in a completely stress-free way: the device can be mounted on vehicles and attached to an individual's head or helmet. Ignore the current craze about the selfie-stick offering users a "unique" take on events: the GoPro is the real deal.

As GoPro's "annus fabulousis" draws to a close, The Independent has compiled a list of the most astonishing GoPro videos from the year. Honourable mention must also go to the dashcam, which has proven particularly popular amongst Russian drivers.

Lamb chop falling to Earth

To be top of your game in the marketing world, you've got to think outside the box. That's exactly what novelist Nikesh Shukla and two friends did when they inflated a 2-metre wide weather balloon and attached a tandoori chop with a GoPro to it, propelling the weird device 31km into the stratosphere.

London captured by an eagle

Technically not shot with a GoPro but with Sony's miniature HDR-AZ1VR action camera, Darchan the eagle shot same amazing footage of London from the sky over the course of a week, showing that anything a drone can do, a bird can do better.

Squirrel steals GoPro and takes it up a tree

The GoPro is so easy to use, even a squirrel understands how to utilise the device to full effect. Back in November, a Canadian GoPro owner attached a piece of bread to his camera and watched on as a squirrel took the bait and filmed itself climbing up a tree with its new piece of food and technology.

Man races the Circle line - and wins

This was the video that made you wonder whether all those tube closures and never-ending upgrades are really worth it: 30-year-old Jason Heptonstall gave the phrase "rush hour" a whole new meaning when he raced against a London Underground train…and beat it.

Cyclist kicked into the path of a coach by fellow cyclist

We are used to hearing about the dangers of cycling in London. Yet video from one cyclist in the capital revealed another hazard for those travelling on two wheels: other cyclists.

The best video of a surfer riding a wave ever?

Two surfers set out on a mission to capture the greatest the surfing shot ever taken - and it looks like they might have succeeded.

Baby seal joins surfers for a ride

Matthew Stanley and Andrew Flounders were enjoying the waves off the coast of Northumberland when a young seal decided to join in on the fun. Of course, like any novice the seal struggles at first to get onto the board; slipping and sliding for a few failed attempts.

Backpacker wards off armed robber in Argentina

Not as amusing or exciting as others on the list, video of the moment a robber pulled out a gun at a backpacker in Buenos Aires, Argentina, still went viral, showing how a GoPro can show us nerve-wracking occasions we have never really been able to witness before.

Man base jumps from tower into a swimming pool

The ultimate party entrance, reminiscent of the Queen at London 2012. Video attached to a man's helmet showed him base jump from the top of the 1,381-ft high KL Tower in Kuala Lumpur and land at a pool party taking place on the roof of another 34-storey building.

600-day selfie: Man captures incredible journey around the world

Motorcyclist Alex Chacon showed how to combine both the GoPro and the selfie-stick to document his round-the-world trip, travelling from barren deserts to lush forests and visiting over 36 countries.