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From drunken nights out with a llama to testicle-eating fishes, it’s a mixed bag of stories you’ve been sharing on social media in 2013.

Among the top twenty Independent articles you’ve been tweeting and posting on Facebook this year, there are serious reports, ferocious comment pieces, astounding research and a fair few articles that pay tribute to the adage ‘the truth is stranger than fiction.’

Hindu holy man reveals truth of terror attacks blamed on Muslims

India is being forced to confront disturbing evidence that increasingly suggests a secret Hindu terror network may have been responsible for a wave of deadly attacks previously blamed on radical Muslims.

Mary Ann Sieghart: There are lessons for us from Arizona

People can read whatever biased trash they like but at least there is a corrective when they watch or listen to the news

Faithful gather around for key ritual of the Haj

Tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims move around the Kaaba, the black cube that sits within the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during this year's Haj.

Old foes, nasty news, John Major Syndrome, and an arresting outfit

<b>David Randall</b>: The two Yemeni parcel bombs discovered on planes 10 days ago carried not only the addresses of Chicago synagogues but also, above them, a pair of intriguing names.

48 Hours In: Mumbai

Autumn is the ideal time to visit India&rsquo;s most cosmopolitan city &ndash; with plenty to nourish the body and soul

Nicholas Lezard: How not to greet a little green man

I would not necessarily assume that the first human being an alien will want to speak to is an astrophysicist

From floods to fasting: How Pakistan&rsquo;s recent natural disaster cast its shadow over Ramadan

As Ramadan drew to a close, the photographer Alixandra Fazzina, who witnessed the devastation of Pakistan first-hand, examined how Muslim celebrations were affected in both the flood-hit land and among the community in the UK

Silver spoon successes: The intellectual, affluent and well-connected new generation of Young British Artists

Today's Young British Artists are well-connected, appear in Tatler and are mostly Oxbridge-educated &ndash; a far cry from the rough edges of Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst.

Reality show concludes hunt for 'ultimate young imam'

An Islamic reality TV show that made its contestants counsel promiscuous teenagers and bury corpses has named a mosque prayer leader as Malaysia's top role model for young Muslims.

Indonesia's Muslims miss Mecca (by about 1,500 miles)

For more than 200 million Muslims in Indonesia, Mecca just moved. Instead of facing Islam's most holy city, a clerical error of astronomoical proportions has seen the faithful directing their prayers towards Kenya and southern Somalia.

Christina Patterson: Moderate Islam must find its voice

Religion is here to stay. Dawkins can rant till the sacred cows come home, but people have always yearned for the transcendent, and always will

Michael McCarthy: Why the blackthorn is a herald of spring

Some signs of spring are particularly moving because they have remained free from the clutches of cliché. I yield to no-one in my appreciation of primroses and cowslips, even of municipal daffodils, God bless them in their regimented beds, but there is another mark of the shift in the seasons which stirs something deeper in me, and that is the blossoming of the blackthorn.

TV psychic will not be beheaded for 'witchcraft', lawyer says

A Lebanese television psychic who was condemned to death for witchcraft by a Saudi court while visiting the country will not be beheaded, his lawyer said yesterday. May al-Khansa said that the Saudi ambassador in Beirut informed the Lebanese justice minister, Ibrahim Najjar, that the execution of Ali Sibat would not take place.

Treasures make pilgrimage for Hajj exhibition

British Museum to show artefacts from holiest Muslim sites

Family pleads for return of father sentenced to death for witchcraft

Lebanese pilgrim, arrested and convicted in Saudi Arabia on sorcery charges for his role in a TV show, due to be executed on Thursday
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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...