17 Eye-Popping Images from Beneath the Sea

RealClear Staff


Check out the incredible work from the winners of the 2016 Underwater Photographer of the Year contest. The competition, put on by UPY London, drew 3,500 entries from 500 photographers in 54 countries.

1. Going Green

A jellyfish navigates a lake in Palau, an island country in the western Pacific Ocean. Photographer: Behnaz Afsahi.

2. Alone in the Dark

A tiny octopus in the darkness of the open ocean. The ocean can seem very lonely. Photographer: Helen Brierley.

3. Darwin Award?

A great white shark has a hankering for some turtle soup. Trouble is, that big shell. The shark would spit the turtle out, and the turtle swam away. Photographer: Theresa Guise.

4. When There's a Wreck, You Always Have Gawkers

A school of jacks swims by the wreck of the USS Kittiwake, a 251-foot long ship that was scuttled to create an artificial reef in the Grand Cayman Islands. Photographer: Susannah Snowden-Smith.

5. School Is in Session

A lone tarpon (middle; tarpon are fish that grow to between 4 and 5 feet long) have an escort of a school of tiny silversides off the Cayman Islands. Photographer: Susannah Snowden-Smith.

6. Hitchhiking

Several young cod seek refuge in the tentacles of a jellyfish off the coast of Plymouth, England. Photographer: Cathy Lewis.

7. A 'Pod'-Cast

A pod of pilot whales make their way through the Mediterranean. Pilot whales are among the largest of the oceanic dolphins -- yes, they are dolphins, not whales -- exceeded in size only by the killer whale. Photographer: Greg Lecouer.

8. Peek-a-Boo

Greeting from a Lipophrys Holies. This European shallow-water fish seems unafraid of humans. Photographer: Mark Thomas.

9. Egg-Centricities

A long-clawed porcelain crab rests on a nest of fish eggs off the coast of England. Photographer: Dan Bolt.

10. Ice Fishing

Ice hovers in the clear springtime ocean near Greenland -- the diver gives it scale. Temperature is actually 28°F, which might be warmer than you would have thought. Photographer: Tobias Friedrich.

11. Hello, Ducky!

This mallard duck is dreaming of a trout dinner. Photographer: Paul Colley.

12. Give Us a Kiss

This seal captured near the Farne Islands (off the coast of Northumberland, England) seems just as curious about the photographer as the photographer (Sara Bowring) is about her subject.

13. Hidden Dangers

French Polynesia has a seemingly tranquil beauty of above the ocean's surface; below the surface, it's a different story as black tip sharks and a stingray mix with other fish in this lagoon. Photographer: Greg Lecoeur.

14. Face Off

Weird looking image as a pair of fish cleaners alternate on a parrotfish in Walea archipelago Togian near Indonesia. Never knew there were such things as fish cleaners! Photographer: Paolo Bausani.

15. Crunch Time

Off the coast of San Diego, photographer Ralph Pace caught a 45-minute battle between a hungry sea lion and a terrified mola (a large bony fish with a particularly tough skin). Eventually, the sea lion got his lunch.

16. Up a Flight of 'Stairs'

This strange creature, which almost looks like an underwater version of a praying mantis, is actually a skeleton shrimp near the UK coast. Photographer: Trevor Rees.

17. The Winner: Just Horsin' Around

This image of a seahorse in Italy’s Gulf of Trieste earned Davide Lopresti the Underwater Photographer of the Year award.



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