9 of the Most Stunningly Beautiful Underwater Photos Ever Taken

The Underwater Photographer of the Year contest in London received entries from 67 countries rivaling for the top spot. These are some of the most mesmerizing selections.

"Green Turtles in the rays" by Greg Lecoeur (France)

01-Underwater-Photos-You-Will-Not-Believe-Greg-LECOEURCourtesy Greg LECOEUR/UPY2017 As green turtles started circling Lecoeur in Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands in Spain, the photographer captured this gorgeous underwater action shot with sunlight peeking through the surface. (See the most gorgeous hot air balloon shots you've ever seen.)

"Dancing Octopus" by Gabriel Barathieu (France)

02-Underwater-Photos-You-Will-Not-Believe-Gabriel-BarathieuCourtesy Gabriel Barathieu/UPY2017 This shot of the alien-looking octopus swimming through a shallow lagoon in Mayotte, an island off Mozambique, earned Barathieu the top title of Underwater Photographer of the Year.

"Your home and my home" by Qing Lin (Canada)

03-Underwater-Photos-You-Will-Not-Believe-Qing-LinCourtesy Qing Lin/UPY2017 Lin had to take six dives before capturing this photo of the clown fish all opening their mouths at once. Look closely, and you'll see beady eyes inside. That's right, those aren't their tongues—they're parasites.

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"Hello, World!" by Jenny Stromvall (Mozambique)

04-Underwater-Photos-You-Will-Not-Believe-Jenny-StromvollCourtesy Jenny Stromvoll/UPY2017 Diving in Ponta du Ouro in Mozambique, Stromvall noticed a cuttlefish egg that was was even darker than the others—it was about to hatch. The photographer snapped her shot just as the newborn was entering the world.

"Oceanic in the Sky" by Horacio Martinez (Argentina)

05-Underwater-Photos-You-Will-Not-Believe-Horacio-MartinezCourtesy Horacio Martinez/UPY2017Undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau once described oceanic whitetips as the "most dangerous of all sharks," but Martinez ventured out to capture one in the Red Sea.

"Orca Pod" by Nicholai Georgiou (U.K.)

06-Underwater-Photos-You-Will-Not-Believe-Nicholai-GeorgiouCourtesy Nicholai Georgiou/UPY2017 As if one killer whale weren't enough, Georgiou managed to capture an entire pod as they swam by.

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"Medusa Blenny on the Lookout" by Jade Hoksbergen (U.K.)

07-Underwater-Photos-You-Will-Not-Believe-Jade HoksbergenCourtesy Jade Hoksbergen/UPY2017 Blennies are bottom-dwelling fish. Some are brightly colored and wide-eyed, while others seem like they're scowling. Hoksbergen's underwater portrait of this particular curmudgeon-looking blenny highlights how the fish blends into its environment.

"Through the coral window" by Léna Remy (France)

08-Underwater-Photos-You-Will-Not-Believe-Léna-RemyCourtesy Léna Remy/UPY2017Exploring the USS Liberty shipwreck near Tulamben, a small fishing village off the coast of Bali, Remy spotted this curious fish darting around. She framed her shot with flower coral, contrasted with the bright blue of the sea.

"Out of the Blue" by Nick Blake (U.K.)

09-Underwater-Photos-You-Will-Not-Believe-Nick-BlakeCourtesy Nick Blake/UPY2017Swimming in a cave's natural water pit, Blake captured this stunning shot of a lone diver swimming through beams of sunlight.

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