20 of the Most Incredible 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)
Courtesy 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)
Courtesy 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)
Courtesy Qing Lin/UPY2017
Lin had to take six dives before capturing this photo of the clownfish 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. Don’t miss these 20 arrestingly beautiful photos that stand the test of time.
“Hello, World!” by Jenny Stromvall (Mozambique)
Courtesy Jenny Stromvoll/UPY2017
Diving in Ponta du Ouro in Mozambique, Stromvall noticed a cuttlefish egg that 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)
Courtesy Horacio Martinez/UPY2017
Undersea 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. These stunning photos will make you appreciate the beauty of life.
“Orca Pod” by Nicholai Georgiou (U.K.)
Courtesy Nicholai Georgiou/UPY2017
As if one killer whale weren’t enough, Georgiou managed to capture an entire pod as they swam by.
“Medusa Blenny on the Lookout” by Jade Hoksbergen (U.K.)
Courtesy 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. Here are 8 more amazing National Geographic photos to remind you how wondrous the world is.
“Through the coral window” by Léna Remy (France)
Courtesy Léna Remy/UPY2017
Exploring 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.)
Courtesy Nick Blake/UPY2017
Swimming in a cave’s natural water pit, Blake captured this stunning shot of a lone diver swimming through beams of sunlight. Check out these 20 stunning wave photos you won’t believe are real.
“Love Birds” by Grant Thomas (U.K.)
Courtesy Grant Thomas/UPY2018
The top half of this photo is what we see day-to-day when we find a swan swimming around a lake. But Thomas waited until mid-day to capture this never-before-seen symmetrical masterpiece of two swans in Loch Lomond taking a dive to feed below the surface of the water.