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.
“Surrounded” by Fan Ping (China)
Courtesy Fan Ping/UPY2018
Though you might not want to be surrounded by Caribbean Reef Sharks on your next beach vacation to the Bahamas (where this photo was taken) you can’t deny how amazing it looks. The blur of the swimming sharks juxtaposes the sharp image of a diver remaining as still as possible making Ping the second runner-up in the wide-angle photo category.
“Breathtaking” by Tobias Friedrich (Germany)
Courtesy Tobias Friedrich/UPY2018
You know the saying “just the tip of the iceberg”? Well if you had to put a real-life image to that phrase, you’d get this breathtaking photo. From the top, all you see is the snowy glacier, but below is a whole other world. And it’s real too! However, these fake photos are so incredible that you’ll wish they were real.
“Seahorse Density” by Shane Gross (Canada)
Courtesy Shane Gross/UPY2018
Two is company, but three is definitely a crowd. This photo was taken in the Bahamas, home to the highest density of seahorses on Earth. The exact location is a secret because some are working on getting special protection for the seahorses for conservation efforts.
“Perfect Wheel” by Pekka Tuuri (Finland)
Courtesy Pekka Tuuri/UPY2018
This wheel belonged the German ship, Klaus Oldendorf. She sunk in 1942 (just 30 years after the Titanic went down) in the Baltic Sea. Tuuri took this photo without flash and was able to get the “natural faint green glow” that he witnessed with his own eyes. If you want to witness magical waters, check out these breathtaking waterfalls from around the world.
“In Hinding” by Scott Gutsy Tuason (Philippines)
Courtesy Scott Gutsy Tuason/UPY2018
Tuason placed as the second runner-up in the behavior category with this incredible photo of a jellyfish with a young trevally fish inside of it. So this is what wildlife is up to 250 meters below the sea! Did you know that jellyfish aren’t actually fish? Learn about more animals with surprisingly misleading names.
“The Nose” by Mike Korostelev (Russian Federation)
Courtesy Mike Korostelev/UPY2018
If you ever wanted to be surrounded by the world’s largest concentration of bears without fearing for your life, take a visit to Kuril Lake. Due to the copious amounts of sockeye salmon, the bears aren’t hungry for humans and are pretty comfortable around them. In fact, these bears are playful as Korostelev said that the cubs found his camera in the water and started playing with it. This photo placed second runner-up in the portrait category but could’ve gotten first place if slightly more of the photo was underwater.
“Frogfish Illusion” by Ipah UiD (Malaysia)
Courtesy Ipah UiD/UPY2018
This photo is so trippy because there’s something in the background that isn’t found naturally under the sea. Can you guess what it is? UiD used a CD behind this plain ol’ goby to create the psychedelic effect. These weird animals look so strange even without any props altering their image you won’t believe they’re real.
“Migration” by Austin Ferguson (United States)
Courtesy Austin Ferguson/UPY2018
Thanks to Ferguson, you can witness a male pink salmon trekking his way upstream to get as inland as possible to begin reproduction. This pilgrimage of fish happens every year in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. This reproduction process is more important than ever now because overfishing, salmon farming, and deforestation have caused the population of Pacific salmon to decline.
“Australian Sea Lion” by Greg Lecoeur (France)
Courtesy Greg Lecoeur/UPY2018
The French photographer Lecoeur snapped this curious little fellow posing for him while in Julien Bay in Australia. The special things to note about this image are the symmetry on either side of the sea lion and the beautiful sunshine radiating from above the water. Next, take a look at these rare photos of the ocean’s invertebrates like you’ve never seen them.