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15 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.

© Courtesy Pekka Tuuri/UPY2018
'Perfect Wheel' by Pekka Tuuri (Finland)

By Marissa Laliberte, Reader's Digest

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

© Courtesy Greg LECOEUR/UPY2017
'Green Turtles in the rays' by Greg Lecoeur (France)
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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.


'Dancing Octopus' by Gabriel Barathieu (France)

© Courtesy Gabriel Barathieu/UPY2017
'Dancing Octopus' by Gabriel Barathieu (France)

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
'Your home and my home' by Qing Lin (Canada)
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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.


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

© Courtesy Jenny Stromvoll/UPY2017
'Hello, World!' by Jenny Stromvall (Mozambique)

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

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

© Courtesy Nicholai Georgiou/UPY2017
'Orca Pod' by Nicholai Georgiou (U.K.)

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

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)

© Courtesy Léna Remy/UPY2017
'Through the coral window' by Léna Remy (France)

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

© Courtesy Nick Blake/UPY2017
'Out of the Blue' by Nick Blake (U.K.)

Swimming in a cave's natural water pit, Blake captured this stunning shot of a lone diver swimming through beams of sunlight.


'Love Birds' by Grant Thomas (U.K.)

© Courtesy Grant Thomas/UPY2018
'Love Birds' by Grant Thomas (U.K.)

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.


'Surrounded' by Fan Ping (China)

© Courtesy Fan Ping/UPY2018
'Surrounded' by Fan Ping (China)

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.
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'Fried Egg Anemones at ‘Pixie Gardens’' by Paul Kay (U.K.)

© Courtesy Paul Kay/UPY2018
'Fried Egg Anemones at ‘Pixie Gardens’' by Paul Kay (U.K.)

No, those aren’t actually fried eggs under water. These are spotted brittles tars and plumose anemones that Kay found just off the west coast of Scotland. This shows just how colorful life under the sea can be.


'Breathtaking' by Tobias Friedrich (Germany)

© Courtesy Tobias Friedrich/UPY2018
'Breathtaking' by Tobias Friedrich (Germany)

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.


'Seahorse Density' by Shane Gross (Canada)

© Courtesy Shane Gross/UPY2018
'Seahorse Density' by Shane Gross (Canada)

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.
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'Perfect Wheel' by Pekka Tuuri (Finland)

© Courtesy Pekka Tuuri/UPY2018
'Perfect Wheel' by Pekka Tuuri (Finland)

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.

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Pets Magazine: 15 of the Most Incredible Underwater Photos Ever Taken
15 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.
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