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© Scott Gutsy Tuason/UPY2018

47 Stunning Photos From 2018 Underwater Photographer Winners

Someone actually captured the moment a baby shark emerged from its egg case.


Every year the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition graces our eyes with the most beautiful shots of the sea, lakes or even swimming pools. 2018 is no exception. Check out 47 of our favorites below.

1. "Cycle War" by Tobias Friedrich

Underwater Photographer Winners © Tobias Friedrich/UPY2018

This image won Friedrich the coveted spot of Underwater Photographer of the Year for 2018.

2. "Love Birds" by Grant Thomas

Underwater Photographer Winners © Grant Thomas/UPY2018

The U.K.-based contest awarded Thomas the British Underwater Photographer of the Year for 2018 for this stunning split image.

3. "Roar" by ManBd UiDive

Underwater Photographer Winners © ManBd UiDive/UPY2018

This photo is the definition of "a picture tells a thousand words."

4. "Breathtaking" by Tobias Friedrich

Underwater Photographer Winners © Tobias Friedrich/UPY2018

This shot captures the dreamy fairytale side of the sea.

5. "Friend or Food" by Songda Cai

Underwater Photographer Winners © Songda Cai/UPY2018

This coiled conger eel is quite a sight.

6. "The Shadow" by Kenji Cheow

Underwater Photographer Winners © Kenji Cheow/UPY2018

This fish almost looks like a wolf howling at the moon.

7. "Pretty Lady" by TianHong Wang

Underwater Photographer Winners © TianHong Wang/UPY2018

We usually associate the ocean with cool tones like blues and greens — so this stunning pink macro image stands out.

8. "Blue FIsh" by Ace Wu

Underwater Photographer Winners © Ace Wu/UPY2018

This photo is electric.

9. "Black-Saddle Snake Eel Periclimenes Venustus" by Marchione dott. Giacomo

Underwater Photographer Winners © Marchione dott. Giacomo/UPY2018

The balance of this photo is superb.

10. "The Fisherman" by Filippo Borghi

Underwater Photographer Winners © Filippo Borghi/UPY2018

There's something magical about seeing a bird in an element other than air.

11. "In Hinding" by Scott Gutsy Tuason

Underwater Photographer Winners © Scott Gutsy Tuason/UPY2018

You can practically hear this fish.

12. "Gannets Feeding" by Greg Lecoeur

Underwater Photographer Winners © Greg Lecoeur/UPY2018

This still image totally captures the feeling of movement.

13. "The Plaice to be" by Guy Mitchell

Underwater Photographer Winners © Guy Mitchell/UPY2018

This plaice fish is one of nature's weirder offerings because it has two eyes on one side of its body and none on the other. Here you can see its strange eyes up close and personal.

14. "Peek-a-Boo!" by Martin Edser

Underwater Photographer Winners © Martin Edser/UPY2018

The serious look on this seal's face can't help but make us smile.

15. "Curled Octopus" by James Lynott

Underwater Photographer Winners © James Lynott/UPY2018

This image just feels luxurious with all those textures.

16. "Nudibranch Across the Kelp" by Trevor Rees

Underwater Photographer Winners © Trevor Rees/UPY2018

The use of lighting in this shot is spectacular.

17. "Moons Above" by Lucy Kay

Underwater Photographer Winners © Lucy Kay/UPY2018

The purple draws your eye, but if you look longer you see the true jellyfish bloom brewing.

18. "Beautiful" by Rupert Cornelius

Underwater Photographer Winners © Rupert Cornelius/UPY2018

We love how this looks like a game of hide and seek between the diver and the seahorse.

19. "Hummingfish" by Brian Eckstein

Underwater Photographer Winners © Brian Eckstein/UPY2018

Flying fish are often captured in flight — but here we see it submerged and even more regal.

20. "The Hammer" by Jacob Degee

Underwater Photographer Winners © Jacob Degee/UPY2018

The symmetry of this image is stunning. Look at those teeth!

21. "Elvis" by Stefano Cerbai

Underwater Photographer Winners © Stefano Cerbai/UPY2018

This is one of those images that takes a second to register, but there's actually an animal in there. (It's a hairy frogfish.)

22. "Oceanic White Tip Shark" by Greg Lecoeur

Underwater Photographer Winners © Greg Lecoeur/UPY2018

The contrast of colors here between the blue ocean and the striped fish surrounding the shark is marvelous.

23. "Frogfish Illusion" by Ipah UiD

Underwater Photographer Winners © Ipah UiD/UPY2018

This range of color was achieved by the photographer holding a CD behind the subject.

24. "A Reflective Green Turtle Hatchling" by Matt Curnock

Underwater Photographer Winners © Matt Curnock/UPY2018

Beautiful use of reflection.

25. "Jump" by Davide Lopresti

Underwater Photographer Winners © Davide Lopresti/UPY2018

The eye contact the viewer gets in this image really connects them to the subject.

26. "Angels of the Deep" by Santosh Shanmuga

Underwater Photographer Winners © Santosh Shanmuga/UPY2018

This photo just keeps drawing your eye deeper as you see more sharks in the dark spiral.

27. "Evening Snorkel" by Brook Peterson

Underwater Photographer Winners © Brook Peterson/UPY2018

There's a whole world of color beneath our feet.

28. "Cenote Nariz" by Herbert Meyrl

Underwater Photographer Winners © Herbert Meyrl/UPY2018

These divers almost look suspended in air.

29. "Surrounded" by Fan Ping

Underwater Photographer Winners © Fan Ping/UPY2018

The contrast of movement here perfectly exemplifies the speed of the ocean.

30. "Bells 'n' Helms" by Kieran Hatton

Underwater Photographer Winners © Kieran Hatton/UPY2018

This almost looks ghostly.

31. "Fried Egg Anemones at 'Pixie Gardens'" by Paul Kay

Underwater Photographer Winners © Paul Kay/UPY2018

This field of "flowers" looks straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.

32. "Humpback Whale Spy Hopping" by Greg Lecoeur

Underwater Photographer Winners © Greg Lecoeur/UPY2018

It's as if this whale simply wants to shake your hand.

33. "One of the Last Ones" by Robert Marc Lehmann

Underwater Photographer Winners © Robert Marc Lehmann/UPY2018

This snap of an otter diving — eyes wide open — is breathtaking.

34. "Morning Flight" by Filippo Borghi

Underwater Photographer Winners © Filippo Borghi/UPY2018

This looks more like a suspended museum exhibit than a real scene out of nature.

35. "Cooking Sausage" by Pekka Tuuri

Underwater Photographer Winners © Pekka Tuuri/UPY2018

This underwater fire was created by submerging dry ice and orange gel.

36. "The Birth" by Filippo Borghi

Underwater Photographer Winners © Filippo Borghi/UPY2018

The fact that someone captured the moment a shark slipped from its egg is unbelievable.

37. "Battle of the Tompots" by Henley Spiers

Underwater Photographer Winners © Henley Spiers/UPY2018

These two fish almost come together to create one owl-like fish if you squint.

38. "Hypnosis" by Wendy Timmermans

Underwater Photographer Winners © Wendy Timmermans/UPY2018

The light beams here look like they're sucking the diver back to the surface.

39. Tannic Water At Cenote Carwash" by Tom St. George

Underwater Photographer Winners © Tom St. George/UPY2018

A true color story.

40. "Nurse Shark Mating is No Gentle Affair" by Shane Gross

Underwater Photographer Winners © Shane Gross/UPY2018

Shark mating is often accompanied by biting so that males can stay in place long enough.

41. "Honu Love at Dusk" by Renee Capozzola

Underwater Photographer Winners © Renee Capozzola/UPY2018

By contrast, these turtles mating really looks like a love affair with the tropical paradise in the background. These images are both stunning on their own — but paired they tell a real story about nature.

42. "Truck-Nobia" by Tobias Friedrich

Underwater Photographer Winners © Tobias Friedrich/UPY2018

We love how the flashlight is illuminating the garbage that lies beyond. It's actually a great image to highlight the trash pollution problem the ocean is facing.

43. "Bubble" by K.Zhang

Underwater Photographer Winners © K.Zhang/UPY2018

A stunning reflective image of a curious blenny.

44. "A Sand Tiger Shark Surrounded by Tiny Bait Fish" by Tanya Houppermans

Underwater Photographer Winners © Tanya Houppermans/UPY2018

It's a fishnado!

45. "Dancing with the Giants" by Simone Matucci

Underwater Photographer Winners © Simone Matucci/UPY2018

These whales truly do look like they're jamming out.

46. "Night Reflection of a Juvenile Garfish" by Jack Berthomier

Underwater Photographer Winners © Jack Berthomier/UPY2018

So many reflective images try to capture a mirror perfect image of the subject — we love that this one is obscured into just color.

47. "Seahorse Density" by Shane Gross

Underwater Photographer Winners © Shane Gross/UPY2018

The best use of silhouette. These seahorses look ready to ride off into the night.

You can see all the winning 2018 images here.

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