National Geographic recently unveiled the Best Underwater Views of 2010 celebrating some of the top images to come out of the fourth annual DEEP Indonesia International Underwater Photo Competition. These are NatGeo’s top pics but these are only a handful. Make sure to check out all the other images at the DEEP Indonesia website. Our headline image shows a lionfish swimming among a school of glassfish in Egypt’s Red Sea. We’ve documented the perils of rogue lionfish plaguing the Atlantic but this is still a beautiful creature in its natural habitat.
This picture of a mantis shrimp guarding its eggs was snapped in Anilao, Philippines. The picture took home top honors in the “Compact Cameras” category which is pretty stunning. We are just wondering why we can’t get these images with our point-and-shoot cameras! As we noted before, the mantis shrimp can see colors invisible to humans and can view the world with 11 or 12 primary colors where human eyes only use three.
In this image, a baby seahorse is released out of its father’s pouch off Singer Island, Florida. The male seahorse has a pouch on its stomach in which to carry babies—as many as 2,000 at a time. A pregnancy lasts from 10 to 25 days, depending on the species.
A stunning yet saddening image of a sea turtle caught in a net in the Sea of Cortez is titled “Underwater Sadness.” Six of the seven known sea turtle species are listed as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. On a positive note 15% of the Deep Indonesia contest’s proceeds will be donated to marine-conservation efforts.
The final image from the NatGeo feature is this stark image of a diver exploring a continental trench in Silfra, Iceland, in 2010. The picture won top honors in the “Divers” category and was awarded “Best in Show” honors as well. The competition awarded U.S. $35,000 in seven categories for the most “stunning” underwater photos taken around the world in 2010, according to a press statement. Judges included professional underwater photographers and magazine editors.
[via National Geographic]