Astonishing scenes of underwater animal behavior were brought to the surface with the ninth annual Ocean Art Underwater Photography Contest. Despite global travel restrictions, this year’s competition attracted thousands of entries from amateur and professional photographers across 80 countries. Organizers said, “explorers took photos in their own backyards or select destinations open to travel and revisited their archives to bring us some eye-catching photography.”
Claiming the top prize is photographer Gaetano Dario Gargiul. His ‘Best of Show’ captures an octopus taking a selfie with the photographer and his family in the background. To capture the once-in-a-lifetime moment, Gargiul placed the camera near the octopus’s den in a shallow part of the tide pools of Kamay Botany Bay National Park in Australia. After a while, the octopus started interacting with it, coming out of the den to eventually start shooting pictures, much to the photographer’s surprise.
You can see work from more finalists below. Each picture, say organizers, brings “hope for the next generation of sea creatures.”
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