See the Gorgeous Winning Images from the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest

These images of marine life will take your breath away.

Matthew Tworkowski, Sunball Seadragon. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.
Matthew Tworkowski, Sunball Seadragon. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.
Jeff Milisen, <em>Feeling Exposed</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Jeff Milisen, Feeling Exposed.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

The Underwater Photography Guide has announced the winners of its annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, and the selected images include some stunning photographs of marine life. The winners span across 12 categories and have been awarded over $70,000 in prizes. The contest, which is now in its fifth year, received entries from over 50 countries.

Related: Join Us as We Dive with Trevor Paglen 70 Feet Underwater and See NSA-Tapped Cables

Scott Portelli, <em>The Game</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Scott Portelli, The Game.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Taking home best in show was photographer Jeff Milisen, shooting at night in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

“I was on a black water dive… watching a parade of underwater aliens drift past when this larval cusk eel swam by,” said Milisen of the prizewinning photo in a statement.  “We had over 1,000 black water dives under our belt and none of us had ever seen anything like it!”

Related: Egypt Plans a Spectacular $150 Million Underwater Antiquities Museum

Filippo Borghi, <em>Cuttlefish in Love</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Filippo Borghi, Cuttlefish in Love.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

“This eel has possibly never been photographed before, or even seen underwater by a diver,” wrote Scott Gietler, the guide’s publisher, of the winning image, asking readers to “stay tuned for more details!”

Other standouts among the winners include a Finding Nemo-esque shot of a trio of clown fish, a loving pair of cuttlefish, and a group of black tip sharks swimming with a massive sting ray.

Related: World’s Largest Underwater Sculpture Unveiled In Bahamas

Greg Lecoeur, <em>Lagoon Ambience</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Greg Lecoeur, Lagoon Ambience.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Gietler called this year’s entries the “best set of photos yet,” noting that “many outstanding images were not even able to make honorable mention.”

Believe it or not, even in the relatively niche world of underwater photography, there are trends. “Last year we saw a lot of turtles & sperm whales, this year we saw a lot of humpback whales, mandarin fish, skeleton shrimp, and jawfish with eggs—along with quite a few photos of the famous Chinchorro crocodile,” noted Gietler.

See more winning images from the contest below.

Alexander Franz, <em>Hiding Beauty</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Alexander Franz, Hiding Beauty.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Gregory Sherman, <em>Humpback Calf</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Gregory Sherman, Humpback Calf.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Matthew Sullivan, <em>Wood Turtle</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Matthew Sullivan, Wood Turtle.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Matteo Visconti, <em>Nemo Is in Da House</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Matteo Visconti, Nemo Is in Da House.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Uwe Schmolke, <em>Jawfish Couple with Next Generation</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Uwe Schmolke, Jawfish Couple with Next Generation.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Dennis Corpuz, <em>Yawning Goby</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Dennis Corpuz, Yawning Goby.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Greg Lecoeur, <em>Sardine Run</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Greg Lecoeur, Sardine Run.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Cameron Azad, <em>Onward and Upward</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Cameron Azad, Onward and Upward.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Richard Barnden, <em>Aliens From The Deep</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Richard Barnden, Aliens From The Deep.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Aldo Costa, <em>Trapped</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Aldo Costa, Trapped.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Tanya Houppermans, <em>Taking Center Stage</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Tanya Houppermans, Taking Center Stage.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Jack Berthomier, <em>Fast strike of a Tylosorus crocodilus on a juvenile kyphosus vaigiensis</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Jack Berthomier, Fast strike of a Tylosorus crocodilus on a juvenile kyphosus vaigiensis.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Lureen Ferretti, <em>The Delivery</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Lureen Ferretti, The Delivery.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Greg LeCoeur, <em>Pilot Whales</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Greg LeCoeur, Pilot Whales.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Matthew Tworkowski, <em>Sunball Seadragon</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

Matthew Tworkowski, Sunball Seadragon.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

So Yat Wai, <em>Porcelain Crab</em>. Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.

So Yat Wai, Porcelain Crab.
Photo: courtesy the Ocean Art Underwater Competition 2015.


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