Wow! 2017 underwater photo contest winners

Winners of the 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) contest. How do you choose a favorite?

Dancing Octopus. Image © Gabriel Barathieu/UPY2017

Last week, the winners of the 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) contest were announced. This year’s competition had entries by 4,500 photographers from 67 different countries, the most since the contest’s start in 1965.

The 2017 grand winner was French diver Gabriel Barathieu for his photograph Dancing Octopus (above) which was shot in the shallow waters around the small island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. Contest judge Alex Mustard commented on the image:

Both balletic and malevolent, this image shows that the octopus means business as it hunts in a shallow lagoon. The way it moves is so different from any predator on land, this truly could be an alien from another world.

There are 10 categories in the competition. You can see all the winners, and learn more about the UPY here. Meanwhile, here are a few to wow you. Enjoy!

Out of the Blue by Nick Blake. Image © Nick Blake/UPY2017

Sea lion playing with a starfish by Francis Pérez (Spain). Image © Francis Pérez/UPY2017

Jacks surging over the corals on Raja Ampat’s reefs, by Edwar Herreño (Colombia). Image © Edwar Herreño/UPY2017

Graceful ballet by Jenny Stromvoll (Mozambique). Image © Jenny Stromvoll/UPY2017

The wreck of the Louilla at sunset by Csaba Tökölyi (Hungary). This is the wreck of the Louilla resting on top of Gordon reef in the Straits of Tiran on the edge of the Sinai. Image © Csaba Tökölyi/UPY2017

A humpback whale in shallow water scattering herring taken in very tough conditions, by Fabrice Guerin (France).Image © Fabrice Guerin/UPY2017

“A pair of two claw shrimp, including one with eggs, in the bottom of a purple vase sponge. Two claw shrimp are a rare find on Grand Cayman; these are the only ones I’ve seen in over 300 dives on the island!” by Susannah H. Snowden-Smith. Image © Susannah H. Snowden-Smith/UPY2017

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Bottom line: Winners of 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) contest.

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Eleanor Imster