Arts and Culture

15 incredible photos from National Geographic's Nature Photographer of the Year contest

 "UFO formation"— by Takashi Takashi / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest 2016

A baby cloud forms over Mt. Fuji, Japan. Image: Takashi Takashi / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest 2016

Tom Murray
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National Geographic's Nature Photographer of the Year contest has kicked off and the entries are awe-inspiring. This year's judges are looking for photos that showcase the "diverse natural world around us."

Entries are divided into four categories: Landscape, Environmental Issues, Action, and Animal Portraits. Winners of their category will receive $2,500 in prize money, with $750 being given to runners up. The Grand Prize for the best photo across all categories is a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions.

You can browse more entries and enter the competition yourself here.

An alligator poses for his close up in Apopka, Florida.

"The Eye Of A Gator"— by Nancy Elwood

2 endangered rhinos pause for a drink under the stars in South Africa.

"Priceless"— by Alison Langevad

Lightning strikes lower Manhattan in a summer storm.

"Moonlightning"— by Christopher Markisz

A doe and her fawn survey their surroundings in Yellowstone National Park.

"Let's picnic"— by Qian Wang

A jockey grips his harnesses while taking part in Pacu Jawi— Indonesian bull racing. If he is fast, his bulls will sell for a higher price.

"Bull Race"— by Yh Lee

The Soberanes forest fire illuminates the night sky in Monterey County, California.

"Beauty Beyond Disaster"— Li Liu

A mother and cub frolic in the fields of Katmai, Alaska.

"Brown Bears"— by Aaron Baggenstos

A baby cloud forms over Mt. Fuji, Japan.

"UFO formation"— by Takashi

Some curious cubs investigate a remote-controlled camera buggy in Tanzania.

"Curious Lions"— Kym Illman

This gorgeous shot shows jellyfish floating eerily around their tank in an aquarium in New Jersey.

"Jellyfish"— by T. King

A herd of Wildebeest roam through the Serengeti in Tanzania.

"Wildebeest Migration"— by Hugh McCrystal

Day breaks over Monument Valley, Arizona.

"Daybreak at Monument Valley"— by Lidija Kamansky

A bald eagle plucks an unsuspecting victim out of the Susquehanna river.

"Hunting For Fish"— Eric Esterle

A dramatic landscape shot of Valle de La Luna in Chile.

"Silence and the desert"— by Virginia Zoli

A Snowy Owl peers suspiciously as it stands over its prey on Jones Beach, New York

"Snow White"— S. Dere

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