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15 Astounding Winners from the World Nature Photography Awards

Annual competition features incredible photos of the natural world
Photo of a seal mouth

The winners were recently announced for the 2021 World Nature Photography Awards (WNPA) and, as usual, there were some incredible photos taking home the competition’s top prizes. The goal of this prestigious annual nature photography contest is to celebrate “the world’s best nature photographers, as they highlight our planet,” WNPA organizers said.

“When great science and great art combine, amazing things can be achieved. That’s the philosophy behind the World Nature Photography Awards, a global nature and wildlife photography contest for planet Earth,” the WNPA said.

“Our vision is of a planet in which climate change has been reversed and man’s relationship with the planet shifts to be one of protection rather than plunder. We believe in the power of photography to put a spotlight on the majesty and wonder of the natural world around us, reminding us to take action now to secure a better tomorrow for us all.”

We’ve included fifteen incredible winning photos from the 2021 WNPA in this story. Capturing the top prize was Amos Nachoum of the USA for the unbelievable image below of a leopard seal about to eat a penguin.

“We are absolutely delighted to announce our 2021 winners, from a selection of amazing images that arrived in our offices from all over the world,” the WNPA said. “It also gives us great pleasure to hand the title of World Nature Photographer of the Year to Amos Nachoum for his image ‘Facing reality.’ ”

See all the winners here. You can enter the 2022 WNPA contest here. You can see fifteen of the wildest photos from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021 awards here.

Photo of a seal eating a penguin
Behavior – Mammals, Gold Medal & Grand Prize Winner: Amos Nachoum, USA. “For hours, I waited for the low tide to arrive along a shallow lagoon on a remote island off the Antarctic Peninsula,” Nachoum said. “Like clockwork, the leopard seal arrived in the lagoon just before low tide. It put its head in the water and looked just like a rock sitting in the receding water. The young Gentoo penguins only dare to enter the water when it is shallow and when they got close enough to the seal, it turned its head at lightning speed, catching one of the penguins by its feet and taking it to deep water. Once the seal reached open water, I followed it and swam parallel to it, observing its actions. To my surprise, it let go of the penguin twice. Each time, the seal chased after the penguin again, as if it was enjoying the game. The terrified penguin tried to escape as the game continued. But soon, the end came.”
Photo of a landscape
Nature art, Gold Medal: Federico Testi, Italy. “The natural creativity of San Quirico d’orcia, in Tuscany, Italy,” Testi wrote. “Waves, shapes and tone created by light, in harmony with the universe.”
Photo of monkeys
Animal portraits, Gold Medal: Tom Vierus, Fiji. “Long-tailed macaques enjoy the warmth of each other during a hot day in Bali, Indonesia,” Vierus wrote. “These animals show very similar behaviour to us humans including enjoying each other trusting company. The macaques are used to humans and are commonly found around temples where they tend to feed on food sacrifices by the locals.”
Photo of vulture and fox
Behavior – Birds, Gold Medal: Ashok Behera, India. “A wildebeest’s eyes being gorged by an African vulture, keenly watched by an African fox for an opportunity to scavenge,” Behera wrote. “Taken at Masai Mara, Kenya.”

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