Nature seems based on duality, and nothing is more striking than the world above water, and below it. The world’s best underwater photographers took to the oceans to stun us with fantastic images of subjects caught between both these worlds. Let’s have a look.
The Colors Of The Sea
Jellyfish are pretty terrifying when you think about it. I mean, you can see right through their bodies and they basically have no internal organs to speak of. That’s not even accounting for the poisonous ones you find in the oceans. Still, the colors on this jellyfish are astounding.
Please excuse the terrible pun. Clubbing baby seals for their pelts is a horrible practice and completely unjustified. I mean, just look at this cute little guy taking a look at his icy habitat. Surely you couldn’t do any harm to such a fluffy creature with big, wide eyes?
Not Biting Today
It must be great to enjoy a spot of fishing here. Usually, you can go hours without a single bite on the bait, but here you could probably just jump in and come back up with a mouthful of fresh fish. Then again, it depends on what kind of fish lurk beneath the waters. Ever seen Jaws?
Learning that Iguanas are actually very adept swimmers is a surprise to me. My experience of Iguanas is that they’re pretty lazy reptiles who like to bask in the sun all day, and not secretly Olympic-level swimmers. Even Michael Phelps could learn a thing or two from this guy.
You Came To The Wrong Neighborhood
The turtle is likely curious, but the look on its face says otherwise. He looks like an annoyed uncle at a family wedding. Okay, so that analogy doesn’t really work, but the point is that this turtle looks like he’s going to open a can of whoop-ass on the photographer at a moment’s notice.
Are You Afraid Of Ghosts
Don’t start screaming just yet, you’re not looking at an underwater ghost, you’re looking at a bioluminescent jellyfish. What’s that? They’re potentially poisonous predators that are impossible to see above water? Sorry to interrupt your initial screaming, you may resume it now.
Crocodiles look very threatening from the top, barely poking their reptilian eyes up from the surface of the water. Below the waterline is a little different. This carnivorous predator looks practically hilarious, although those teeth do look especially sharp and very, very pointy.
This shot is pretty poetic. Whales are curious, and mostly benign creatures. That’s not to say that they won’t mess you up if given a chance, but this whale seems to be more interested in the underside of the boat rather than straight up crashing through it like a sea monster.
License To Krill
The humble krill. These little shrimp-like sea creatures are the buffet of the ocean, with whales practically inhaling whole shoals of them while swimming. Penguins are also big fans of krill, but this penguin, in particular, seems pretty ignorant that dinner is swimming nearby.
Fun At The Beach
In a single image, this captures why people are so enthralled by beaches. It isn’t the sea air or the abundance of warm sunshine, but the fact that it is the meeting place where two worlds meet. The land, and the sea. It’s a step into the unknown, to a place that mystifies and intrigues you.
More To Thailand Than The Food
Thailand boasts one of the most vibrant and colorful collections of sea life, and this picture is definitive proof of that. Thailand is an active snorkeling spot for this exact reason, being a popular tourist destination for beginners and advanced divers alike. There’s nothing quite like it.
Don’t be alarmed, this odd looking jellyfish is actually one of the most benign you’ll find in the ocean. In fact, it’s basically harmless. This colorful, odd creature somewhat resembles a fried egg if you view it from above. It’s a native of the warm Mediterranean oceans in Italy.
This is the equivalent of opening your fridge (stocked with food), and then not being hungry for a single thing in there. Maybe this pelican is thinking about ordering pizza instead, but is depressed that it cannot speak, doesn’t have a phone, nor does it have the fingers to dial takeout with.
Speaking of getting dinner, this local fisherman seemed to have given up the rod and tackle and decided a spear works best. In clear waters, a trained eye can indeed identify fish below the surface and leap with the pointed stick to pierce their seafood dinner. Tuna sandwich, anyone?
Elephants Never Forget (To Swim)
This elephant is somewhat unique in that it actually enjoys swimming as opposed to only doing it to cross a body of water. Having formerly been a work elephant hauling logs across deep rivers, it now appears to be retired and enjoys a dip in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
Now this must have been a lot of foot to shoot. Hopefully, they didn’t spend the whole day trying to get this photo just right, because really that’s a waste of a fine boat if they did. Look at that sun, though! Not a cloud in the sky. I envy people who get to experience days like this.
Fin in the water? Time to paddle like there’s no tomorrow. Actually, paddling is probably not the best idea seeing how sharks sense where you are based on disturbances in the water. In this case, the shark doesn’t particularly seem to match the violent species we know about.
Catch The Wave
This turtle seems to be giving the best surfers in the world a run for their money with how it’s riding that wave, albeit underwater. It also just goes to show how stunningly beautiful clear ocean water can be, compared to the gray, brownish muck we usually see.
Count The Colors
Underwater ecosystems are some of the most diverse and colorful you’ll find on the whole planet. Luckily, you don’t have to learn how to scuba dive to see what mysteries lie beneath the ocean waves. That’s exactly why we write these kinds of informative articles, so be grateful.
As in, Luca Brazil swims with the fishes. Do you get the reference? No? Jeez, you should probably watch The Godfather, then. So long as you’re old enough, of course. It’s a pretty intense movie. I digress, it’s actually a bit unsettling to see a uniformed frown on the faces of all those fish.
Om Nom Nom
One of the most entertaining sights nature has to offer is a bird (such as a kingfisher, the clue is in the name) swooping down and plucking a fish right out of the water. Instinctively they know how to locate the fish and hold them in their beak like a sushi piece between chopsticks.
Whale Of A Time
Pardon the pun, but if this fisherman knew what was hanging out just below him, he might pick a different spot. There aren’t actually that many recorded incidents of a fisherman being swallowed by whales, but you have to assume it’s happened once or twice in maritime history.
You know what they say about icebergs, 95% below the water, and so on and so forth. This seems to be an accurate estimate, looking at this photo. Of course, it’s hardly going to sink the Titanic given it’s only as long as a flock of penguins.
Ever wondered if pigs like to go to the beach? Now you know. Pigs actually really enjoy warm water, so it’s no surprise these guys are getting their trotters wet. Submerging a piglet in warm water is actually a method of preventing hypothermia amongst them while they’re still young.
This curious whale is either trying to greet the photographer, eat them, or belt out some classic rock ballads. If you ask me, whales are pretty bad singers, I don’t know why people say their music is so beautiful. It all sounds someone sighing into an empty tin can.
It’s already been said in this list how the world above the surface of the water can differ greatly from the one below it, and here is a clear example of that in action. Above is desaturated, gray, and lifeless. Below, colorful, vibrant, and teeming with life.
We’ve had a pretty comprehensive look at the jellyfish of the world in this list, haven’t we? Here’s another for the lineup. Although I’d never try one, these jellyfish are actually making me just a little bit hungry. For some reason, they just remind me of pastries. They probably taste awful, though.
Adept And Agile
Penguins are not known for their land speed. If anything it’s a surprise that they spend much time above the waterline considering how they’re terribly slow at waddling in any direction. Still, when they’re in the water, penguins are sleek, aerodynamic speed demons.
Given you can’t actually see this beast above the waterline, the photographer was taking their life into their hands with this snap. If that set of jaws wasn’t an indicator to get out of there, I don’t know what is.
These kids seem to be doing a bit of investigation into their surroundings. Children are more curious than you think, though you might need to watch out if they start taking an interest in the ocean. Most kids in boats underestimate the current and are pulled out to sea.
Don’t go trying to pick these guys. They may look like they belong in an Octopus’ Garden (get the Beatles reference?), but they’re actually Anemones, which are a specific type of flower related to the poppy genus. It’s best to leave them be, they’re vital for the local ocean ecosystem.
We may have seen a more benign shark earlier in this list, but it’s time to take a look at the kind we’re much more inclined to be afraid of. Check those choppers out. It’s bad enough those teeth look razor sharp, but they happen to come in multiple rows too.
It seems fitting for this list to end the same way it started, with a jellyfish. In this case, plural jellyfish. It almost looks like they’ve entangled themselves in an embrace like they’re dancing and on the verge of kissing. Can jellyfish kiss? Can a jellyfish love? These are questions for later.