Diving Northern Gannet

Kat Zhou/UPY 2024

Snowy white northern gannet (Morris BasinsDive into the icy waters of Scotland’s Shetland Islands in search of food in this action-packed picture. Seabirds are as large as an albatross with a wingspan of about 180 cm. They are also uniquely adapted for high-speed diving, with strong neck muscles and nostrils within their bills that can be closed to prevent water from entering.

The shot was one of the most spectacular in the 2024 Underwater Photographer of the Year competition, which celebrates the wonders of the marine world. Here are some of them. The new scientistSelects the top of many entries.

Wreck of the Virgin near Recife, Brazil

Fabi Fregonesi/UPY 2024

In this photo by Fabiana Fregonesi, a school of fish swirls around a wreck, which for a moment resembles the sails of a boat. The ship, the Virgo, was deliberately sunk in 2017 to make way for a dive site near Recife, Brazil.

“What I realized at that moment was that the ship was ready to set sail, embarking on its journey to an unknown adventure,” Fregonisi said in a statement.

Eye of the gray whale

Rafael Fernandez Caballero/UPY 2024

The eye of the eastern gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) pierces this mysterious shot taken just above the surface of a saltwater lake in western Mexico. These sea giants are friendly creatures, often showing their curiosity by approaching boats. Whales undergo one of the longest annual migrations of any mammal – from summer feeding grounds in the Arctic along the west coast of North America to the warm lakes of Baja California, Mexico.

An octopus rings through a pyrosome.

Dennis Corpoz/UPY 2024

In stark contrast to the much larger gray whale, this 10cm-wide creature was caught in deep waters off the Philippines. The circular subject of the photo is a pyrosome – a colonial animal made up of hundreds or thousands of tiny individuals called zooids. Encased inside the strange pyrosome is a tiny octopus, just peeking out.

A dive

Jon Anderson / UPY 2024

This gruesome cormorant points at photographer Jon Anderson’s camera, mistaking it for a fish. This unusual photo was taken on a bright summer afternoon in a kelp forest at a dive site in Monterey, California. Many cormorant species depend on these special marine ecosystems to survive. However, native kelp forests have declined by 80 percent in the past decade.

Trapped sperm whales

Nuno Sá/UPY 2024

Dozens of beachgoers are trying to save a sperm whale in southern Portugal.Physiator macrocephalus) in this incredible aerial shot.

“They push and shout together, trying to help the giant back into the sea, as it slowly wags its tail back and forth and loudly,” photographer Nuno Sa said in a statement. breathes.” Despite their best efforts, the whale died several hours after beaching – crushed under its own weight without the support of water.