These might be the funniest animal photos you’ve seen this year

Cue the wildlife blooper reel.
Hippo with its jaws open behind a heron in the water
Spectrum Photo Creatures of the Air Award: Hippo yawning next to a heron standing on the back of another hippo. © Jean Jacques Alcalay / Comedy Wildlife 2022

Often when the PopSci editors put together a photo gallery, we like to talk about perspective. That can mean anything from zooming in with a microscope or camera lens, or actually manipulating natural forms into art. But the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards take a simpler approach: find the humor in animal antics and freeze it in a shot or a series. Here, we get to look at wildlife behavior from an anthropomorphic perspective, while learning a little about common and exotic species. That’s what makes it one of PopSci‘s favorite contests each year.

Now in its seventh year, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards recognizes six winners and 10 commendations from a pool of 5,000 entries. The competition is free to enter, and 10 percent of all publicity profits are donated to the UK’s Whitley Fund for Nature. Check out our favorites from the entertaining 2022 champions.

Racoon on a beach waving its hand
Highly Commended: A racoon “thanking” the photographer for a beachside shrimp snack. © Miroslav Srb / Comedy Wildlife 2022
Lion cub falling upside down out of a tree
Overall Winner and Creatures of the Land Award: A three-month-old lion cub takes a bad trip down a tree. He was just fine though after landing on the ground. © Jennifer Hadley / Comedy Wildlife 2022
Duckling walking across turtles' backs on a Lilli pad-covered pond
Highly Commended: A duckling using a turtle crossing. (It fell off a few times.) © Ryan Sims / Comedy Wildlife 2022
Two wallabies kicking each other on the beach against the sunrise
Highly Commended: Two wallabies play-fight at sunrise. © Michael Eastwell / Comedy Wildlife 2022
Gentoo penguin turning back and flipper to its mate along the ocean
Affinity Photo 2 People’s Choice Award: Two gentoo penguins were hanging out on the beach when one shook itself off and gave its mate the snub. © Jennifer Hadley / Comedy Wildlife 2022
Triggerfish grinning into the camera underwater
Creatures Under the Water Award: Even though they may look funny, triggerfish can be quite aggressive. In this case the photographer didn’t suffer any bites, but the domeport of his camera housing ended up with some scratches. © Arthur Telle Thiemann / Comedy Wildlife 2022
Eastern screech owl baby and mother squeezing their faces out of a nesting cavity
Highly Commended: An Eastern screech owlet tries to squeeze into the nest hole with its mother, maybe to see the outside world for the first time. © Mark Schocken / Comedy Wildlife 2022
Bull running with stork spreading white wings out behind it
Highly Commended: An Indian saras crane attacks a bluebull from behind after the mammal venture’s too close to the bird’s nest, wherein it had laid a single egg.  © Jagdeep Rajput / Comedy Wildlife 2022