Every year since 2005, the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science has judged a crop of photos for consideration in its
Underwater Photography Contest. The winners and runners-up–in categories including wide-angle and portrait–are always unbelievable. We’ve collected our 10 favorites from the 2013 contest in the gallery here.
This ghostly photo of a harbor seal, snapped at a kelp forest at Cortes bank near San Diego, took the grand prize in the competition, and for good reason. Look at that seal! It’s like a hyper-stylized movie with a marine setting. Kudos and congrats to Kyle McBurnie of California.
Third Place, Macro
This shot of a porcelain crab chillin’ on an anemone off Pescador Island in the Philippines took third in the macro photography portion of the competition. The crab has some very stylish leopard print on, which probably helped.
Third Place, Fish Or Marine Animal Portrait
This photo, taken from either a horrifyingly bad acid trip or Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach, Florida, as claimed, shows a male Dusky Jawfish carrying eggs around. Judy Townsend of Florida caught the family portrait.
Best Student Entry
For the student competition portion, Laura Rock took top honors for this shot of a goliath grouper during a spawning event near Jupiter, Florida. Swimming through a fish-tunnel looks insanely fun, actually.
Second Place, Student
Oh, and Laura Rock also took second place in the student portion of the competition for this awesome photo of a great hammerhead in the Bahamas.
First Place, Wide-Angle
First place in the wide-angle lens category went to the U.K.’s Alex Tattersall for this shot of a lionfish at the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm in the Red Sea.
First Place, Fish Or Marine Animal Portrait
Steven Kovacs of Florida topped the portrait category for this: a young lionfish, shot at night in Roatan, Honduras.
Second Place, Macro
Douglas Good earned second-place macro honors for this shot of an emperor shrimp on two nudibranches, taken at Dinah’s Beach in Papua New Guinea. Looks like the world’s most beautiful jungle gym.
Third Place, Wide Angle
Also taken in the Red Sea, this photo of raccoon butterfly fish and angelfish on a reef in the area took home third place in the wide-angle category.
First Place, Macro
Last but not least, Beth Watson of Missouri snapped this shot of an improbably neon-pink anemone shrimp in the Philippines.