A gentoo penguin flees for its life as a snarling leopard seal bursts out of the water. A curious young gray whale moves toward a stray pair of hands reaching down from a tourist boat. A washed-up beach chair forms a fatal noose around the neck of a sea turtle.
These stunning images have been submitted as part of London’s Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, which has been running for 55 years.
Nearly 50,000 entries from professional and amateur photographers across 100 countries were submitted to the prestigious award, of which the overall winners will be announced on October 15.
“For more than fifty years this competition has attracted the world’s very best photographers, naturalists and young photographers, but there has never been a more important time for audiences all over the world to experience their work in our inspiring and impactful exhibition,” Tim Littlewood, Director of Science at the Natural History Museum and member of the judging panel, said in a statement.
“Photography has a unique ability to spark conversation, debate and even action. We hope this year’s exhibition will empower people to think differently about our planet and our critical role in its future,” he added.
After the awards ceremony, the images will be displayed at London’s Natural History Museum from October 18 and will later be showcased on an international tour.