Have you ever stared at the ocean and wondered what wonders lurk beneath? Several underwater photographers grabbed their cameras and captured some truly stunning photos showing the contrast of nature between 2 worlds – ours above and theirs down below. Look out for #17 the next time you hop in the water – yikes!
1. Blue Bubble Beauty Packs a Powerful Punch
Despite its beauty, the Portuguese man o’ war is a highly venomous creature. Its tentacles average 30 feet long, and even when they’re detached, they remain potent for days. Admire their beauty from afar if you find yourself face to face with this blue bubble floating terror!
2. Baby Harp Seal Inspects Habitat
Harp seals prefer the water to land and can spend up to 15 minutes at a time swimming. They don’t start to swim until they’re seven or eight weeks old, though. This adorable pup peaks longingly into the water as it waits for its turn to jump into its preferred habitat.
3. Hide and Seek
On the shore, a fisherman works hard to capture his next meal that will feed his family and possibly earn income, too. Meanwhile, a school of fish swims behind him. It’s a classic game of hide and seek that could mean life or death for both man and animal.
4. Green Iguana Shows Off Its Swimming Prowess
When threatened by predators, green iguanas head to water. They are excellent swimmers and use their powerful tails to propel them away from danger. Is this beauty treading water or preparing a flight to safety?
5. Welcome to my World
This friendly turtle lives in Bora Bora and says welcome to my world! As ocean natives, sea turtles thrive underwater. Their head, legs and arms do not retract into their shells, which means they’re always ready for a good swim with you!
6. Jellyfish Haunt the Waters
Underneath the surface of every ocean in the world, jellyfish haunt the waters. They drift with the current and use their powerful tentacles to capture food or warn away predators. Be on the lookout for giants like this one the next time you go for an ocean dip.
7. Smiling Assassin Crocodile of Cuba
This American Crocodile, photographed in Jardines de la Reina, Cuba, appears to be smiling, but don’t be deceived. Crocodiles kill a variety of mammals when it’s mealtime. They live and hunt as far north as Southern Florida and as far south as Peru.
8. Beneath the Boat Swims the Right Whale
These fishermen need a bigger boat if they expect to catch the right whale swimming underneath them! Right Whales grow to 50 feet long and weigh up to 80 tons. For centuries, they have been prized for their blubber and got their name because they were the “right” whale to hunt.
9. I Spy With My Little Eye My Dinner
The two-inch krill fuels Antarctic marine life, including this penguin that seems blissfully unaware that dinner waits a few feet away. During the day, krill live deep below the water’s surface. They rise to the top at night in search of the phytoplankton that fuels them before they become food themselves.
10. Just Another Play Date at Sea
One boy plays in the sand, and a turtle swims nearby. Both creatures live in harmony as they share the same resources and appreciate playing on land and in the sea.
11. Time to Get Schooled
Poda Island in Thailand boasts pristine beaches, emerald waters and tropical fish. Get schooled as you watch these creatures during your ride on a long-tail boat or when you decide to take a dip in the beautiful waters.
12. Intimidation Above and Below
The majestic Miramare Castle overlooks the Adriatic Sea and the unique cotylorhiza tuberculata. Also known as the Mediterranean jelly or fried egg jellyfish, these creatures do not harm humans, but they look as intimidating as that castle.
13. Dine With the Brown Caribbean Pelican
Floating peacefully on the clear Caribbean waters, the brown pelican waits patiently for dinner. It can eat up to four pounds of food a day. Does it know that a smorgasbord of dinner swims only inches away?
14. Working Hard for His Dinner
Hundreds of tropical fish species swim around the island of New Caledonia. Here, a local fisherman snags his dinner with an acrobatic flair. Hope it’s tasty!
15. The 5 Ton Swimming Wonder
Rajan is a 65-year-old elephant who swims in the Indian Ocean. He learned to swim in the 1970s when he was forced to haul logs. Today, he’s free to swim when he feels like it, and it sure is a magical site to behold.
16. Say Cheese!
What better way to celebrate a fun afternoon on the water than with a selfie. Say cheese, but don’t smile too big underwater or you’ll find yourself with a mouthful of salty wetness.
17. What You See Isn’t Always What You Get
Over 500 species of sharks call the ocean home. This photo captures a bit of their mystery and serves as a reminder that what you see on the surface isn’t always what’s underneath.
18. Keep Swimming
The Zamami Islands south of Japan welcome tourists year round. Visit the exotic, relaxing and beautiful destination and swim with tropical fish and sea turtles like this guy. You’ll love the chance to relax and enjoy nature.
19. Splashes of Color in an Ocean of Blue
Off the coast of Bass Point, New South Wales, Australia, discover splashes of color in the plentiful reefs and multiple shipwrecks. Rare flora and fauna species, including the endangered grey nurse shark, call the area home and welcome you to explore all the wonders of the ocean blue.
20. Scuba Diving with the Fishes
Visit the Sipadan Island in Malaysia, and you’ll see thousands of species like these fish swimming off the shores. It’s one of the world’s top scuba diving destinations with plenty more sights like this spectacular one that capture the beauty of two world.