The Natural History Museum has released images selected for its showcase of some of the world’s best pieces of nature photography.
The selected pieces cover a broad range of environments and colour palettes capturing the beauty of the often forgotten world just out of view.
From hippos playing in the lake shallows, to the underwater kelp forests that bloom beneath the waves, photographers have scoured the planet to highlight it’s wondrous sights.
The showcase is part of an annual competition put on by the museum in the hopes of reminding us that there is more to the world than our towns and cities.
The images shown here were taken from entries into both the adult and children’s competition, making room for budding Attenboroughs, whatever age they may be.
If penguins could fly by Eduardo Del Álamo: A penguin bursts from the surface of the sea somewhere in Antarctica, fleeing the savage jaws of a hungry leopard seal that sees him as a quick snack
Gasp by Adrian Hirschi: Taken in the shallows of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, a male hippo steals a child from its mother and flees with the calf, intent on crushing it with its huge jaws, the mother behind could only watch as the scene unfolded
Lucky break by Jason Bantle: A cheeky raccoon pokes her face through the shattered hole of a 1970’s Ford Pinto, flashing her bandit-masked face to the photographer before ducking back inside to tend to her cubs
The climbing dead by Frank Deschando: A strange sight as a weevil appears to sprout flowers, sadly overtaken by the ‘zombie fungus’ which infects insects compelling them the climb as high as they can so the fungi’s spores can spread more easily
The wall of shame by Jo-Anne McArthur: A white wall is adorned with bloody hand-prints and prized rattle-snake skins, signatures and trophies left behind from those who have successfully hunted and skinned the animals
Beach waste by Matthew Ware: Taken at Alabama’s Bon Secour National Wildlife refuge, the scene initially has a strangely worn appeal but by looking closer you can spot the blood and plastic, a man-made noose that cost the turtle its life
The freshwater forest by Michel Roggo: Although it may not look like it upon first glance, this photo was taken under the water at lake Neuchatel, Switzerland, the lush green strands stretch upwards towards the surface and the blue sky beyond
Big cat and dog spat by Peter Haygarth: A male cheetah is outnumbered in an ambush from wild dogs. The cheetah bares its teeth, ready to strike at one of his attackers while he is flanked on all sides, his mottled ears a sign this is not his first fight
Jelly baby by Fabien Michenet: A juvenile jackfish peers out from the inside of a jellyfish, the black background evoking feelings of space traveler journeying to distant stars, hidden in the safe confines his travelling partner, who deters predators
The hair-net cocoon by Minghui Yuan: A Cynamoth pupa undergoes its transformation having weaved the protective cage from hair-like fibers, the unique structure appearing almost like a man-made wicker basket hiding the patterned beauty within
Cool drink by Diana Rebman: A long tailed tit makes use of the bitterly cold weather on the island of Hokkaido in Japan to get a drink while on the go, its stark black and white plumage contrasting against the bitter cold greys of the sky behind it
Canopy hangout by Carlos Pérez Naval: The blissfully serene canopy scene was captured in Panama’s Soberania national park, the heavy mists creating a cosy feeling as though we have been invited into a room to join the solitary sloth
Sleeping like a Weddell by Ralf Schneider: A Weddel seal appears to be in a deep sleep against the ice, its monochrome colouring helping its slumber remain undisturbed by any would-be predators in the freezing tundra
Touching trust by Thomas P. Peschak: A curious grey whale approaches a strange gesture of friendship that floats down into his watery domain, the faint scarring around his eyes tells a story of a rougher life as he reaches out for connection