From a close-up toothy croc encounter to bird attacking a ball of fish under the ocean, some of the best underwater pictures in the world have been revealed in this photography competition.

More than 4,000 pictures were entered for the Underwater Photography contest across 17 categories.

“Winning here, or even just being placed, is [our] most coveted accolade because it says you succeeded in the most competitive environment there is, against the top talent of the moment,” said website owner and competition organizer Tal Mor.

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“The panel of judges is comprised of industry professionals. They are unpaid, non-affiliated, and, of course, cannot enter themselves.

“Many other internationally acclaimed photographers have launched their photo careers here over the years … and we are so proud to be having a constant flow of new talent coming in. Our goal is – and always has been – to promote young talent and give them a stage to show off their photos and launch a career as underwater photographers.

“One of our medals is the reward for all the hard work they have put in chasing those great shots in far-flung destinations.”

59-year-old Leena Roy scooped a gold medal in the “Wide-Angle Divers” category with her shot of a diver swimming through a cluster of silverfish in the Cayman Islands.

Leena Roy – SWNS

Daniel Flormann, who is from Germany, bagged himself a gold medal in the “Wide-Angle Marine Life” category with a beautiful mirror image of a crocodile in Jardin de la Reina in Cuba.


Daniel Flormann – SWNS

Another closer-up shot of a croc in which you can count its teeth won US photographer Susan Meldonian a bronze in the “Over/Under” category.


Susan Meldonian – SWNS

A black and white shot of gannets diving down to attack a bait ball in the famous South African sardine run bagged Allen Walker a bronze medal in the “Wide-Angle Natural Light” category.

“This is one of my favorite sardine run images taken offshore of the wild coast, Transkei, Port St Johns,” said the South African photographer. “The Cape Gannet is truly an amazing bird and has adapted to its ocean life like no other.”


Allen Walker – SWNS

Australian Nick Polanzsky was lucky to avoid being bitten as he captured this picture of a playful juvenile California sea lion coming in to try and chew his camera in Mexico, a shot that got him a silver medal in the “Wide-Angle Close Focus” section.


Nick Polanzsky – SWNS

Not all the prize winners were obviously dramatic shots – some of the ocean’s more delicate creatures were also caught on camera.

Away from the frenetic action, this calming shot of a diver next to the Pinar 1 wreck in Bodrum, Turkey won Mehmet Oztabak a gold medal in the “Wide-Angle Wreck” section.


Mehmet Oztabak – SWNS

Equally serene is this picture of a baby eel in the Phillipines, taken by Masa Biru from Aruba.


Masa Biru – SWNS

In the “Macro Not-Swimming” category, American John Roach picked up the silver for a yellowhead jawfish with its mouth full of eggs in the Dutch Antilles.


John Roach – SWNS

The bronze award in the “Macro Swimming” section was taken by Rudy Jannsen from Belgium for this dragon-like yellow ribbon eel in Indonesia.


Rudy Janssen – SWNS

If you want to see more contest winners, you can check out the contest website.

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