We've already shared and celebrated the top photographs from the London Natural History Museum's annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, featuring feisty foxes, gargantuan underwater whales, and more. However, if you haven't yet had your fill of awe-inspiring animal shots, here's another astounding collection: the British Wildlife Photography Awards has just announced its 2016 winners, revealing the depth, breadth, and beauty of diverse creatures and critters in the U.K.
The overall victor is the above photograph, Hitchhikers by George Stoyle. Stoyle explains, “I was working on a project to assess the current biological status of major sea caves around some of the UK's most remote islands. At the end of one of the dives I was swimming back to the boat when I came face to ‘face' with the largest jellyfish I’ve ever encountered. As I approached cautiously I noticed that a number of juvenile fish had taken refuge inside the stinging tentacles.” He captured that discovery on camera, and it appears almost electrically charged with the dazzlingly kaleidoscopic colors that can only be found in nature. The jellyfish's multitude of slender, string-like limbs undulate in complex tangles around a swarming school of glimmering fins, seeming to symbolize the gorgeous complexity of interwoven species in the animal kingdom.
Hitchhikers is joined by winners in fourteen other categories, all chosen from thousands of entries. Scroll down to ogle birds, beetles, and more from an intimate, up-close perspective, and you can see the rest (and the runners-up) BWPA's website.
Above image: George Stoyle, Hitchhikers; St Kilda, off the Island of Hirta, Scotland
Winner, Animal Portraits: Jamie Mina, Mountain Hare; Tomatin, Inverness, Scotland
Winner, Animal Behaviour: Jacqueline Spindley, Back Garden Babies; Nottinghamshire, England
Winner, Botanical Britain: David Maitland, Bird Seed; Norfolk, England
Winner, British Nature in Black and White: Chaitanya Deshpande, Free Bird; London, England
Winner, British Seasons: Robert E Fuller, Common Weasel (Pic 1); North Yorkshire, England
Winner, British Seasons: Robert E Fuller, Common Weasel (Pic 2); North Yorkshire, England
Winner, British Seasons: Robert E Fuller, Common Weasel (Pic 3); North Yorkshire, England
Winner, British Seasons: Robert E Fuller, Common Weasel (Pic 4); North Yorkshire, England
Winner, Close to Nature: Jeanette Sakel, Tadpoles; Bristol, England
Winner, Documentary Series: Nick Upton, Monitoring Harvest Mice (Pic 1)
Winner, Habitat: Charles Everitt, Living Space; Bass Rock, East Lothian, Scotland
Winner, Hidden Britain: Stephen Darlington, Emergence; Goring, Oxfordshire, England
Winner, Urban Wildlife: Geoff Trevarthen, The Supermarket Starling; Cornwall, England
Winner, Wild Woods: Steve Palmer, Twisted Green; Derbyshire, England
All images via BWPA Awards.