Quantcast

8 Incredible Images Win Top Prize for 'Illustrating the Rich Diversity of Life on Earth'

Animals

By Clara Chaisson

What on Earth have you photographed?

This open-ended question, asked annually by the BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition, invites predictably diverse submissions: A leopard prowling around Mumbai's Aarey Milk Colony, a Chilean volcano's violent eruption, and the surprisingly peaceful relationship between a blackfish and a venomous Portuguese man o' war, just to name a few.

But out of some 5,000 images, it was White Rhino, by Maroesjka Lavigne of Ghent, Belgium, that snagged the grand prize.

"White Rhino," photographed by Maroesjka Lavigne in Etosha National Park, Namibia.Maroesjka Lavigne

"I love the camouflage and the texture—you can almost feel the cracked mud," wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas, who chaired the panel of expert judges, said in a press release. "This photograph also has a poignant, ghostly quality that reflects how rhinos are slipping away before our eye."

For the last six years, the number of rhinos poached for their horns has been climbing and the International Union for Conservation of Nature said poachers killed 1,338 of the endangered animals in 2015. The photo competition hopes that capturing the natural world's incredible variety on film will inspire us to save it in real life.

The "BigPicture" exhibit, on display at the California Academy of Sciences through Oct. 30, features 48 photographs from 27 countries. The judges this year awarded prizes in seven categories: Human/Nature; Terrestrial Wildlife; Landscapes, Waterscapes, and Flora; Aquatic Life; Winged Life; Art of Nature; and Photo Essay: Coral Reef.

Explore the prize-winning images below:

"Big Cat in My Backyard!" photographed by Nayan Khanolkar in Mumbai, India.Nayan Khanolkar

"The Courageous Crossing," photographed by Manoj Shah in Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve.Manoj Shah

"The Awakening: Landscape of Fear," photographed by Francisco Negroni in Comuna de Fresia, Region de los Lagos, Chile.Francisco Negroni

"Deep Sky," photographed by Eduardo Acevedo in Los Gigantes, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.Eduardo Acevedo

"Pelicans Composition," photographed by Marco Urso in Lake Kerkini, Greece.Marco Urso

"Microscopic View of Sulfar Crystals in Polarized Light," photographed by Peter Juzak in Wennigsen, Germany.Peter Juzak

"The Coral Triangle," photographed by Eric Madeja in Coral Triangle.Eric Madeja

Reposted with permission from our media associate onEarth.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Waterloo Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London. Martin Hearn / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Money talks. And today it had something to say about the impending global climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
Sam Cooper

By Sam Cooper

Thomas Edison once said, "I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power!"

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials

Simple swaps that cut down on kitchen trash.

Sponsored

By Kayla Robbins

Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most daunting areas to try and make zero waste.

Read More Show Less
A NOAA research vessel at a Taylor Energy production site in the Gulf of Mexico in September 2018. NOAA

The federal government is looking into the details from the longest running oil spill in U.S. history, and it's looking far worse than the oil rig owner let on, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Damage at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge from the 2016 occupation. USFWS

By Tara Lohan

When armed militants with a grudge against the federal government seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in rural Oregon back in the winter of 2016, I remember avoiding the news coverage. Part of me wanted to know what was happening, but each report I read — as the occupation stretched from days to weeks and the destruction grew — made me so angry it was hard to keep reading.

Read More Show Less
Computer model projection of temperature anomalies across Europe on June 27. Temperature scale in °C. Tropicaltidbits.com

A searing heat wave has begun to spread across Europe, with Germany, France and Belgium experiencing extreme temperatures that are set to continue in the coming days.

Read More Show Less
Skull morphology of hybrid "narluga" whale. Nature / Mikkel Høegh Post

In the 1980s, a Greenlandic subsistence hunter shot and killed a whale with bizarre features unlike any he had ever seen before. He knew something was unique about it, so he left its abnormally large skull on top of his toolshed where it rested until a visiting professor happened upon it a few years later.

Read More Show Less