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Toothy lemon shark
Photograph: Galice Hoarau / Ocean Photography Awards

These incredible deep-sea shots have won the Ocean Photography Prize 2021

From plucky baby turtles to dazzling coral reefs, these are the best underwater photos of the year

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Written by
Sophie Dickinson
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The toothy grin of a lemon shark isn’t something most of us would like to get too close to. But that’s exactly what Galice Hoarau did when capturing this winning deep-sea shot off the coast of Florida. And yet, in the event, the shark ended up looking a lot less like Jaws and a whole load more, well, goofy.

The finalists of this year’s Ocean Photography Awards have snapped wildlife worldwide – showcasing the most weird, colourful and fragile watery ecosystems across the globe. The winners are on display as part of an exhibition next to London Bridge, in the British capital. Here are some more of our favourites:

Like this zen turtle.

Zen turtle
Photograph: Aimee Jan / Ocean Photography Awards

This colourful underwater meeting.

Colourful fish and whale
Photograph: Alex Kydd / Ocean Photography Awards

These intimate dragonet fish.

Dragonet fish
Photograph: Steven Kovacs / Ocean Photography Awards

This ambitious diver.

Ambitious diver
Photograph: Martin Broen / Ocean Photography Awards

This sunset-watching shark.

Sunset-watching blacktip reef shark
Photograph: Renee Capozzola / Ocean Photography Awards

This unhappy lizardfish.

This unhappy lizardfish
Photograph: Steven Kovacs / Ocean Photography Awards

This determined turtle.

Sunset-watching blacktip reef shark
Photograph: Matty Smith / Ocean Photography Awards

This dramatic deep-sea scene.

Dramatic ocean scene
Photograph: Alex Kydd / Ocean Photography Awards

This blooming coral forest.

Blooming coral floor
Photograph: Alex Kydd / Ocean Photography Awards

And these curious penguin parents.

Curious penguin parents
Photograph: Stefan Christmann / Ocean Photography Awards

Now check out our fave photos at the 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.

Plus: here are the hilarious winners of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2021

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