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‘A humpback whale, her calf and a human’ by Josh Munoz
Photograph: Josh Munoz / Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022

These spellbinding shots triumphed at the Ocean Photographer of the Year Awards 2022

From pods of humpback whales to swarms of jellyfish, these are the best ocean snaps of the year

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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It’s difficult to put into words just how vast and diverse the underwater world is. From swarming shoals of fish and mighty whales to eerie caverns and pitch-black depths, the oceans are home to just as much variety of creatures and environments as the world’s drier bits.

The Ocean Photographer of the Year awards are all about shining a light on that world beneath the waves. The above pic was taken by Hawaii-based Josh Munoz and captures a humpback whale and her calf with a diver in French Polynesia. It was certified ‘highly commended’ by judges at the Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022, which included categories such as ‘adventure’, ‘conservation (hope)’, ‘conservation (impact)’, ‘fine art’, ‘human connection’ and ‘wildlife’.

If you’re in London, you can see all the winners of this year’s OPYs at a free exhibition until November 7. You can also view all the winners online here. And here’s a look at a few of the watery wonders on show.

‘A surfer battles with the underwater turbulence created by the “heaviest wave in the world”, Teahupo’o’ by Ben Thouard

‘A surfer battles with the underwater turbulence created by the ‘heaviest wave in the world’, Teahupo’o’ by Ben Thouard
Photograph: Ben Thouard / Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022

‘An Olive Ridley sea turtle entangled in a mass of ocean debris’ by Simon Lorenz 

‘An Olive Ridley sea turtle entangled in a mass of ocean debris’ by Simon Lorenz
Photograph: Simon Lorenz / Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022

‘A freediver swims with a matriarchal pod of five sperm whales’ by Franco Banfi 

‘A freediver swims with a matriarchal pod of five sperm whales’ by Franco Banfi
Photograph: Franco Banfi / Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022

‘A cormorant dives through a huge school of baitfish, creating a series of shapes that mimics that of a human face’ by Brook Peterson

‘A cormorant dives through a huge school of baitfish, creating a series of shapes that mimics that of a human face’ by Brook Peterson
Photograph: Brook Peterson / Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022

‘An orca mother an calf swim in the open ocean, sun rays beaming through the surface’ by Andreas Schmid

‘An orca mother an calf swim in the open ocean, sun rays beaming through the surface’ by Andreas Schmid
Photograph: Andreas Schmid / Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022

‘A solitary wave breaks in the final moments before a storm rolls in’ by Ben Thouard 

‘A solitary wave breaks in the final moments before a storm rolls in’ by Ben Thouard
Photograph: Ben Thouard / Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022

‘A diver descends into the deep, light beams as their guide’ by Brandi Mueller

‘A diver descends into the deep, light beams as their guide’ by Brandi Mueller
Photograph: Brandi Mueller / Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022

‘A squid encountered on a night dive’ by Gabriel Barathieu

‘A squid encountered on a night dive’ by Gabriel Barathieu
Photograph: Gabriel Barathieu / Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022

‘A bloom of jellyfish alongside an equally busy Kagoshima resort’ by Reiko Takahashi

‘A bloom of jellyfish alongside an equally busy Kagoshima resort’ by Reiko Takahashi
Photograph: Reiko Takahashi / Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022

Did you see that these eye-popping shots triumphed at the world’s biggest panoramic photo awards?

Plus: these dizzying shots won at the Drone Photo Awards 2022.

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