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Lizardfish eating fish.
Photograph: Jack Pokoj

The Ocean Photographer of the Year world premiere exhibition is being held in Sydney

Explore ten of the winning photographs being showcased at the Australian National Maritime Museum right now

By Saskia Morrison-Thiagu for Time Out in association with Australian National Maritime Museum

Sea more at the Ocean Photographer of the Year exhibition, which features more than 100 images from the world's best photographers at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney. 

The photographs selected feature spectacular imagery of wildlife encounters, seascapes, as well as themes of climate change. For those interested in the ocean and nature as a whole, this is a great way to explore the largely untapped depths of the deep blue. 

Get ready to dive in and explore ten of the winning photographs below.

Ocean Photographer of the Year

Following the eruption of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines, Jialing Cai (1st place winner) navigated through low visibility and deep fog to find this tiny paper nautilus riding on a wooden stick. Cai pressed the shutter and all those particles you see in the image lit up like snowflakes on a cold, winter's night. 

Yeowch! Imagine being the poor fish trapped inside that lizardfish's gob. According to photographer Jack Pokoj, "the lizardfish was trying to swallow the other fish tail-first before it got stuck in its throat". As a result, the lizardfish kept its mouth open as if wanting the fish inside to escape. 

In the Maldives, what was once a nuisance is now a helpful tourism attraction: the whale shark. When whale sharks appear at night while fishermen are trying to catch tuna, they call upon eager guests who are keen to swim with the ocean giants. Jade Hoksbergen said she felt dwarfed by the shark's presence while taking this incredible photo. 

Todd Glaser took this photo in Hawaii with a drone, capturing the swell, weather, wind, tide and talent all in one aerial shot. "The rainbow at the edge of the wave is what made this one so special to me," said Glaser.

This almost other-worldly image of a manatee was taken by ocean photographer Sylvie Ayer. Ayer said she hopes that this photo raises awareness of the need to protect these docile mammals.

Jingyi Wang is the winner of the Human Connection Award, demonstrating how "humans have enjoyed the gift of the sea for generations". These artisanal fishing nets depicted in the image showcase a sense of history within China.

Homegrown talent and Young Photographer of the Year Jarvis Smallman used to watch this wave from the shores of Western Australia any chance he could get. One day all the conditions lined up perfectly and he was able to snap this breathtaking image of bodyboarder Jarrad Linton from the water. 

This startling image taken by Florian Ledoux captures the instability of ice glaciers, as a polar bear is just inches away from falling into the icy depths below. 

To gaze at all 100 of these incredible images, you can purchase a ticket via the National Maritime Museum website. Prices start at $20, and you can also book tickets for a family for $70. 

Or, find out more about the Oceanographic Photographer of the Year Awards here

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