a diver reaches several whale skeletons at the bottom of the sea

“Whale Bones.” Photo © Alex Dawson/UPY2024. All images courtesy of UPY, shared with permission

Below a darkened, ice-coated sea off the coast of Greenland, a brave diver encounters the enormous, skeletal remains of minke whales. Illuminating a historical and cultural practice, the spectral image by Alex Dawson won the 2024 Underwater Photographer of the Year contest, drawing attention to humanity’s impact on marine mammals.

This year’s contest was the most competitive to date, garnering 6,500 submissions from around the globe. Additional winners include JingGong Zhang’s image of hormonal Zoarchias major eelpouts sparring over nests during breeding season and a shot of a famished Mahi Mahi chomping on a sardine by Lisa Stengel.

Find more and the stories behind the photos on the UPY site.


two orange fish meet with wide open mouths

“Mouth to Mouth.” Photo © JingGong Zhang/UPY2024. All images courtesy of UPY, shared with permission

a blue translucent creature rests in the center of a blue ring in black water

“Lonesome Drifter.” Photo © Dennis Corpuz/UPY2024

a school of fish swims around a small boat on the sea floor

“Set Sail.” Photo © Fabiana Fregonesi/UPY2024

a bird swims under a kelp cloaked surface

“Attack from Above.” Photo © Jon Anderson/UPY2024

a monkey swims below the surface of shallow water

“Aquatic Primate.” Photo © Suliman Alatiqi/UPY2024

a school of gray sardines surrounds a larger, blue and green mahi mahi that eats one of the sardines

“Window of Opportunity.” Photo © Lisa Stengel/UPY2024

a diver dives into a swirling school of fish

“Encircled.” Photo © Sarah O Gorman/UPY2024

birds dive underneath the surface

“Divebomb.” Photo © Kat Zhou/UPY2024

a purple jellyfish swims in green water

“Singled Out.” Photo © James Lynott/UPY2024

an aerial image of people pushing a beached whale back to the water

“Saving Goliath.” Photo © Nuno Sá/UPY2024

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