20 stunning wildlife photos that will make you see animals in a whole new light

© Amos Nachoum/Siena International Photo Awards

By Talia Lakritz, INSIDER

  • Photography competitions, such as the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards and the Underwater Photographer of the Year, compile the best photos of animals from around the world.
  • These images give us new insight into the natural world, from friendly sharks and laughing mice, to clumsy owls and even a dancing octopus.

Wildlife photography requires patience and excellent timing.

Competitions like the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, the Siena International Photo Awards, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and Underwater Photographer of the Year collect the best photos of animals in their environments.


The overall winner of the 2018 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards was a photo of an expressive squirrel.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

The photo was also the winner of the Alex Walker's Serian Creatures of the Land Award and the Affinity Photo People's Choice Award. Photographer Mary McGowan won a safari in Kenya, a handmade trophy from Wonder Workshop in Tanzania, and a camera bag from Think Tank.


The Under the Sea Award winner was photographer Tanya Houppermans with a photo of a friendly shark.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

The shark appeared to be smiling as it swam towards the photographer, earning her an award in the 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.


Check out the eyes on that owl.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

The photo, entitled "Peek-a-boo" by Shane Keena, won the Spectrum Photo Creatures of the Air Award in the 2018 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.


Three bear cubs gain some altitude in a photo captured by Valtteri Mulkahainen for the 2018 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

The photo won the contest's Amazing Internet Portfolio Award.


Who says nature photographers have to be human?

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

"Wildlife PhotograBear" by Roie Galitz was a Highly Commended photo in the 2018 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.


These bears appear to be excellent dancers.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

The photo, entitled "Tango," was Highly Commended in the 2018 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.


So do these lizards.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

The 2018 Wildlife Comedy Photography Awards recognized the photo as Highly Commended.


This bear doesn't seem to be feeling up to a tango.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

Another Highly Commended photo from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards shows a brown bear appearing to clutch its head.


Photographer Barney Koszalka captured a battle of wits between moose.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

Another Highly Commended photo from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards shows one animal sticking out its tongue.


This bear is just really passionate about road safety.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

The photo was Highly Commended in the 2018 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.


These primates were up to some monkey business.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

Highly Commended by the 2018 Wildlife Comedy Photography Awards, the photo shows two monkeys fighting, playing, or something in between.


Kallol Mukherjee snapped a photo of a well-positioned peacock behind a rhino for the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

The photo was Highly Commended in 2018.


Squirrels can be incredibly flexible.

© Courtesy of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

"Split" by Geert Weggen earned the title of Highly Commended in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards in 2018.


The overall winner of the 2017 Wildlife Comedy Photography Awards shows an owl struggling to keep his grip as his owl friends look the other way.

© Tibor Kercz/CWPA/Barcroft Images

The photo was taken in Opusztaszer, Hungary.


A baby dormouse appears to laugh on a yarrow flower in this award-winning photo from the 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

© Andrea Zampatti/CWPA/Barcroft Images

Alex Walker's photo, taken in Monticelli Brusati, Italy, won the Serian on the Land award.


The 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Award's Kenya Airways in the Air Winner shows widgeons flying through the air.

© John Threlfall/CWPA/Barcroft Images

The birds were photographed in Preston, England.


A green turtle pushed a a Napoleon maori wrasse out of the way in Queensland, Australia.

© Troy Mayne/CWPA/Barcroft Images

The photo won the Padi Under the Sea award in the 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.


This photo is cheekily named "Outsourcing Seatbelt Checks."

© Graeme Guy/CWPA/Barcroft Images

The photo, taken in Masai Mara, Kenya, was a Finalist in the 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.


A seal in San Diego, California, appears to be getting a good laugh.

© Brian Valente/CWPA/Barcroft Images

The 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards named the photo as a Finalist.


Photographer Tanakit-Suwanyangyaun titled this photo "Say Cheese!"

© Tanakit-Suwanyangyaun/CWPA/Barcroft Images

The photo was a finalist in the 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, taken in Sipadan, Malaysia.

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