39 Breathtaking Waterfalls From Around The World

1. Skeie Waterfall

Here you can see a wonderful waterfall shooting out of a narrow opening from the woods and exploding into a large, more open, landscape. The picture is vibrant and full of green life. In fact, the main colors of the image are green (in various shades), a shocking white from the waterfall, and just a hint of blue at the top of the picture. The variety in color shades provides a feast for the eyes, and the picture is at once exciting and rejuvenating. There is a sense of mobility and possibility while looking at the photograph.

2. Glencar Waterfall

The waterfall photograph is perfectly serene, and the waterfall itself looks like a gentle shower. It invites you in, and offers a place of rest and relaxation. The area around the waterfall is small, and seems quiet. It is surrounded by trees that increase the closed-in sense of the area, and they seem to provide a blanket of comfort for whoever is viewing the scene. The sky isn’t visible in this picture, the whole world seems to close around this spot, making it the perfect place to really relax and let down one’s guard.

3. Skogafoss waterfalls, Iceland

What a shot! The center background shows a massive, torrential waterfall pouring into a medium-sized body of water. Floating just in front of that incredible waterfall is a shimmering rainbow. It hangs right in the center of the picture, and it stretches from one section of rock bordering the left side of the waterfall straight across to the other, vibrantly displaying its colors along the whole journey. The image is framed by the sky above it and the pool of water below it, making the massive waterfall and its brilliant rainbow companion the absolute focus.

4. Zambezi river and Victoria Falls

A wonderful aerial shot of the world’s largest waterfall. Here an entire river, wider than any in the United States, suddenly falls off the edge of cliff and plummets down to whatever lies below. The river leading up to the falls is shot through with instances of green life rising up through the waters. In front of the falls a huge spray of water can be seen — the force from so much water hitting the ground below shoots up even more water into the air. A stunning chaos meets the eyes of anyone who takes in this photograph.

5. Victoria Falls sunset, Zambia side

This busy picture is a feast for the eyes. Without a waterfall, these cliffs would be stunning enough, but the water pouring everywhere, and the fantastic raised angle of this picture create an absolutely breathtaking effect of natural beauty and power. The complex swirls of water below the waterfall give a satisfying conclusion to the water’s downward journey and draw in the eyes, even while something else pulls the viewer’s gaze upward. Perfectly off-centered and floating about the rest of the scene in the image is a brilliant sun, just beginning its descent and shaded behind thin clouds.

6. Waterfall and log

A simple, yet delightful, image of the strange accidents that can happen in nature. Here the water seems not torrential, but peaceful and calming, flowing down a stream, off one edge of land, and then falling off another before pooling around the picture’s main focus. Rising up from the main body of water in the image is a single log, clearly smoothed over by the constant running water. The log is there by accident, placed at a spot that seemed random to all but the photographer who made it photogenic and beautiful. A wonderful transformation!

7. Lower Falls

Here is a sweeping view of a mountainous terrain marked by stark trees and a massive waterfall that hangs in the leftmost third of the image. This kind of picture would be perfectly in place at the beginning of a film on nature, or some kind of adventure epic. The shot seems to zoom into this landscape, which expands quickly and entirely encompasses the focus of the viewer, drawing them into the scene. Sharp cliffs create jagged edges that are just as eye-catching as the magnificent waterfall that is the focus of the photograph.

8. Rainbow over Gullfoss Waterfall – Iceland

Iceland is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth, and this picture perfectly shows off one of these. A wide river with short banks pours down the land, creating large but surprisingly shallow waterfalls that launch spray up into the air. The image manages to capture the rainbow created by the spray, along with other aspects that make this area so unique — a small road running parallel to the water, the expansive plains stretching out in every directions, seemingly endless in their reach. It’s a simple and amazingly serene scene captured here.

9. Tonti Canyon Falls – Illinois

The Tonti Canyon waterfalls seen in this picture almost seem like they’ve come out of a fantasy video game. The falls are thin, with little more water than a shower at half power, and their water collects in tiny pools beneath them. Two waterfalls are seen here, and the one in the background obscures the entrance to a cave that shoots back into perfect inky darkness. The waterfall in the foreground shimmers with light that’s managed to sneak down into the canyon, furthering the sense that this is some kind of fantasy location, filled with magic.

10. Waterfall in deep forest

This image is vibrant and bright, full of life and rejuvenating in its own right. The original photograph was skillfully taken; the waterfall that serves as the focus is locked into the right third of the picture, with the left two-thirds occupied by brilliant blue water and all sorts of greenery. What makes this image really *shine* is the editing. The colors have been brightened and brought to life, and the entire scene glows as though radiating with its very own sun. The sun within the photo peaks above some trees and shines out over the gorgeous scene.

11. Deep forest Waterfall in Kanchanaburi

This is an unbelievable photograph of incredible beauty. The forest featured here is going through the peak changes of fall, and the oranges, reds, and yellows that its leaves have become shine wonderfully in their places. Jutting out of the tree covered landscape is a wispy waterfall that seems to be moving faster than it needs to, shooting out of the forest opening with incredible force, misting over the air before landing in the body of water beneath it, a perfect and shocking sky-blue pool that accents the other colors in the photograph with thoughtful grace.

12. Waterfall in green forest

A sense of quiet is given off by this very relaxing picture marked by soft, cool colors, and the presence of crystal clear, gently flowing water. Looking here, one can imagine the sound of this gentle waterfall splashing over rocks on its way down to a small pond that’s been gathered up in this quiet space amidst the trees. A perfect forest scene for relax and a sense of calm, this picture has a depth to it that few others are able to capture. The detail-oriented shooting is what gives this image its impeccable aesthetic.

13. Stunning Waterfall

Tucked into a small space hidden by steep, brilliant red cliffs, here is a torrential waterfall pouring into a near-perfect body of water. This picture is exciting, vibrant, and pure. Green moss climbs its way up out of the water, clinging to the red cliffside that plunges down into the water. At the edges of the pond green trees are springing up and into life. Here is an oasis, hidden beneath the cliffs. The contrasts in colors here are a delight to the eye, and the sense of power that this waterfall has is perfectly conveyed by the photograph.

14. Aqua Azul waterfall in Chiapas Mexico

This photo shows a waterfall that isn’t as powerful and full-force as some others, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. The waterfall that can be seen here is spread wide, and it carefully works its way down a series of rocks, spreading out in two directions as it falls and fills the pool beneath it. The stones beneath the water are an incredible yellow — a color that becomes hidden beneath the larger pool of water, but that still manages to peak up in occasional spots. This picture shows off a perfect place to swim and explore.

15. Seljalandfoss waterfall at sunset in HDR, Iceland

A more picture-perfect scene might not exist on the planet Earth. This image shows a fantastic waterfall pouring down from some unseen sight just about the camera. The water lands in a small pool that turns into a wide stream, which can be seen stretching off into the distance, wandering through a lush green plains area before finally disappearing over the horizon, where it meets with a sun that is just about to descend beneath the horizon, as though it, too, feels compelled to follow the path of the water. It doesn’t get better than this right here.

16. Waterfall in Vietnam

A more summer-colored waterfall scene can hardly be imagined. Everywhere surrounding the water here is green, and spots of moss can be seen through the water itself, as well. The dirt and sand that covers the ground is a calming yellow, and gentle yellow sunlight filters down through the trees, illuminating the water and the dust that floats through the air. The spot in this image is serene, warm and peaceful, and the waterfall featured here comes down its cliff in fits and starts, rather than as one massive collective of force. This is a quiet, personal space.

17. Banyue waterfall

A waterfall at sunset. The sun is descending below the cover of trees that line the top of the cliff where the waterfall originates. The sky has been lit up with all varieties of blues and purples. These colors are stunning, and the water below them reflect the light, changing its colors and creating a sort of unity between land and sky. The waterfall itself is stretched out, falling in multiple chunks, all landing in a wide, slow flowing river that expands on it’s way through ever more trees and wonderfully colored landscapes.

18. Deep forest Waterfall in Kanchanaburi, Thailand

A thick covering of thin trees, trunks stretching up towards the sky, branches intermingling with those of the surrounding trees, lush green leaves draping themselves over the ground, obscuring the sky but still allowing some light to filter through, frame this beautiful shot of a waterfall in Thailand. The water as it falls is a shining white, and as it collects at the bottom is becomes a perfect blue, even better than the clear water you’ve seen at your local swimming pool. The image is almost as refreshing as the place that it depicts must be. A perfect natural scene.  

19. Waterfall Saltillo, national park Lanin

A waterfall as seen from behind, with the camera tucked neatly into a cave that might be obscured from the water on the other side. From this vantage the waterfall itself looks like little more than a spurt of liquid shooting out over the tops of trees beneath it. Clearly the the water above is flowing very rapidly. The pool where all the water collects can’t be seen from this spot, but in the distance mountains, separated by something, possible the water itself, can be seen. This image speaks of a region that is begging to be explored and enjoyed.

20. Blue sky

This looks like a private place, like a waterfall that someone might make artificially to tuck in the back of their lavish, too-expensive house. The source of the water can’t be seen from here, but viewers can see the water spill through an opening in rocks that leads down to a small pool, collected in a sort of basin that’s been formed by the ground above it breaking apart. Through the hole from which the water escapes, the tops of trees and a tiny slice of blue sky can be seen. Here’s a place where someone could come to be entirely alone in nature.

21. Beautiful Desert Waterfall

Waterfalls and deserts don’t seem to go together, but this picture captures the crazy juxtaposition of the two and shows how they feed off each other. Desert rocks, red and brown, frame this waterfall, which shoots over the rocks and lands down in a shallow pool. Everywhere that the water touches changes, the desert transforms, and all sorts of green life explodes from these points of contact. The water brings life to the desert, just as the desert bring a solid frame to the water. This isn’t quite an oasis, but it’s still an unexpected spot of life in the heat.

22. Plitvice

Here is a waterfall that is barely a waterfall at all, and everywhere around it is so much green that it almost looks unnatural. Tiny, nearly insignificant spurts of water burst forth from the forest ring around the large body of water that comprises the center of this image. The spurts fly out and land in the larger body which is colored a deep forest green, deeper even than the greens that are apparent in the trees above the water. The sun shoots through the middle of the photo, illuminating the entire scene with a magical kind of light.

23. Waterfall in Iceland – Seljalandsfoss

So many details all packed into one beautiful image. The centerpiece is, of course, the waterfall, which flows over the face of a massive stone cliff, collecting in a pool that quickly becomes a large stream that winds it’s way out from under the cliff and through expansive plains that possibly serve as farmland for the people who live there. A small bridge can be seen crossing over this stream, and way off in the distance a tiny cottage house can be seen, housing people who get to appreciate this incredible view every day of their lives.

24. Iguazu fall panorama

This photograph looks less like a nature shot and more like an advertisement for some fancy tropical resort. This waterfall is not only incredibly expansive, it’s also multi-tiered. Some sections plummet straight down into the river where the water can continue its journey, but others first strike against a sort of landing, creating all sorts of levels and sections of different pools of water. Between that and the amount of plant life that’s crept among these waterfalls, this picture becomes incredibly detailed and layered. It’s a real adventure for the eyes to wander around and try to spot every little detail.

25. Another from Iguasu falls

The place featured in this picture looks like a theme park for waterfalls. The main focus of the image is a single section of the falls that lands on a massive natural terrace where the water can pool and swirl before plunging even further down towards the Earth, but off in the distance even more waterfalls can be see. They extend for miles in multiple directions, creating the sense that this is another world, populated more by water than by life. There is, however, plenty of life in this picture, too. Plants and humans abound amidst the waters.

26. Gullfoss Fall Iceland

The picture looks like a scene out of a disaster movie. The ground in the middle of the picture has split into a deep gorge, and that gorge is right in the middle of a body of water. The water plunges down into the gorge, creating an unbelievable sight. As if that weren’t good enough, this entire scene is taking place at sunset, and beams of light are scattered all throughout the picture, creating shocking contrast in some areas and illuminating the scene in a ghostly, dream-like way. This is a one in a million camera shot.

27. Chunjeyun Waterfall

This waterfall looks like the kind of false shower fixtures that you can sometimes find at public pools. The water is spraying out over a short drop and scattering across rocks that are as black as a night sky. The entire picture is rather dark — all the stones around the waterfall are black, and other than the soft white of the water and the dark greens of some leaves, there isn’t much color to be found. Rather than feeling ominous, though, the lack of color is somewhat soothing and gives this photo a calming atmosphere.

28. Waterfall

Some clever and creative editing gives this picture a sense of vibrant and active life. The waterfall featured here is placed in the background, with a tree in all shades of yellow and orange taking up the entire foreground and most of the frame altogether. Still, that waterfall is incredibly eye-catching, in part because it’s made of an elaborate series of forks rather than being one straight stream of water. Light saturates the image, lighting up different sections of the picture with all the different colors of the rainbow. The photo aches of autumn, and benefits from that.

29. Ouzoud Waterfalls in Morocco

This picture could be the opening shot of an adventure movie. The water is moving down a layered cliff-face, picking up speed, splashing down into a river that has a slight green tinge to it. On either side of this waterfall are light brown stones covered in a thick layer of green moss. Faintly, you can see the traces of spray coming off the falls and filling the air. This must be the main source of life for all the moss in the area. Way in the distance, at the top of the falls, a large tree looms over the scene.

30. Waterfall “Cascad ozoud”

Straight out of a travel brochure for people who like to climb up cliff faces comes this amazing shot of a series of waterfall. There’s so many great things in this picture. At the top of the image multiple waterfalls sprout from the rocks, which are shrouded by a healthy coating of moss. The falls all land in a pool that’s housed on another section of cliff. From there they combine into a massive flood of water, which pours down into the river with tremendous force. Right in front of this is a brilliant rainbow, shooting across the frame. Perfect!

31. Akaka Falls

This photo features one great spurt of a waterfall that dives into a massive hole in the ground which looks like it was punched out by some tremendous impact. The picture itself is disorienting — someone clearly played with the focus on the shot — and staring at it for too long gives you the sense that you, too, are falling into that deep well of earth, following the waterfall along it’s path. The colors add to this feeling, as everything but the water and the pit is a blurred sea of green, from grass to trees to moss.

32. Wailua Falls near Lihue in Kauai

Here’s a tremendous photo of a waterfall that clearly has a lot of force behind it. Trees cover the entire area around the fall, but they suddenly disappear as the water drops into a huge pit, the bottom of which can’t be seen in this image. The water is coming from the edge of a stark cliff face, plummeting down into the unknown depths, and picking up so much momentum that a massive mist is shot up into the air on impact. The mist looks like a huge cloud floating just at the top of the tree cover. It’s phenomenal.

33. Waterfall

A waterfall in a majestic landscape is featured here, and it almost looks like something taken out of a video game. The top of this waterfall can’t be seen in the image, but the plains that spiral out from it can. Most waterfalls drop into a river or a massive lake, but this one drops into a pool situated amidst green fields. It looks as though the cliff that houses the waterfall is some kind of anomaly in the landscape. In the distance, people who’ve come to admire the view in person can be seen. It’s a shockingly homely scene.

34. Tropical waterfall

The water in this picture is a shocking shade a bright blue, even brighter than the sky that it surely reflects. The water seems to be coming out of a semi-enclosed gap in the cliff face above it, a secretive tunnel from which the water explodes, flying into the open landscape of this picture. There’s something strangely artificial about the image, a sense that’s apparent both in the too-vibrant colors and the picnic table that someone’s placed near the water. That one lonely table certainly seems out of place, but it lends some intrigue into this nature shot.

35. Yellowstone National Park Waterfall

This picture is a series of delightful juxtapositions. A far as the eye can see tall pine trees cover the land, but there are a few breaks in the scene. The biggest one is the massive waterfall that plunges off a stone cliff into another segment of river. This draws the eyes in, and the trees frame the scene perfectly. Then, peeking from between the trees, situated about halfway back into the picture, is a large bridge, cement and gray, but a somehow pleasant sight as it emerges from that endless, monotonous sea of green.

36. Yosemite waterfall

Here is a tremendous, and chilly, shot of a waterfall in Yosemite National Park. An incredible mountain rises from the earth in the foreground of this shot, and in the background several more peaks like it can be seen. From the center of the mountain, a brilliantly white waterfall erupts, visible for miles in every direction. As the water plunges downward, the grounds that meets it is covered in a thin layer of frost and snow, and the white of each blends together, becoming indistinguishable to the eye. Green trees fill the gap between this mountain and the others.

37. Waterfall in shifen taiwan

This incredible, terraced waterfall looks like it belongs in the garden of some eccentric rich zillionare, but it’s a creation that comes straight from nature. The water flow here is slow, so it gets to trickle along and fully explore each segment of the terraced descent to the rest of the stream, allowing it to clear up and offer us a look at the stones beneath. Everything is smooth and even in this picture. It’s a peaceful scene, and it’s one that is strangely auditory, if you stare at this picture and block out everything else, you can stand next to the water, hear it flow.

38. Another Waterfall in shifen taiwan

A wide lake set down into the ground. A waterfall pouring into it. A rainbow shooting through the air. A huge mountain overlooking the entire scene. It doesn’t get much better than this. Here’s a picture that perfectly encapsulates an area, a scene, and a feeling. It’s wistful, and fills you with the urge not just to travel to this exact spot, but just to travel, to see the world and fully live in it. The open sky that takes up the top third of the photograph screams of possibility and excitement. And the waterfall below it hurries you along.

39. Rochester falls

So many things in this picture are calling for your attention. The waterfall that is the centerpiece of the image is the obvious attention-grabber. However, the foreground is arguably just as interesting. There are so many layers to this shoreline, from rocks to roots to plain ol’ earth. And, if that’s not enough for your greedy eyes, the subtle star of this entire picture is the rocky wall that the waterfall protrudes from. It is a latticework of pocks and dents, raised bits, and stunning, mesmerizing geometrical shapes. There’s enough material in here for you to absorb it for hours.

29 Cave Pools & Cenotes You Can Dive Right Into

1. Devils Cave pool

The water of this particular cave pool doesn’t look too inviting. It’s a distinctive green color. It is not the same green as the trees that surround the entire pool, because that would be one thing entirely. Instead it’s a strange, pale green, almost looking like something would be less out of place in a science or chemistry laboratory rather than sitting in a natural created cave pool. There’s little in the rocky edges of the pool that hint to what causes this strange green coloring, but clearly from the walkway built around the area, this has caught the attentions of people.

2. Barlang Furdo Thermal spa in a cave

Here in a single image you can see a perfect example of the ways in which people utilize the landscape around them and turn it into something that they would prefer to use. A natural cave pool has been shaped and worked until it’s become a purposely designed and naturally heated spa for people to come and visit. The blending of nature and man made creations here is a little disorienting, and at times it’s hard to tell which is which in this image. How many of the cave’s walls are false?

3. Ik-Kil Cenote, Chichen Itza, Mexico

Hidden away underground, accessible only be a single opening in the ground, here is a magical and near-perfectly preserved pool. Humans aren’t the only ones to create indoor, basement pools, nature sometimes does it, too, and this is what it looks like. This cenote, however, isn’t entirely without human intervention. People constructed a walkway and stairs for easy access to this strangely encapsulated environment. But most of the cenote has gone untouched, its natural magic preserved by forward-thinking individuals who knew the value of a naturally constructed place like this. A gorgeous scene, for sure.

4. Cenote, Yucatan

Tucked away in the Yucatan, the ground fell away, and water filled it until this cenote came into existence. It’s a magical place and a magical photograph of it. The colors captured here are vibrant, and the contrasts are amazing, but what really makes this image so special is the way that it flawlessly capture the reflections in the water, a perfect mirror world, just distorted enough by ripples and waves through the waters that it pulls you in, fascinates you beyond belief. The two halves come together at different points in the picture to create a wonderfully mult-dimensional scene.

5. Inside grotto with underground lake – Cazuma cenote

This solitary place seems at once painfully private and lonely, and horribly visible. The water here is so clear that it’s nearly transparent, though the blue tinge of it distorts everything that can be seen through it. The solitary light source in this place below the earth is the very opening that allowed all the water inside, but it’s wide enough that plenty of light gets in. There’s an incredible sense of enclosure that is little subsided by that solitary entrance and exit. Overall, a strange atmosphere permeates the entire place and the photograph itself.

6. Sinkhole – cenote in Mexico

Brilliantly blue water fills a pool that’s surrounded on all sides by stalagmites and stalactites. That isn’t all, though. Walkways and unnatural light sources also surrounded the pool at the center of the cenote. Clearly people are fascinated by this place, and they have good reason to be. There’s only a limited number of places like this in the world. The picture articulates every detail of the cenote perfectly, bringing its existence out to the whole world and a much wider audience. A perfect record of what the place looks like, feels like, is like.

7. Underground lake in a grotto

This is either a scene from an adventure movie or a horror show, and it isn’t clear which. This underground lake is well lit, and there seem to be natural walkways and paths to move around the water. Dripping spires of rocks are visible nearly everywhere, creating a strange chandelier above this scene. But the black opening at the back of the image, and the eerily perfect reflection in the water both do their part to make this a mystifying and unsettling picture of a strange underground system that few people ever get to see, much less to explore.

8. Cenote ill kill

Here is a top-down view of one of the world’s most famous cenotes. Vines hang down from the world above, not quite reaching the waters below, but coming close, creating a sort of natural bridge between the underground and the surface world. Water continuously falls below, creating a rain-like shower effect that ripples and changes the surface of the cenote’s water. People line the small walkway set into the side of the cave, clearly amazed at the incredible and rare sight that they’re seeing. And all along the walls vines and plants climb.

9. Ik-Kil Cenote near Chichen Itza

Here is a view of the world famous Ik-Kil Cenote that removes all the signs of human involvement with the natural landscape. Just behind the camera is the man-made walkway that people use to descend into the cenote and see the water, but directly in the shot is nothing but cave wall. The image gives new life to the cenote, and gives viewers a sense of what it would have been like to visit this place well before it became a popular destination for tourists of the world. Ik-Kil becomes a natural location again in this image, and some of its lost magic is returned.

10. Mexican cenote

The main source of light in this image isn’t visible, and that gives rise to a whole series of questions. Here is an underground collection of water, kept pure by virtue of being kept away from contaminating humans. Strangely, though, the water seems to be lit, almost by fluorescents, from below its surface. The crystal clear blueness of it shines, through, almost illuminating the strange cave rocks that encroach on its domain. That only adds to the sense of wonder and amazement that the cenote manages to radiate out all on its own.

11. Mexican cenote, sinkhole

Light shoots down from an opening in the ground and sets ablaze hidden waters that then glow blue like an LED. That’s the scene shown in this picture, and it’s framing is a cave of considerable size. A single hole punches down into this subterranean landscape, where water and rocks have lived together in harmony for who knows how long, but each has helped to shape and define the other. Shed rocks litter the ground beneath the water, and and strange shapes in the cave walls show the impact the water has had on the earth around it.

12. Hamilton Pool, Texas, in the Fall

Here is an incredible pool of water that’s collected in a cave, but that pool is part of a larger natural narrative that this image manages to grasp at and translate some of for viewers. A small beach lies off to the side of the pool, and trees, their leaves revealing it to be mid-fall, overlook the entire pool and the rest of the scene. The camera’s view shoots out from within the cave itself, so its dimensions aren’t quite clear, but it seems vast, like a mouth swallowing up a large glass of water.

13. Cenote Dzitnup near Valladolid, Mexico

This prickly looking cenote is a whole network of drooping stalagmites that seem at once darkly intriguing and immensely melancholy. The sight is both fascinating and off-putting, inviting you in to explore the misery, but warding you off by being dark and grim, as well. The water itself begins white in the center, where light from the cenote’s opening strikes it, but it quickly moves through dark shades of blue until it’s as black as the ordinary cave shadows, blending into the walls and giving off the perception that it never ends.

14. Sinkhole Bimmah Oman

Here is a natural sinkhole filled with water that looks more like a man made structure than most cenotes. For one thing, it isn’t underground, instead this scene is brightly lit by the sun, making it inviting, welcoming. It seems like a place that you could comfortably take the kids to spend a day exploring the realms of nature. The water is blue and deep, but not so deep as to appear dangerous, and the actual man made structure, the staircase with a blue metal railing, that leads down into the water projects an air of hospitality that other cenotes can’t offer.

15. Sinkhole

This image looks like the opening to a science fiction movie. The colors, all vague gradients of brown and red, are hyper-real, especially those of the water at the center of the image. This particular pool is incredibly shallow, and because the entire area is swimming in sunlight, it seems unreal that the water hasn’t evaporated off into the air. Just out of the water are two large rings, one made of a thick layer of tan dirt, the other of a thin layer of red dirt. They entirely encircle the poo, but their origins, too, remain a mystery.

16. Obruk in Turkey

This image of a giant pool of water lying seemingly in the middle of a sandy desert would seem like a perfect shot of an oasis if there were many signs of life. Instead there is only a single patch of gray-green grass adorning the entire picture. Despite that, the pool of water is large and appears to be quite deep, but the lack of any life around it makes it somewhat sinister, begging you to ask the question, “Why does life avoid this place?” It’s an intriguing image, and will stay with you long after you’ve looked away.

17. Montezuma well

Here is a fantastically layered picture. The foreground is filled with trees that are entirely bare, the white, worn-away surface of their branches are open in the air, shaking in the sunlight. A step further in lies a massive sinkhole with a cliff-life border, filled with water that reflects everything else around it in the brilliant glow of the sun. Far in the background, above the sinkhole and the water, sit small trees, these with branches entirely covered in green leaves. It’s not clear why these trees are so full of life while the others are barren, but it’s an evocative contrast.

18. Hamilton Pool

This vibrant image is filled with life and color. The top surface of the cave that is situated around the pool of water that serves as the picture’s main subject is covered with spots of thin moss. All around the pool are great big trees, fully encompassed in green-yellow leaves that reek of early spring. The sun is out, and the air is light and dry. Everything is illuminated, and the entire scene is one of invitation and evocation. Here, the picture seems to be telling us, is a place where anything and everything could happen.

19. Karstic spring in Romania

This spring is obviously a tremendous source of life in the area, and the forest that seems to surround it and encompass the rest of the land speaks highly of this fact. The water of the spring is set deep into the ground, at the bottom of a stony descent from some higher peak that can’t be seen within the confines of this picture. The angle of the image points you downward, tossing you straight into the depths of that crystal clear and ultimately life-giving water. It’s a rejuvenating look at the source of something big.

20. Skocjan Caves

This picture, with a series of caves, two waterfalls, and a mysterious water source, has everything that an ideal cave photo needs. Portions of the cave’s rocks have born worn smooth by years of water flowing over them, though many of those particular sections now lie dry, showing that the internal workings of this cave system have changed in recent years. Still, this portion of the cave is home to not one, but two waterfalls. Together the seem to form the beginnings of a large stream housed by the cave itself, with origins and destination unknown.

21. Blue Pit

The water in this photograph is not only powerfully blue and shockingly clear, it’s also somewhat disorienting to look at. The water hides and obscures nothing, it’s completely transparent, but beneath its surface lies a much large portion of cave, the depths of which can’t be entirely seen in those photograph, giving viewers the sense that it drops into the ground endless, with all sorts of secrets and strange passageways locked deep within it. The brightness of the above water scene contrasts delightful with the darkness of what lies below the water’s surface.

22. Cave in Iceland

It’s hard to decide what is more intriguing about this image, the cave that it puts on display, or the massive body of water that the cave houses. Each subject pulls at the eyes. The cave rocks take the form of many evocatively geometric shapes, and their surfaces are a latticework of gray and white streaks. The water is shockingly blue, and seems to lead off in all sorts of directions, with no dead ends in view of the camera’s lens. This seems like the landscape one might adventure through in a book, movie, or video game.

23. Grotto in Kungur ice cave

This image is somewhat uncomfortable to look at, but that seems to be the intention of the photographer. The goal here is to capture the feeling of being within this cave, and the picture does that perfectly. The rocky “ceiling” of this underground, water-fill room is very close to the water’s surface, and the ceiling drops as you go further back into the room itself, becoming more and more claustrophobic as you swim forward. The water itself gives away nothing, it reflects the rocks directly above it. It shows no signs of its depths or what it hides.

24. Inside view of cave in rising

This image is a strange collection of colors and sights. The inside of this cave is made of mostly flat, dark rocks, but the rocks covered by the cave’s waters are a different color entirely, a tannish brown. The water itself is a light sky blue, and it sparkles in the thin streaks of sunlight that manage to somehow find their way into the confines of the cave. The most intriguing aspect of this image lies beneath the water’s surface. There is a whole in the ground that shoots deep below anything else in the picture — and it’s pitch black.

25. Cave in rising with water at the Galapagos islands

Here is an image of water set deep into the ground, surrounded by rocky walls that look less like giant slabs of stone and more like a series of rocks piled one on top of another until they’ve risen well above the level of the water. Trees stick out at odd angles from gaps in the rocks. The water, at least in the picture, seems still, like it’s more of a standing pool than a flowing stream, but it’s hard to tell as the boundaries of the water and the sinkhole itself are invisible in this image. Instead, the camera offers a small sample of water the place must be like.

26. Kauai Blue Room Cave

The only thing more impressive than the color of the water in this picture is the color of the stone that surrounds it. The walls of this cave are a mish-mash of warm colors linked together by tiny threads of white stone. It looks like a bursting flame resting on top of a deep, blue body of water that lies at the foot of a soft sandy beach. The rightmost and leftmost portions of this cave slink back into the darkness, falling back into unknown depths and paths, the water stretching on back into the earth endlessly.

27. Marble caves

This is an absolutely breathtaking image that looks much more like something out of the imagination of a skilled painter rather than a natural creation made by the Earth. The marble rock of this cave is shiny and luminescent, reflecting the water’s shining reflection of the rock itself, creating a wonderful and confusing interplay of light and reflection. The blue of the water melts into the gorgeous gray of the cave’s rock, creating together a whole world of color and feelings. This is a real work of art, all created from time and earth.

28. Grjotagja

This is a playful image, with rising and falling rocks and water levels. The play between the stone and the water is delightful to watch, and it fills viewers of the image with a strange kind of energy. Surely that’s helped along by the light present in the image, saturating every pixel, making all the details of the cave and the water pop and stand out, the colors shining, the shadows deepening. The strange angle of the photograph only further the momentum of the actual subjects of the image. This is a wonderful shot of an incredible natural landscape.

29. Cave Swimming pool

The rocks in this cave are incredibly layered. Some manage to be the typical chunky rocks of regular cave walls, but others look like flat sheets of stone that have been stacked on top of each other. An unseen opening at the top of the cave lets in plenty of light that really brings to light everything in the cave. That everything includes an expansive body of water that is dark and unnatural looking blue color, and that also reflects the cave back to itself, creating a strange extra layer of stone and light.

39 Breathtaking Views of The Grand Canyon

 

1. Arizona Horseshoe Bend meander of Colorado River

The colors in this particular photo are astounding, aren’t they? There’s something pure and clean about looking at this image. This landscape, so different from most everything we see in our daily lives, hardly seems to be touched by humans. And here, too, we can see the changes that have occurred in the world over hundreds, if not thousands of years.

The Colorado River bends at this point, and it’s clear that it used to be much wider. You can see the areas that it used to fill, stretching out far beyond it’s modern banks, turning this bend into something a bit more like a very large pond or a very small lake. Will the river continue to recede and get smaller, or at some point in the future will it widen back up, regaining some of its lost ground? Only time will tell.

2. Grand Canyon and Colorado River

Here you can see two of America’s greatest natural treasures. The Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. These two go hand in hand, really, because without one, there wouldn’t be much of the other. And, visually, both of them support each other, too. There’s something about this image that makes you want to go on an adventure.

It makes you feel as though you could run out to the garage, grab your trusty canoe, and head on down the river, traveling between those astounding columns of rock and Earth. Of course, actually doing that would be a little bit more complicated, and it’s not recommended that you do, especially if you’re an amateur canoe-r, which most of us probably are.

There’s always the thought, though, and maybe someday… Hell, maybe tomorrow. After all, what’s really stopping you from getting in your car right now and heading over to the Grand Canyon?

3. Grand Canyon

Imagine the view here! Of course, as beautiful as it is, the looks aren’t all that make this point so breathtaking. Standing on the edge looking down, it can feel as though you’re a second away from falling into the massive canyon, being swallowed up forever. Or, you know, hitting the ground rather hard.

It takes quite a bit of courage to stand on the edge of this cliff and to look out over the rest of the world from that vantage point. Would you do it? If you would, you’d get a nice reward. There are few places on Earth more beautiful and filled with history than this right here.

And by standing on the edge, you not only get to absorb some of that beauty, but you also get to become part of the history of the place. So, go ahead, scoot on up.

4. Antelope Canyon

At first glance, this photo looks otherworldly, as though it were taken on Mars. But then, as the image sinks in, and you remember that people don’t get to walk around and take pictures on Mars, you’ll come to the delightful conclusion that this gorgeous, shocking image originates right here on Earth.

All across the globe are little secluded spots, sometimes celebrated, that people have fought to preserve because of the feelings those places inspire. The area around the Grand Canyon is one of these, and this picture perfectly captures the spirit that makes people want to preserve this and more of the Earth.

Where else could you suddenly feel like you’re on another world, lost but excited, on your own, exploring new territory. Sometimes it feels like everything has been seen and done before, but this place reminds you that you haven’t seen and done everything yet, so keep going.

5. Flowing Sand

Skilled photographers manage to capture many things when they take a photograph. Clearly this picture was taken by a skilled photographer. Staring at the falling sand, you get the sense that it really is moving down, almost as if the picture were animated. All the motion of the sand is captured here, you feel it moving forward, flowing down.

This image not only transports you to the place it was taken, but it makes that place feel alive, so you can get a sense of what it would really mean to be standing there, watching this sand move about, instead of just getting a sense of what this spot must look like. This image truly takes you to its location.

There’s magic in that. And there’s magic in what we’re seeing. The moving sand, swirling around on ancient rocks. This is a place that’s old, but still living and growing and changing.

6. Grand Canyon West Rim

Three thoughts go through my head as I look at this image. The first is simply: Wow. This is a beautiful picture of an incredible landscape, and it’s so great to see such a lack of human presence in a place. The second thought is: I really want to explore that area.

Walking around it, breathing its air, seeing things that perhaps no other person has ever seen, becoming part of that natural history — all would be amazing. The final thought is the least sophisticated, but I really can’t help myself… I want to push that boulder over the edge.

7. Grand Canyon Sunset

This really puts the sunset that I see every day in my town to shame. Seeing such a pure sunset, not blocked by buildings or smog, airplanes or cell towers, is a really rare experience these days. It seems like there’s always something that gets in the way.

I can only imagine what it would feel like to be all by yourself, standing at the top of one of those cliffs, overlooking the many valleys below you, taking in that pure sunset for the first time in your life. There’d be nothing else like it, that’s for sure.

8. Grand Canyon, Arizona

It’s not very often that you get to see a picture that so wonderfully captures the insane persistence of nature. At the top of such an incredible tower of sedimentary rock, there’s some green. A couple little trees, clinging to life at the edge of place that even a human would struggle to visit, much less use as a home!

Nothing can stop the force of nature. It made the rocks, originally, and it willed life to exist way up there, far removed from anything else in the area. Because it’s always pushing to survive, no matter what.

9. Beginning of Grand Canyon

Here seems like the best place for one to begin a journey down the river that runs right through the heart of the Grand Canyon. This is such a quiet space, and such a simple starting point that doesn’t seem to give away any hint of the wonders that would come to you further on down the line of your journey.

It feels good to look at a simple, peaceful spot like this and imagine that all the rest of the complexities of the Grand Canyon and its surrounding areas spring forth from this point that we’re seeing here.

10. Grand Canyon Rocks

At a glance this photograph seems to depict something that goes beyond the laws of physics. How can that giant boulder be supported by such a simple and small column of stone. It’s that simplicity in this picture that I think makes it so magical.

All we really get to see here is some rocks and sand, but that lack of complexity lets us focus in on the boulder, and it’s mysterious support, in a way that we probably wouldn’t if the picture were busy. Sometimes, without all our distractions, we can find simple things in life that baffle and amuse us.

11. The Watchtower

This is a really wonderful picture that perfectly shows how humans have come to change the shape of their landscape. Far to the left in the image it’s possible to see untouched nature, spreading out in all direction. But the right half of the picture shows a tower very obviously built from native peoples.

The stone melds in with the landscape, but the tower itself juts out and changes our perspective of the whole picture and the whole area. Still, it’s possible to imagine someone hundreds of years ago standing at the top of the tower, enjoying the view, just like us.

12. Bird Over Grand Canyon

Here is a great example of the difference between how humans and animals interact with their environment. People try to change the world, by building structures and technologies that make it easier to separate themselves from the natural world. Animals don’t.

They embrace the world around them, and in doing so, they become part of that landscape. They embrace the struggles of the natural environment, and frequently they thrive because of that. Unless some humans roll in and destroy the landscape that they’ve become a part of. So, uh… People win in the end, I guess.

13. Snow Canyon

We don’t usually associate the Grand Canyon with snow. After all, in it’s the desert right? But that’s what makes this picture so memorable, so shocking and worth seeing. As a person who comes from a place with intense winters, I’m not a fan of the snow.

The magic of seeing it fall to the Earth makes me grumble and complain, but even I’m impressed by the sight. It would be incredible to hear the crunch of your boots in the snow while knowing that you’re standing in the freaking Grand Canyon. Now, that’s an experience.

14. Colorado River

The Colorado River in this picture makes one hell of an entrance. Rarely does it look so green, or stand out so sharply from the landscape around it. After all, the river helped to shape everything else that you can see in the picture.

In most photos, the river tends to melt into the landscape of the Grand Canyon. Here, though, it commands attention, and even though it’s much smaller than it was thousands, or even hundreds, or one hundred, years ago, the Colorado River, in this image, gets all of the focus that it truly deserves.

15. Grand Canyon in Moonlight

There is so much that makes this picture great. First, the obvious. Seeing the Grand Canyon at night is incredible. It’s like you’re camping out, or living amidst the cliffs and valleys. Some of the streaks near the top of the picture look like they could be shooting stars, don’t they?

On top of that, getting such a clear of the different strata in the canyon rocks is also amazing. You can see the thousands of years of history put on display like an art exhibit that nature designed and put on display all by itself.

16. Grand Canyon

Have you ever wanted to travel to outer space? Do you have a desire to see strange foreign planets, to explore the universe around you and see things that you couldn’t possibly dream of? Well, unfortunately, you can’t. Space travel like that isn’t possible. Plus, you probably aren’t an astronaut, so that’s a bummer.

But you CAN go to the Grand Canyon, and, yes, that’s what you’re seeing in this picture. And if the land around the canyon is so alien, who knows what you might find while you’re out wandering among the rocks…

17. Arizona Sunset

There are few sights as breathtaking as this one right here. A gorgeous shot from high about the rocky landscape of Arizona, just as the sun it’s beginning it’s daily descent below the horizon. The rocks are bathed in a magical kind of light, and they work a certain kind of magic themselves.

You can see different eras of time in the sides of the cliffs here — each differently-colored section of rock comes from a different time. All are layered on each other so you can start at the bottom, the past, and work your way up into the present.

18. Colorado River

Ever wonder why ancient civilizations (and less ancient civilizations) always put their cities right next to rivers. Well, you can see the answer for yourself in this photo. The only life in the area here is springing out from the river’s shores. The nearby water provides the main ingredient for greenery and even animals.

Who knows what might be found crawling around the shore’s sand, or in those bits of green, or, possibly, floating around in the river water, enjoying the day and waiting for some food to swim by. Rivers, especially when cutting through deserts, are astounding!

19. Grand Canyon, Arizona

Sections of the desert often look like they’ve come straight from Mars, and the landscape shown in this picture is no different. There isn’t water in sight. The ground is red. The sky seems oddly colored. What if aliens are hiding out in the Grand Canyon?

It’s not a great theory, and most every human being on the planet would disagree, but come on, why not? At the very least, there’s got to be some strange animals roaming up and down and through the rocks. It’s got to take one hell of a tough creature to survive out there.

20. Sunset at the South Rim

The landscape seems to go on and on and on and on, doesn’t it? Almost like it’s an endless world for you to explore. Of course, our world is a world for you to explore, but that doesn’t mean that all of it looks like this. Unfortunately, not nearly all of it is even half this beautiful.

There’s something inviting in the muted colors and the hints of greenery that we see here. Something that makes you think that maybe it’d be possible to live out the rest of your life in the desert. But then again, could you stand it without a/c?

21. Desert View Sunset

Here’s a photo that looks like it’s come out of Egypt or possibly somewhere in the Sahara Desert — some exotic location far away that most of us will never see. But that’s an illusion. This is actually a shot of the Grand Canyon, right in the US, and frequented by tourists every single day.

The natural beauty of the world isn’t always far away, remote and nearly impossible to find, it’s all around us, right in our back yards and nothing captures that like this stunning image here, closer to home than we might imagine.

22. Grand Canyon National Park

This looks like a CG rendered shot from a movie about bigger-than-life heroes fighting on Mars, but really it’s an absolutely flooring picture from the depths of Grand Canyon national park. The muted reds and browns of the area are captured, as well as the amazing light of the sky at intermediary times.

The dust flowing around the hill in this picture is scuttled up during bouts of wind that constantly flood the desert area of the national park, meaning that this picture captures the kind of beauty that can be found frequently near the Grand Canyon.

23. Grand Canyon in Winter

Imagine a traditionally hot desert in the winter, getting cold enough at nights for the ground to be frosted, and occasionally even hold onto a thin layer of snow that might have drifted across it while the sun was hiding around.

That’s what you can see here, the great depths of the Grand Canyon framed by light snow build up, build up that manages to hold it’s ground only while it remains in the shadows that can linger for an extra-long time in the Grand Canyon. It’s a surreal but serene image of one of America’s national parks.

24. Sunrise at Mount Hayden

Mountains are usually thought of as rising up from the ground, towering over everything around them. But what if instead of being land that’s risen, mountains towered because everything else around them sunk low into the ground.

That’s the effect that you get by staring at Mount Hayden in the Grand Canyon national park. It sticks out of a red desert landscape that’s fallen deep below sea level, and the heavy wind of the desert has given it a sheer, almost grim facade. Hayden looks like a jagged tooth that’s been forced up through the desert landscape.

25. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

A poignant and powerful image with a strong foreground layer atop an out-of-focus landscape with a blistering sunset at it’s center. Here you can see a single, gnarled tree, seemingly forcing its way into life at the edge of a cliff overlooking the vast desert of Grand Canyon national park.

The tree is at once hopeful and utterly alone, and the sunset at the center of the picture’s background perfectly matches the mixed emotions of the sharply focused foreground. There’s a sort of yin and yang to this image that’s hard to find in other places.

26. Grand Canyon National Park

The photo is a balanced and relaxed image of the wonders than can be see in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. You can see the presence of some forms of life in the desert, small green trees and shrubs, that flourish along the sides of hills and mountains that aren’t always focused in the sunlight.

You can also see the great contrast between areas of light and darkness that are present but ever shifting each day in the park. This is a relaxed image, but one that manages to be simultaneously impressive and instructive for those viewing it.

27. Canyon and Sky

A somewhat disorienting image, it is nonetheless quite impressive. The boundary between land and sky is directly in the middle of the picture, but as each half is equally complex, equally interesting, and equally different, your brain will struggle to look at both simultaneously.

Both land and sky become more complicated with scenery as they recede into the background. Their simple beginnings will draw you in, and as your eyes float back into the complicated mess of each, they’ll meet that hard, well-defined border between the two right at the picture’s center. It’s a delightful effect.

28. Grand Canyon, Nevada

Desert life flourishes near sources of water, and luckily for those things that are trying their hardest to survive in the harsh desert environment of the southwestern United States, they’ve got the Colorado River on their side. This picture shows just how much life in the desert appreciates that.

The foreground is home to greenery that can only grow to be as strong as it is by relying on the river in the background of the image. This picture perfectly balances these two essentials — life and life giver. It’s a give and take that lends this picture a sense of peace.

29. Grand Canyon

Greenery, rainbows, blue sky, and thick clouds, all present in the desert. What a complicated series of things to see all in one image. This combination creates a breathtaking picture that lights up with hope and happiness.

Even better, the rainbow in the picture leaps out of a stretch of canyon, and the greenery climbs up the side of a hill in the foreground. Thick clouds recede into the background, promising some later payoff of buckets of rain that will lead to more greenery, more rainbows. It’s a self-sustaining image that capture the ebb and flow of life in the desert.

30. Grand Canyon Stars

What’s better than a starry night sky? How about one that hangs over a beautiful landscape pocked with valleys and layered with plateaus and incredible colors: Greens, grays, browns, deep reds. That’s what you get in this picture.

An unbelievable shot of the Grand Canyon stretching out into the horizon where lands melts into light purple sky dotted with brilliant white stars. The plateau most in the foreground seems like an idyllic place for someone to make a home. The whole picture gives out a sense of peace and calm while also offering absolute beauty.

31. Aerial View of Grand Canyon

This picture enhances the enormous sense of depth that one would get standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon. This flyover aerial view offers a good sense of the Canyon’s size while also showing off it’s creator, the Colorado River — here looking like a massive superhighway of life.

The staggered nature of the cliffs look like the rocky surface of Mars or the moon. The editing of this picture is astounding, sharpening the image’s edges while also muting the colors, allowing the shapes of the Canyon and the River to stand out, to be the main focus of the picture.

32. Mooney Fall

A beautiful shot of water and life tucked away in the desert landscape of Grand Canyon National Park. This waterfall almost looks like a sheet of crystal that’s springing out of the rough red rock behind it. This image is full of life, all coming into existence because of the blue-white water that makes up the pictures focus.

There’s a gorgeous and strong tree in the center of the image’s background, but scattered throughout are spots of green, forcing their way up through the desert ground and into the open air around them. This picture is a hopeful one.

33. Grand Canyon in Winter

A paradox in a single image. Here we can see a layer of snow covering the top of a hill in the foreground, but everywhere else in the picture is dry, red rock and sand, all of it appearing just as warm as one would expect the Grand Canyon National park to be.

The valley in the center of the picture is large and flat, and perfectly contrasts with the green and snow scene that first greets your eyes when you take a look at the picture. This captures the incredible diversity that is the Grand Canyon.

34. Grand Canyon

This image looks like something out of a science fiction movie, and, undoubtedly, Grand Canyon National Park has been used for filming some pretty fantastic science fiction movies, but this isn’t an image of Mars taken from powerful telescopes.

The strange yellow glow that covers the land comes from how the sun filters through the air in the area, and the deep “craters” are nothing more than dips in a land that is commonly now to be constructed from rough hewn rock. A shocking and intriguing picture that captures a side of a national landmark that most people haven’t seen before.

35. Track in Gorge

When most people think of the Grand Canyon, they probably don’t imagine a picturesque fall landscape that is at once cozy and beautiful. But, parts of the Grand Canyon are exactly that! This image shows a track in the Grand Canyon that is covered with brilliant red leaves, fallen from trees that have managed to cling to life thanks to the force of the Colorado River.

The surrounding stones are overgrown with green — grasses, bushes, and some moss. Altogether this makes for an inviting scene, one that seems both familiar and foreign, just begging to be explored.

36. Grand Canyon

A serene sunset in a landscape that is entirely made up of warm colors. Just looking at this picture can raise your body temperature while also slowing your heart rate. Beneath the sunset can be seen a hole in some rock that seems to lead to a path and potentially even water.

The hidden path beckons viewers deeper into the picture, which itself seems to beg for exploration with the eyes. There are so many quiet details hidden in one image, that the initial burst of sunset eventually opens up into a much more exciting sight.

37. Colorado Canyon

Most of the Grand Canyon is dusty-colored, ancient stone, and this picture shows that. But between the two towers of stone featured in the foreground of the image, one can see a stretch of land that is covered in the greens of trees and shrubs. The image demonstrates that there’s much more to the Grand Canyon than meets the eye.

The natural landscape, and the photo of it, subverts one’s expectations and challenges their pre-made thoughts. The picture invites people to come and explore the natural landscape, to see with their own eyes what mysteries it holds.

38. Wotan’s Throne, View from North Rim

Some sections of Grand Canyon National Park break away from the desert and spring forth into green life. Wotan’s Throne is like that, and this stunning ariel shot shows the extent of the greenery in this small area.

The interplay between brown and green, shadows and light, deep valley and high peaks, creates a breathless sense of movement and action. The life of this region is captured and put on display, so that viewers can become a part of the life that exists in this subset of the Grand Canyon. Exciting and intriguing all at once.

39. Grand Canyon September Sunrise

This picture of Grand Canyon National Park puts on displays colors the likes of which are rarely seen in the Park. The sunset that is the subject of the picture makes everything around it explode in brilliant colors. The sky turns from shocking purple to serene blue, and the clouds sharpen in relief against their luminous background.

The land beneath also transforms, greens becoming deep symbols of life, and the ancient sandy browns of the desert show their age and resonate with everything else around them. There’s a whole universe in this image, and it’s a pleasure to take in.

26 Magnificent Animals In Their Woodland Habitat

 

1. Woodland caribou

Caribou and beaches aren’t usually thought of together, but this photo features a particularly adventurous four-legged animal. In the far background of the image, you can see the woods, a much more suitable home for a caribou, but the foreground is dominated by the beach scene and the animal itself. Its walking with its head tilted slightly forward, almost as though is getting ready to charge. Whatever the caribou’s target might be, however, can’t be seen in this picture. Instead we are left with nothing but the animal itself and the white-gold sand of the beach that its walking on.

2. Grizzly Bear

The bear in this picture looks more relaxed than most people ever get to experience. Here is a perfect example of animals being at one with the natural world around them. This bear has found himself a decent resting place, almost a table, even, and it comes in the form of a fallen chunk of log. The bear doesn’t need much, but the log provides everything all at once. It looks like trees are scarce in this area, making the bear’s discovery of such a perfect place to sit down and take a breather even more serendipitous.

3. Deer posing in the woodlands

These deer are traveling through a clearing in the woods, pacing through the tall grass, but clearly something stopped them mid-journey. Their ears are perked up. These guys are on full alert, their eyes fixed in one place, unwavering, keeping watch for any visible signs of danger. There’s so much life in this picture. It’s easy to imagine all the action that was taking place just before this just was taking, and it’s easy to imagine exactly what will happen next. The deer will run away, hiding back in the forest, finding shelter amidst the thick trees.

4. Red deer

The nature photographer who took this picture was clearly spotted by her subject. That or she made enough noise to attract attention to herself. This lovely horned deer is wandering about, probably snacking on some of the tall grasses that grow vibrantly in this place, but something has pulled her attention away from the food and peace of the space that she’s currently occupying. One can only imagine that this distraction has come in the form of a pesky photography, traipsing through the grasses to get a brilliant shot. The consolation prize is this: The picture is indeed brilliant.

5. Squirrel Central Park

Nature doesn’t have to exist far from home, and this picture proves that effortlessly. Here is a shot of a squirrel, happily tucked away by the roots of a tree, enjoying some kind of meal. Clearly it’s fall, as thick chunks of yellow and orange leaves are scattered across the ground that the squirrel occupies. This isn’t some crazy woodland shot, though. This picture was taken right in the heart of Central Park, a bastion of nature in one of the world’s most developed cities. Clearly human preservation serves some kind of powerful purpose after all.

6. Wild Boar Kiss

Who knows what strange things are going on when two animals communicate. There are signs of what they are trying to convey to one another, surely, but we can’t know for sure what exact information is being exchanged. It’s that lack of possible knowledge that makes this image so intriguing. Two boars here appear to be sharing some kind of intimate moment, a kiss, even, but we can’t be sure that they are communicating love to one another. We can’t be sure of anything at all. Still, the picture is loving and peaceful and perhaps even moving.

7. Roaring deer

Here, captured forever in a picture, is a sight that you don’t just get to see every day. A deer is standing in a field, alone, it’s mouth open wide and head raised, as though this picture was taken mid-shout. Of course, we can’t know what’s really happening here, but the sense of sound forwarded by this picture is incredible. What is the deer calling out for? The possibilities are endless, and this simplicity of this shot lets the enigmatic nature of this moment ring true. The curiosity can fill our brains and delight us all at once.

8. Bear

Bears are thought of as fearsome creatures, monsters that attack campsites and chase innocent people through the forest, trying to savagely rip them limb from limb. This picture, however, doesn’t continue that notion. Instead, the image challenges it. Here we see a skinny looking bear carefully picking its way over a gravely terrain, just outside the cover of forest trees. This bear looks vulnerable, and almost frightened. Surely it wouldn’t attack someone for no reason. In fact, it looks like it could use the help of people, like it could befriend them rather than be an antagonistic beast.

9. Grizzly bear

It’s easy to forget that animals, especially mammals, have family structures that echo our own. This picture brings awareness to that fact by showing us a mother bear and her cub. Both of them are soaking wet, and are wading through a shallow and rocky creek. Clearly they’ve just spent some time getting dinner — fish who swam through the creek but not quite fast enough. Both of the animals look happy, contented, and they obviously are each comforted by the presence of the other. Because at the end of the day, even bears aren’t that different from humans.

10. Badger near its burrow

This is a crystal clear shot that was obviously taken by a very skilled photographer with an excellent camera and a good eye for nature pictures. This badger is unaware that it’s being photographed, but that’s because something else altogether has captured its attention. It is sticking its head just above its burrowing, looking out across the ground in front of it. Judging by how wide the badger’s eyes are at this moment, it’s been taken by surprise. There’s no way of knowing what happened next, but this image is fraught with tension.

11. Wild boar in the forest

When it comes to the world of nature photographer, it’s hard to get any better than a picture taken in a forest during autumn. The vibrancy of the fall colors really adds to the photograph, even if its main subject is unrelated to the season. That’s the case with this picture. The main subject is a young boar who is happily and peacefully trampling through the forest, but the overall picture is made even more delightful by the thick coating of fire-y colored leaves that covers the forest floor. These bring a whole new life to an already exciting picture.

12. Wolf with cubs

Here’s a vulnerable moment for animals caught on camera. There’s so much love and wonder in this one simple picture. We can see a family of wolves traveling through a forest — judging by the green leaves everywhere, it must be the middle of summer. The wolves are padding along their way, there’s three of them in total. The adult is on the lookout, making sure that the cubs remain safe at all times. The cubs themselves are looking all around the forest, clearly curious about their surroundings, which are still new and fresh for them.

13. Beautiful owl

The owls in this photograph seem at peace with their surroundings, though it is painfully apparent that they don’t live the same free lives as many other animals do. This picture shows us the natural world, in the form of the animals, but it doesn’t shy away from the fact that humans have massively impacted that world. The entire background of the image is a sea of green that is clearly blocked off from the owls by the sharp gray steel of a chain link fence. The owls have their own habitat, but it isn’t a natural one.

14. Beautiful owl in a forest

This owl is absolutely gorgeous. Most of its feathers are a shining white down, but interlaced throughout that breathtaking sheen are lines of brown that serve both as accents to the white and as creators of a vibrant pattern. The owl is staring almost angrily into the camera’s lens, as though it’s upset to have the normal structure of its day interrupted by the presence of a photographer trying to immortalize this moment of natural life. Still, one eye remains half-closed, so that the owl can be fully prepared to go right back to sleep once this moment passes.

15. Lynx in the forest

 

It’s hard to decide what is most eye catching in this picture, the lynx that serves as its subject and centerpiece, or the incredible ghostly scattering of colors and light that comprises the entire background of the image. That background looks almost like a watercolor painting, and it is stunning when juxtaposed to the very real, very “photographic” quality of the lynx in this picture. The animal itself looks so alive, as though even now it’s preparing to leap out of the picture, into your home and office, where it can stalk and explore a whole new area.

16. Beaver chewing a piece of apple

If you’ve ever wondered what perfect satisfaction looks like, this picture will show it to you. Here we see a beaver with thick brown, nearly black, fur that’s entirely soaked with water, lending the beaver a slick-but-dense look that it couldn’t possibly have if it was dry and on land. Ripples of whatever extend outward from the beaver, a permanent disruption in this lake’s flow. The beaver himself, though, is hardly disrupted at all. It’s found an apple, and is floating in the water, chewing peacefully and happily at its new, tasty snack.

17. Eagle

This picture was excellently timed. An eagle is lifting off into the air. Its wings are, magnificently, spread wide, making this bird look as large as possible. The appearance is both stunning and frightening. Here is an animal of undeniable power and grace, and that’s not something that you get to see every single day of your life. The lack of detail in the rest of the photograph helps to emphasize this sense of the eagle being fully worthy of your full attention. What’s really charming, though, is the eagle’s feet. This picture was taken in the instant before they release the log, sending the bird into the air.

18. Raccoon In Tree

Some pictures are capable of making you feel an intense emotion, or emotional connection to whatever it is you are seeing. Other pictures are able to bring personality and a human sense of “life” to things that aren’t at all human. This picture, featuring a raccoon somewhat comfortable tucked into a crevice in a great big tree, manages to do both of those things at once. The raccoon’s eyes are the standout feature of this photograph. They shimmer and shine with beauty, but also with pain, and that pain is what humanizes the animal and makes you feel empathy for it.

19. Great Spotted Woodpecker

This picture is so much more than an action shot of a woodpecker and its ongoing, yet futile, quest to fell a tree. The colors of this picture are strange and twisting, and they almost seem to be carried forward by brushstrokes, giving this photograph a uniquely painted feeling that nicely accents the natural scene it depicts. The entire picture seems more organic because of the way that colors and outlines meld together, all becoming one, just as the woodpecker has, in a way, become one with the tree that it is so dedicated to eventually destroying.

20. Portrait Elk

A chilly photograph. The elk that serves as the picture’s subject is standing amidst all that snow, staring into the heart of the camera and the face of the photographer. The background of trees telescopes out from behind the elk. All of the trees look similar enough, tall, thin, grayish brown and lightly coated in snow, that they blend together into a general “sense” of the forest that serves to enclose this entire scene,wrapping it all around you as you look on, so that you begin to feel the same chill that the elk must feel.

21. Canadian female Duck With Camouflage

Ducks are usually thought of in ponds or lakes, floating around and making obnoxious sounds all day long while waiting for children to come by and throw little chunks of bread at them. This photograph doesn’t satisfy that idea, but it’s no less pleasurable to look at for being different. Here we see a duck in mid-flight, and there’s a sense of freedom that comes from this. There’s also a certain sense of danger. The duck is flying right into the forest, meaning that it will have to maneuver quickly and carefully, but it seems sure in its path.

22.  Mountain goat

This picture manages to give you the sense of a particular animal while also viscerally placing you in its environment. The goat that is the main focus of the photo is pushed into the leftmost third of the frame, and it’s cocked head speaks either of childish curiosity or age-old wisdom. In the background a massive lake can be seen, and surely this is where the goat gets most of its drinking water. Far, far behind the lake lie giant mountains, looming over the entire scene, but doing so peacefully, even benevolently. This is where the goat lives.

23. Lynx

The lynx in this picture are on the lookout. Now, whether they are scouting out prey or watching for some potential attacker is unclear, but every member of this slightly unconventional feline family has their eyes wide open, and they’re all looking in one direction or another. There’s a forceful velocity to this image that comes entire from skillful focusing. The lynx are arranged in a line, and they get steadily more and more out of focus as the line shoots deeper into the forest. This pulls you out through the forest as a viewer, putting you right in their world.

24. Deer in sunset in the forest

One of the most magnificent deer images to every be captured. Here we see a massive, very impressive buck, it’s antlers spread wide, standing in a gap between two segments of trees. It’s twilight, and just behind the deer the sun is setting, but it’s still early enough that the deer hasn’t yet been entirely silhouetted. This gives the animal a ghostly appearance, as though it’s only really half there, and indeed the entire scene depicted in the image only seems half real, as though everything that can be seen is just rising up out of a dream.

25. Wolf pack

Here we see a pack of fully grown wolves, all on their feet, and all clearly full of energy. Unfortunately for them, that energy can carry them so far. What is at first glance a gorgeous nature shot becomes something altogether more complicated upon closer inspection. The far left part of the image reveals that the wolves are actually trapped in an enclosure — there won’t be any running or hunting for them. This picture shows us just how much energy nature has, and exactly how much humanity has constricted and contained that energy, refusing to let it act.

26. Large Brown Bear fishing

Here we can see a bear in the act of catching its own dinner. The bear is in mid-leap, standing in the middle of a rapid flow of water. Spray is flying everywhere, and the bear’s coat of fur has been dampened by the water around it. Presumably just beneath the white and foamy surface of the water is a large fish that the bear will be munching on. This picture gives viewers the feeling of all that momentum and dedication, all that singular focus, that the bear must have in order to catch its dinner.