The best nature photos of 2022 include giraffes fighting for ‘necks’, neon green mushrooms and a rescue of a baby elephant

two lions walking rubbing their heads

Anup Shah/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

  • The Nature Conservancy’s photography competition rewards beautiful portraits of animals, landscapes and plants.

  • This year’s winners include sparring giraffes, a black sand beach, and neon mushrooms.

  • The photos show the colorful diversity of life and landscapes on Earth.

The Nature Conservancy announced the winners of its annual photo contest on Sept. 29.

two jackals growl at each other as a third watches

Baiju Patil Photo Contest/Courtesy of TNC 2022

This year’s winning photos showcase the great diversity of life and landscapes on Earth.

elephant face in the dust

Panos Laskarakis/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Photographer Li Ping won the grand prix, using a drone to capture this photo of a highway crossing tree-shaped gullies in Tibet.

tree shaped gullies with highway running through

Li Ping/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Other photos capture animals in the wild, like this pair of lions rubbing heads. The one on the right is clearly older than the lion on the left.

two lions walking rubbing their heads

Anup Shah/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

These giraffes appear friendly or romantic, but the way they fight is actually the way they fight.

giraffes press their necks together fighting

2022 Photo Contest by Torie Hilley/Courtesy TNC

These eagles were also fighting over a piece of salmon, according to the photographer.

eagles fly next to each other in the snow

2022 Rick Dowling Photo Contest/Courtesy of TNC

This elephant seal had to fend off a striped caracara that was trying to attack its calf.

the elephant roars at the bird that flies at the baby seal

Fabio Saltarelli/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Another photo shows workers at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy rushing to tend to an injured baby elephant, while celeryizing its mother so they can do it safely.

woman running with dart in front of elephant kneeling on the ground

2022 Photo Contest by Marvin Mwarangu/Courtesy TNC

Animals aren’t the only ones who can be dramatic. Lightning struck this mountain at just the right time.

lightning strikes the mountain

Hendy Wicaksono/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

A layer of mist has given an eerie glow to this mangrove tree in Lamongan, East Java.

mangrove roots shoot upwards through the mist with the mangrove tree in the distance

Waluya Priya Atmaja/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Fog also made this scene peaceful, as the mist cleared over a glassy lake and distant snow-covered trees.

snowy green and white evergreen trees in fog across a glassy lake

Effy Varley/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Snow capped mountains are a stark contrast to a black sand beach in Iceland.

black sand beach with orange grass snowy white mountain in the background

Ivan Pedretti/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Fireflies in Japan create contrast, standing out as circles of bright yellow light against the dark forest.

circles of yellow light in dark black woods

Masahiro Hiroike/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Another brilliant pop of color, in another forest, comes from the bioluminescent Omphalotus Nidiformis, nicknamed “ghost mushrooms”.

neon green mushrooms in the dark forest

TNC 2022 Callie Chee/Courtesy Photo Contest

Other photos capture man’s impact on nature, like this factory built on the edge of a beach in Greece.

two people dry on the beach in front of a large factory

Janusz Jurek/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Humans have also changed the landscape with wastewater ponds like these.

wastewater ponds

Jassen Todorov/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

A more colorful sign of human presence are these pink lagoons near a salt mine.

pink lagoons

Nick Leopold Sordo/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

A burnt scar, filled with charred trees, lies in the wake of the Dixie Fire, California’s largest single wildfire.

dixie fire burns charred trees scar

Jassen Todorov/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Further north along the Oregon coast, the fog pours into a natural hole in the rock known as the Drainpipe of the Pacific.

the fog pours into the hole in the mountains

Tom Fenske/Courtesy TNC 2022 Photo Contest

These dragon blood trees grow only in the highlands of the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean.

dragon blood trees

Cristiano Xavier/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on November 19, 2022.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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