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Sometimes it is best to not know exactly what you are treading on as you wade out for a ride and with an estimated 750,000 yet undiscovered species in our oceans it is quite clear that will probably never will.

Fortunately a dedicated few commit their lives to bringing the secrets of our world to the fore and never could this be truer than the entrants of the Ocean Art Photography contest.

The Ocean Art competition, organised by the Underwater Photography Guide, is the number one underwater photo event in the world and the calibre is extremely high.

Judged by a panel of experts and with over £50,000 in prizes the entrants are scored in a number of key disciplines ranging from Cold Water to SuperMacro and Novice DSLR to Portrait.

The Best of Show winner was an amazing photo of a larval stage eel photographed at night way down in 4,000 feet of water off the coast of Hawaii.

1st Place Macro & Best of Show: Jeff Milisen "Feeling Exposed"

1st Place Macro & Best of Show: Jeff Milisen Feeling Exposed

“The larval eel truly looks like an alien invader from outer space, and has only been photographed a handful of times before.”  UPG said about the image

“Other outstanding images include some out-of-this-world fish and marine life shots, rarely seen underwater behavior, cute portraits, dreamy scenes in the conceptual category, sharks, whales and some dramatic moments between humans and marine life”

Thousands of entries were viewed by the judges before the final set of 15 images was whittled down and award the prestigious title of the best underwater photos in the world.

Below is our round-up of our favourites but do head over to www.uwphotographyguide.com for the full list and the story behind every image.

1st Place Wide-Angle: Francesco Visintin "The Satellite"

1st Place Wide-Angle: Francesco Visintin The Satellite

1st Place Portrait: Greg LeCoeur "Pilot Whales"

1st Place Portrait: Greg LeCoeur Pilot Whales

1st Place, Nudibranchs: Roland Bach "Sunny Day"

1st Place, Nudibranchs: Roland Bach Sunny Day

1st Place, Compact Marine Life Behavior: Jack Berthomier "Fast strike of a Tylosorus crocodilus on a juvenile kyphosus vaigiensis"

1st Place, Compact Marine Life Behavior: Jack Berthomier Fast strike of a Tylosorus crocodilus on a juvenile kyphosus vaigiensis

1st Place Cold Water: Lill Haugen "Anemone Light"

1st Place Cold Water: Lill Haugen Anemone Light

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