The best nature photos of 2022 include giraffes fighting ‘necked’, neon green mushrooms and a rescued baby elephant

two walking lions rubbing their heads together

Anup Shah/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

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

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

  • The photographs showcase the colorful diversity of life and landscapes on Earth.

The Nature Conservancy announced the winners of its annual photography competition on September 29.

two coyotes snarling at each other, the third watching

Baiju Patil/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

This year’s winning photos showcase the wide variety of life and landscapes on Earth.

elephant face in dust

Panos Laskarakis/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Photographer Li Ping won the Grand Prize using a drone to capture this photo of a highway cutting through tree-shaped hollows in Tibet.

tree-shaped gutters at the intersection of the highway

Li Ping/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

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

two walking lions rubbing their heads together

Anup Shah/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

These giraffes seem friendly or romantic, but bowing or nodding their heads and necks towards each other actually shows how they fight.

giraffes fight by pressing their necks together

Torie Hilley/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

According to the photographer, these eagles were also fighting over a piece of salmon.

eagles fly past each other in the snow

Rick Dowling/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

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

Elephant baby seal roars at flying bird

Fabio Saltarelli/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

In another photo, workers at the Ol Pejeta Conservation Area in Kenya run to treat an injured calf while giving sedatives to its mother so she can do it safely.

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

Marvin Mwarangu/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

It’s not just animals that can be dramatic. Lightning struck this mountain just in time.

lightning falling mountain

Hendy Wicaksono/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

A layer of fog gave an eerie glow to this mangrove tree in Lamongan, East Java.

mangrove roots rise up through the fog with the mangrove tree in the distance

Waluya Priya Atmaja/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

The mist thinned over a glassy lake and snowy trees in the distance, making the scene seem peaceful.

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

Effy Varley/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

The snowy mountains are in stark contrast to a black sand beach in Iceland.

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

Ivan Pedretti/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Fireflies in Japan stand out as bright yellow rings of light over the dark forest, creating a contrast.

yellow light circles in dark black forest

Masahiro Hiroike/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Another burst of bright color in another forest comes from the bioluminescent Omphalotus Nidiformis, nicknamed ‘ghost mushrooms’.

neon green mushroom in dark forest

Callie Chee/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Other photographs capture the impact humans have on nature, such as this factory built on the edge of a beach in Greece.

two people on the beach in front of the big factory

Janusz Jurek/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

People have also changed the landscape with wastewater ponds like this one.

waste water pools

Jassen Todorov/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

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

pink lagoons

Nick Leopold Sordo/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

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

dixie fire burn scar charred trees

Jassen Todorov/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Further north, along the Oregon coast, mist drains into a natural hole in the rock known as the Pacific’s Drain Pipe.

the fog pours into the hole in the mountains

Tom Fenske/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

These dragon blood trees only grow in the high plateaus of Socotra Island 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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