The wonder of nature is limitless.
But, in case that wasn’t already clear, a selection of brand new images from National Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the Year contest 2017 prove it.
Entries from the third and fourth galleries highlight nature’s incredible beauty and power, ranging from a pair of clashing zebras to a pod of sleeping sperm whale.
Also shortlisted is a stunning image of lava flowing from Russia’s Klyuchevskaya Sopka, the highest active volcano in Eurasia.
The grand prize winner – expected to be announced on December 12 – will receive $7,500 (£5,700), while each winner in the four categories of wildlife, landscapes, aerials and underwater will receive $2,500 (£1,900).
To view more entries to the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest, click here.
Wow-factor: A pair of divers are seen swimming over a pod of sleeping sperm whales in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean near Dominica
Duel: Landing heavy blows, a handsome pair of male zebras engage in a dramatic clash at Etosha National Park in Namibia. The photographer, Sonalini Khetrapal, said: ‘The goal of my trip was to photograph zebras with their striking coats across this backdrop. A herd of zebras arrived at the waterhole to quench their thirst. Suddenly, there was chaos and thick dust clouds blinded our vision. Within moments, two male zebras emerged from the dust, landing blows at each other with their hooves and heads. The duel lasted only a few minutes but it gave me an opportunity to capture this heavily charged moment’
Stand-off: Taken in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, this stunning image shows a group of hyenas take-on a lioness. Photographer Adam Zaff said: ‘A group of hyenas were the aggressors in attempting to take on two lionesses, who they had sensed to be old or injured. The stand-off lasted about 30 minutes, but in the end the hyenas were no match for the two lionesses who were able to get away unscathed’
Dramatic: This incredible shot captures the eruption of Russia’s Klyuchevskaya Sopka, the highest active volcano of Eurasia
Natural wonder: Photographed in Pulau Weh, Indonesia, a cowry fish can be seen eating soft coral beneath the waves
Nature always prevails: Clay heaps are beautified with birches and aspens in Russia’s Tula region, near Konduki village. These heaps, a legacy of the area’s mining industry, can reach 50 metres in height
Ready for its close-up: A photogenic flying fish enjoys a nocturnal swim in the Gulf Stream off Palm Beach, Florida
Contrasting colours in Aigues-Mortes, in Southern France, are beautifully captured here