Committed to showcasing amazing photography, National Geographic Magazine publishes stunning images shot around the world each day on its website. Taken in locations as varied as the ice of Antarctica or the shores of the island of Larak in the Persian Gulf, the images serve as a daily reminder of the beauty and wonder of planet Earth.
To mark the impending start of the new year, the site chose some of its favorite images of 2015 taken by both the publication's staff photographers and its Your Shot community.
Take a look at part of the selection below, and head over to National Geographic's site to see more.
Clinton Berry/National Geographic Your Shot
Your Shot member Clinton Berry captured this photo with a GoPro on Antarctica's sea ice, about six miles from Casey Station. "I studied the movements of the penguins for weeks," Berry writes. "They walked in the same area almost every day. We would get maybe a dozen or less going by. The day this was taken there were over 60 penguins. It was a bit of luck involved too."
Ciemon Frank Caballes/National Geographic Your Shot
The residents of Jellyfish Lake on Eil Malk—one of the Rock Islands of Palau—surround a snorkeler in their midst. The saltwater lake’s golden jellyfish, harmless to humans, spend much of their lives following the sun as it makes its daily progress across the sky. For these jellies, sunlight is essential: It nourishes the algae-like organisms that live symbiotically in their tissues.
Pooyon Shadpoor/National Geographic Your Shot
While walking along the shore of Larak, Iran—an island in the Persian Gulf—Your Shot member Pooyan Shadpoor came across the luminous scene in the photo above. The “magical lights of [the] plankton ... enchanted me so that I snapped the shot,” he writes.
Ernie Vater/National Geographic Your Shot
The setting sun shines through the ice on the shore of a frozen Lake Superior, traversed by Your Shot member Ernie Vater to reach this spot. “Part of the beauty of this place is the silence of it,” he writes of the ice caves at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore near Bayfield, Wisconsin.
Andrew George/National Geographic Your Shot
The aurora borealis shares the sky with a bright moon in Iceland. Named for the Roman goddess of dawn, the vivid beams of light result from collisions between charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere and gaseous particles in Earth’s atmosphere.
Jeff Hester/National Geographic Your Shot
Your Shot member Jeff Hester was drawn to make this image because, he says, “I believe this is what our oceans should look like.” But Cabo Pulmo, a marine park off Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, hasn't always been this way. “In 1995, [the] park was established by local citizens to counteract depleted reef fishes and marine life due to overfishing,” he says. “Today, the biomass is booming, and the ecosystem is returning to a healthy state. For this particular image, I wanted to show some scale ... so I had my wife, seen in the foreground, swim ahead of me.”
Alexey Trofimov/National Geographic Your Shot
“Ice on Lake Baikal is a very interesting phenomenon,” writes Alexey Trofimov. “Ice ridges, cracks, tears, hugging. All this creates unique and fantastic stories.”