29/02/2016 10:06 AM AEDT | Updated 29/02/2016 10:09 AM AEDT

8 Awesome Photos That Showcase The Wonders Of Underwater Life

These are the winning images of the 2016 Underwater Photographer of the Year contest.

A golden seahorse, a fishing bear and a wrecked ship never looked so stunning.

Those are just some of the winning images in this year's Underwater Photographer of the Year contest. Italian photographer Davide Lopresti won the title of "Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016" for his seahorse photo.

The images, which made their public debut on Feb. 13, were judged by marine biologist Dr. Alex Mustard and photographers Peter Rowlands and Martin Edge.

"I hope you enjoy this inspiring feast of imagery as much as we did during the judging," Mustard said in a statement. "It is a pleasure and a privilege to sit down with Peter and Martin and spend two days devouring, digesting and cogitating on the entries."

Scroll down to see eight winning images in various categories of the competition below, and enjoy!

  • "Gold" by Davide Lopresti (Italy)
    Davide Lopresti/UPY London
    This image of a seahorse won "Underwater Photographer of the Year" and the Macro category.
  • "Catshark Supernova" by Dan Bolt (UK)
    Dan Bolt/UPY London
    This image of the silhouette of a cat shark within an egg case won "British Underwater Photographer of the Year" and the British Waters Macro category.
  • "Underwater Fisherman" by Mike Korostelev (Russia)
    Mike Korostelev/UPY London
    This image of the fishing behavior of a wild brown bear won the Wide Angle category.
  • "A Family Affair.." by Thomas Heckmann (Germany)
    Thomas Heckmann/UPY London
    This image of a shipwreck with the island of Curacao in the background won the Wrecks category.
  • "Turtle Eating Jellyfish" by Richard Carey (Thailand)
    Richard Carey/UPY London
    This image of a green turtle feeding on a large mosaic jellyfish won the Behavior category.
  • "Hello Ducky!" by Paul Colley (UK)
    Paul Colley/UPY London
    This image of a mallard duck and trout won the British Waters Compact category.
  • "Three Pillars - Practice, Patience & Luck!" by Pier Mane (South Africa)
    Pier Mane/UPY London
    This image of a shark won "Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year."
  • "Part of the Illusion" by Marcus Blatchford (UK)
    Marcus Blatchford/UPY London
    This image of an unplanned dive won the British Waters Wide Angle category.
Underwater Photographer of the Year Gallery