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Source: Twitter

The Best Nature Photographs Submitted To National Geographic's Annual Contest So Far

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The 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest has opened and the entries are flooding in. Photographers have until November 17, according to the BBC, but we're already seeing some pretty stiff competition.

We live in an incredible world, full of grand vistas, clever animals, and a gorgeous, ever-shifting sky. There's also a lot of people with really high quality cameras out there!

Check out some the submissions so far and fantasize about what part of this amazing earth you want to see next:

This stuff looks pretty hard to top, but we're looking forward to seeing more attempts. Now to book a plane ticket to adventure...

Photojournalist Brent Stirton won the grand title with an image of a shot and dehorned black rhino.

The image, Memorial to a species, was taken in South Africa's Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. It emerged as the winning shot from almost 50,000 competition entries from 92 countries.

Sir Michael Dixon, Natural History Museum Director, says "Brent's image highlights the urgent need for humanity to protect our planet and the species we share it with."

"The black rhino offers a sombre and challenging counterpart to the story of Hope, our blue whale."

"Like the critically endangered black rhinoceros, blue whales were once hunted to the brink of extinction, but humanity acted on a global scale to protect them. This shocking picture of an animal butchered for its horns is a call to action for us all."

A senior correspondent for Verbatim and Getty Images, Brent has a strong focus on sustainability and the environment. He shoots mainly for National Geographic magazine. 

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