The spider tree: Millions of arachnids escape rising floodwater in one of 12 stunning photographs for National Geographic competition


Trees cocooned in spiders webs after flooding in Pakistan, 7 December 2010 - Russell Watkins

The bonobo chimpanzee stares blankly at the camera, the stingray swims beautifully under the water’s surface and the baby kangaroo pokes its head out from mother’s pouch. These astonishing pictures in a prestigious photography competition show the beauty of weird and wonderful nature on Earth.
A lynx can be seen flinching its ear at bothersome gnats in Alaska, a gecko appears startled at a photographer’s presence in Hawaii and Australian Sea lions play in the shallows of Hopkins Island. And in Pakistan millions of spiders were pictured having climbed up into trees to escape rising flood waters.

‘We want to challenge photographers to capture true moments enhanced by composition, lighting and mood - without enhancement through digital effects, photo stitches, HDR and fisheye lenses,’ National Geographic magazine’s executive editor for photography Kurt Mutchler said.
The National Geographic Society was founded in 1888 and is one of the world’s largest non-profit science and educational groups, reaching around 400 million people every month. The winner of National Geographic’s 2011 Photography Contest receives prize money of $10,000. Here are 12 entries...

Bonobo Portrait - Graham McGeorge
'Bonobo Portrait, Jacksonville Zoo, Florida'

'An unexpected side-effect of the 2010 flooding in parts of Sindh, Pakistan, was that millions of spiders climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters; because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water took so long to recede, many trees became cocooned in spiders webs. People in the area had never seen this phenomenon before, but they also reported that there were less mosquitos than they would have expected, given the amount of standing water that was left. Not being bitten by mosquitos was one small blessing for people that had lost everything in the floods'

Stingray - Gazzaroli Claudio
'This image was captured to Sandbar, Grand Cayman during my last trip. This beautiful creature turns around you very close and you can touch it. This is a really amazing experience - you are surrounded by dozens of this friendly animal'

Rufous - Cael Cook
'Rufous humming bird takes a much needed break on a pine tree, boasting his beautifully bright chest'

A Peek from the Pouch - Brent Lukey

'A "joey" (baby) Eastern Grey Kangaroo pokes a head out from its mother’s pouch. The baby kangaroo will continue to peek until if feels safe enough to emerge for short periods. After 7 to 10 months it will leave the pouch for the last time'

Dog-eared Kitty - Jimmy Tohill
'Lynx (Lynx canadensis) flinches its ear at bothersome gnats in the late evening summer sun in Alaska'

Is he still there?! - Lorenzo Menendez

'One morning while on the Big Island of Hawaii I exploring my surroundings to see if I could find something to photograph. I almost went back inside when something on this huge palm tree leaf caught my eye. I stayed around and it was this little gecko. Startled by my presence, he was hidden between the ridges of the leaf. He would pop his head up periodically to check his surroundings. As soon as he saw I was still there, he would hide again. We played this game for a while until I got the shot'

Night time Hammerhead - Raul Boesel
'Curious hammerhead at dusk'

Australian Sea lions playing in the shallows of Hopkins Island - Michael Patrick O'Neill

'Rare and endangered Australian Sea Lions (Neophoca cinerea) swim and play in the shallows of Hopkins Island, South Australia'

Confronting - David Litchfield
'Cage divers confront a great white shark' (left)
Frozen Bubbles - Emmanuel Coupe-Kalomiris
'This image was taken in winter time in an arid area of the Canadian Rockies. Temperatures were below -30 degrees Celsius, yet because there was no snow fall the surface of the lake was uncovered allowing me to see and capture the bubbles (gas release from lake bed) that were trapped in the frozen waters' (right)

The Cloud - Dmitry Gorilovskiy
'At safari not only animals can attract attention'

source: dailymail