What’s a better combination than breathtaking nature and incredible photos? Amazing nature photos often feature awkward, hilarious or unbelievable moments. Check out these 30 perfectly timed nature photos. Warning: The following images might inspire you to be camera ready at all times.
Squirrel vs. Snake
You’ve probably heard many people say, “Don’t mess with Texas.” But have you ever heard anyone say, “Don’t mess with Texas squirrels?” Bothering squirrels is a bad idea, and bothering rock squirrels from Texas is an even worse idea. Just ask this snake.
Rock squirrels mainly eat plant matter, fruits and nuts. However, unlike other squirrels, rock squirrels are also carnivorous. You can catch rock squirrels eating grasshoppers, crickets, spiders and even snakes. The unlucky snake in the photo above lost its battle with this rock squirrel in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Spoiler alert: The squirrel gobbled up most of the snake.
“Giving Up for the Rest of the Year”
Don’t let this bear’s silly pose fool you. Polar bears are known hunters, preying on seals, beluga whales, walruses and birds’ eggs. Guinness World Records describes polar bears as the largest land carnivores in the world. These aggressive hunters are also the world’s biggest species of bear.
What should you do if you suddenly see a polar bear walking around like this? First of all — good luck. Second, we recommend avoiding bear country to stay safe. Although polar bears only have a 10% success rate for kills, it’s best to not risk your life for a closer view of the bear. The polar bear in the above photo probably dropped down and gave up after a failed hunt.
The Seal of Approval
Can you always tell why someone is winking at you? Winking is a weird way humans communicate with each other. It’s tricky to understand what a strangely timed wink means. They can be interpreted as flirty, friendly, creepy or scary. Winking is really one big guessing game.
However, if a cute seal is winking at you, you must be doing something right. This one is looking directly at you and pointing its fin at you as if to say, “Excellent job!” The seal also appears like its ready to give you a fist bump. This is one supportive and friendly seal. The photographer snapped this picture of the awesome seal friend we all wish we had in sunny California.
Dinner Is Served
As if seeing a shark in the ocean isn’t scary enough, imagine seeing one jump out of the water. One photographer took this insane photo of a great white shark in the throes of an attack on an unfortunate seal. The photo captures the shark’s aggression, energy and intensity in one incredible shot.
Some researchers report that great white sharks can jump up to eight to 10 feet out of the water. The giant beasts have over 300 teeth and they often swallow their food whole. Although these shark facts may seem terrifying, sharks rarely attack humans.
The Lemur Slides to the Left
This photo is proof that lemurs know the choreography to the electric slide better than you or me. Sounds crazy, right? But look at that excellent footwork and posture! This talented lemur focuses on making sure he hits every move.
A photographer captured this incredible image of a Verreaux’s sifaka in Madagascar. Sifakas often get around by jumping from tree to tree. However, if the distance between trees is too great, sifakas will opt for the ground to reach their destination. The lemurs hop sideways on the ground, a movement sometimes referred to as a “dance-hop.”
Double Trouble Snakes
Believe it or not, the photo below does not capture a mating dance. These snakes are actually dancing to the death. Sounds weird, right? When we think of violent battles, battles between top predators or humans come to mind. However, when snakes fight, it looks like an elaborate dance.
The photographer, Trevor Cole, captured these two snakes wrapping around each other and preparing for battle in the North Pantanal region of Brazil. Snakes often fight over territory or female mates. Although we wish we had the answer, we don’t know who won this scuffle, if they both died or if they just got tangled in knots.
This Squirrel Can’t Believe You Just Said That
We adore this close-up of an outdoor squirrel. You can see the details in its grey and brown fur. Look at those sharp claws! Did you even know squirrels have that many whiskers? Its little round nose is cute too. We also can’t help but love the most important part of the photo: the squirrel’s hilarious facial expression.
We’ve all made this face, right? We make this face the moment we hear insane news and need all the juicy details. Disappointingly, according to the photographer, the squirrel is actually in the middle of yawning. However, we chose to believe that this squirrel is surprised.
Bear Saying Hi
When you don’t want to be rude, you can just wave with very little effort, like this Alaska Peninsula brown bear. If the world’s largest brown bear greets you, it’s best to treasure the special moment from a very far distance — even if the brown bear appears to be relaxed, like the one in this photo.
Brown bears are huge, growing up to eight feet tall and weighing up to 1200 pounds. These furry creatures are large — but they’re also extremely fast. Brown bears can run 30 miles per hour at full speed. Don’t let the brown bear’s friendly appearance fool you. They’re dangerous and have been known to attack humans.
Killer Whales Get in Formation
The killer whales in the photo seem like they’re performing a synchronized swimming routine, but really, they are looking for lunch. Killer whales often hunt for seals and penguins on ice floes. If you look at the top of the photo, the black dots on the ice floes are the penguins that the whales were looking for.
The photographer, Bryan Goff, snapped this amazing photo during a mission called Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica. Goff and his crew broke the ice to create a shipping lane for cargo ships. The killer whales began to follow the crew, looking for food (and not really dancing).
Don’t Mess With Magpies
This striking photo captures a battle between a puppy and a blue magpie in Taipei City, Taiwan. After the puppy entered the magpie’s nesting area, the brave magpie attacked it multiple times. The puppy responded by barking at the territorial bird.
The magpie is a beautiful creature, but behind the gorgeous exterior is a fierce protector. If any animal steps into the magpie’s nesting area, the magpie will attack the intruder until they leave. Who do you think won the fight between the blue magpie and puppy in the photo? We’d place our bets on the defensive bird.
Gorgeous Black Mountain Bird
Photographer Florian Biedermann snapped this photo of the exact moment a large bird landed on his hand. The image features a jet black Alpine chough, the glowing sun as it sets, and the picturesque snowy mountains in Schwende District, Switzerland. The bird’s long talons grip the photographer’s fingers.
Are these birds just visiting the top of the mountain or do Alpine choughs live there? Alpine choughs live and breed at high altitudes above 15,000 feet. These magnificent creatures also nest at impressive heights of 21,500 feet — the highest of any bird species.
Feeling Foxy, Will Fight Now
This photographer captured a heated moment between two foxes in Zao Fox Village, a must-visit destination in northeastern Japan. Unlike a zoo, the village allows the foxes to roam freely in the forest. Many foxes are tame enough to approach, but they’re still semi-wild.
According to The Dodo, the staff at Zao Fox Village warns visitors not to pet or hand-feed the foxes — or risk being bitten. Staff should also consider telling visitors that these cute foxes aren’t afraid to fight in front of an audience.
Koala Just Waking Up
Do you sometimes wake up confused and forget where you are? This is most likely what happened to this silly koala in Australia. Koalas are known snoozers, sleeping for up to 18 hours a day, according to National Geographic. Other sources report that koalas can sleep up to 20 hours per day.
Besides sleeping their days and nights away, koalas love to eat. Some folks joke that koalas eat themselves into a food coma. A koala’s diet mainly consists of eucalyptus leaves, of which they eat about two and a half pounds each day. That’s a lot of food for their size. Koalas grow to be 33 inches tall and weigh up to 33 pounds. Livin’ the dream.
This Kid Is out of Control
While some parents say watching kids is fun, others argue that it’s a nightmare. Childcare is tough, especially when you tell them to stay in one place and they don’t listen. It’s important to remain calm because children can smell fear.
This long-tailed macaque mother is making it clear who’s boss and ensuring she knows her child’s whereabouts at all times. No matter how wild the infants become, long-tailed macaque mothers need to watch and protect their infants from other females who are known to kidnap other macaque babies. Not today, kidnappers.
The Bear Welcoming Committee
Camping is, arguably, one of the best outdoor activities there is. Nature lovers get to experience the combination of cold air and a warm fire, wake up to a beautiful view every morning, watch the night sky glow with stars and get an up close and personal experience with wildlife.
Camping is even better when one of its native residents welcomes you personally. Case and point: Look at this charming bear that’s standing on her hind legs and presenting the campground at Denali National Park and Preserve. According to the National Park Service, bears are extremely curious creatures and often explore the park.
Mysterious Cat in the Night
You can find cats in the most interesting places…like inside cardboard boxes, under beds, inside empty grocery bags, on top of the roof and even in trees. The cat in this photo is balancing itself on a tree branch while gazing at the lovely moon.
It’s common for cats to climb trees and not be able to get back down (luckily, that’s what the fire department’s for). It’s easier for cats to climb up than down because their claws curve toward the back. Some cats just don’t want to come down. When you have a view like this, you might want to stay in the tree forever too.
What Is This Thing?
It’s always fun to see curious animals play around with human-made objects. Dogs often stick their heads into buckets and other small holes, and cats love to destroy toilet paper. Ground squirrels are also highly curious animals that enjoy investigating anything new.
How many squirrels does it take to work a camera? This camera caught the attention of a ground squirrel. He recruited his buddies to find out if they’ve seen anything like it before. With more time and practice, perhaps the ground squirrels can become professional photographers too.
Bird Hitching a Ride on a Swimming Pig
When you’re tired, take a break, but don’t quit. The black-and-grey bird in this photo has the right idea. After a long day of flying, the bird rested without compromising on progress by catching a ride to shore on this cute pig.
Pig Beach in the Bahamas is home to many wild swimming pigs. The pigs are actually quite famous. The Daily Beast reports that thousands of travelers visit the Bahamas to see the adorable creatures splash in the pristine waters or nap on the beach. Visitors are also allowed to swim with the pigs.
Butterfly Plops on Frog
Have you ever taken a stroll outside and had a butterfly land on you? According to National Geographic, butterflies are constantly searching for a special nutrient: sodium. They land on animals, nibbling on their sweat or tears for salt. If you’re a naturally sweaty person, you’ll attract more butterflies.
We have bad news for this frog. In some cultures, seeing a black butterfly symbolizes misfortune and death. “Death” could be physical death or symbolic, like something coming to an end, such as a relationship. In other cultures, black butterflies mean a positive transition or a new start.
Who Is That Monkey I See?
“When will my reflection show who I am inside?” Raise your hand if you have a Mulan moment from time to time — reflecting on life and relationships in the mirror. This is what we assume is the case for this small macaque monkey in Tambon Nong Chaeng, Thailand.
Macaque monkeys might appear cute and curious, but beneath the surface lies trouble. Thai monkeys have been known to attack and steal from unsuspecting travelers. There’s a high chance you’ll be interacting with macaque monkeys in tourist areas. If you do, you’ll quickly come to understand why these monkeys are dangerous.
One day, you’re casually strolling around outside in the evening when you notice the sun disappearing behind the horizon. As daylight fades, the color of the sky transforms into a vivid pink and purple. You can’t take your eyes off of the sunset. This talented photographer perfectly captured a jaw dropping sunset glowing right in the middle of a tree. The dramatic pink clouds and the contrast of the tree’s dark silhouette make this photo even more impressive.
Why are sunsets so glorious? Why do people love gazing at sunsets? We all know that sunsets are romantic and Instagram-able. Apparently, watching sunsets is also good for your health. According to the Odyssey, watching sunsets can reduce stress, and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Takeaway: If you’re ever in a bad mood, try catching the sunset to feel better.
The Bird is Just Here for the Food
Do you sometimes go to events just for the food? Whether it’s a fundraiser, a gala or an office Christmas party, we’ve all had the experience of going somewhere just because we’re looking forward to the food. It looks like this cute chickadee has more in common with you than meets the eye.
How did this photographer get the bird to flutter to his hand? It required some food and a lot of patience. If you want to gain a bird’s trust, you need to make sure the environment is free of threats, like other animals. According to Mother Nature Network, chickadees are one of the friendliest and chattiest bird species, making them more likely to eat out of your hand.
Yoga-Loving Sea Lion
Sometimes our lives get so busy that we forget to fit a workout into our schedules. Sea lions also have packed schedules. They spend the majority of their day cuddling with other sea lions (awwww). These adorable creatures sleep up to 12 hours a day. Sea lions spend the rest of the day eating, so it’s hard to find the time to workout. But it’s not impossible.
A sea lion’s diet includes a wide variety of fish, squid and octopus. Sea lions enjoy heavy meals, devouring between 15–35 pounds of food in one day. All things considered, it makes sense that they would want to squeeze in a workout occasionally. One photographer captured this cute sea lion’s yoga session on the beach.
Bison Traffic Jam
“I absolutely love getting stuck in traffic,” said no one ever. You’ve probably been stuck in traffic thanks to a car accident or during rush hour, but how many times have you been in a bison jam? At Yellowstone National Park — it happens.
Bison take casual group strolls and cause traffic more often than one would expect. Honking your car horn won’t make them move any faster. You can’t tell the bison what to do. But they’ll let you know when you can move forward. A bison traffic jam is a great excuse to be late for work if you’re near Yellowstone.
Big Bear Hug Anyone?
Having a tough day? Work stress got you down? Feeling like you struck out? No matter what’s going on, sometimes we just need a big hug to cheer us up. Family therapist Virginia Satir, says, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
And what’s even better than a hug? A bear hug! These wild bears have the right idea when it comes to this heartwarming gesture. The photographer captured two cute brown bears with their arms wrapped around each other. They’re showing each other some tender love and affection. Doesn’t this just melt your heart?
Whales put on a stunning show whenever they appear at the surface of the underwater world they live in. It’s hard to miss a whale that’s 52 feet long. One lucky photographer snapped this beautiful moment when a humpback whale jumped, also known as breaching. Why do whales participate in this behavior?
Disappointing news ahead: It’s not just for our entertainment. According to Coastal Living, whales leap into the air to communicate with far-off pods. When the gentle giants jump and slap the water with their fins, they make plenty of noise for their whale pals to notice.
There’s something beautiful about births. Maybe it’s the moment we see a newborn’s tiny eyes or cute little fingers that makes us realize just how powerful and special bringing new life into the world really is. Watching an animal hatch from an egg can also be beautiful.
The baby leopard gecko in the photo above took almost 10 minutes to get all the way out of the shell. According to the photographer, the gecko is living a happy, healthy life. This little guy is probably living his best life by eating crickets and basking in 87-degree weather all day.
The photographer, Frida Bredesen, says these two jaguars are sisters who reside in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Possible reasons for their dispute: who loves each other more, who ate the last fish, who has better hair or who is the biggest beast. You know a fight is serious when a jaguar gets into another jaguar’s face and starts to raise its paw.
In the wild, jaguars are actually known loners, marking their territories with urine or claw marks on trees. This might be the real reason the jaguars in the photo are fighting. Maybe they simply need space from each other. Unfortunately, the photo doesn’t show us who won the argument.
Reptile’s Attempt #80 for Invisibility
Animals hide all the time. Cats disappear into your closet, owls blend into trees and some creatures try to camouflage into the environment they live in. Seeing a hidden creature is startling enough, but imagine seeing this reptile directly looking at you with focused eyes.
We’re not entirely sure what this reptile is. Is it a frog? Is it Neville Longbottom’s pet toad? A witch or wizard who can transform themselves into an animal? There are so many unanswered questions. Although this reptile is trying to be invisible, it definitely has our attention.
Somewhere Over A Geyser
We love this spectacular image because photographers often have a difficult time taking pictures of rainbows. Rainbows are elusive and don’t appear as often as we may think. For most rainbows to form, sunlight needs to hit raindrops at 42 degrees relative to the viewer. However, some rainbows can also appear over fog, waterfalls or geysers.
This photographer definitely waited for the right time to snap the picturesque rainbow at Riverside Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. The geyser only erupts every 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours. According to Yellowstone National Park, Riverside Geyser is one of the most beautiful geysers in the area.