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15 Stunning Photos of Planet Earth

 Nature is incredibly beautiful. And when we have the opportunity to see such incredible photos like the ones you're about to see below, it is evident that the world we live in is a truly stunning place. Take a look at 15 incredibly beautiful photos captured for the world-renowned National Geographic. 
 
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1. Shake it Off
beautiful earth

Captured in Florida, a burrowing owl shakes off the rain. A unique feature found in owls is their flexible necks which allows them to compensate for fixed vision. 

Photo by: William Kleinfelder, National Geographic Your Shot 

2. Golden Falls
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Captured in Japan, a beam of morning light shines over a quiet waterfall in Gifu Prefecture. 

Photo by: Sawako Minami, National Geographic Your Shot

3. Night Swim
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This juvenile Wonderpus octopus was captured while swimming through the dark waters off Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Photographer Simon Lorenz explains "At this early stage of their development, most species of octopus are transparent and pelagic, drifting until they are large enough to settle on the reef."

Photo by: Simon Lorenz, National Geographic Your Shot 

4. Return of the Wolf
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Captured in Grand Teton National Park, a lone member of the Phantom Springs wolf pack stands tall. The wolves had been absent for about 70 years before returning to the park in 1998 when they moved from Yellowstone. 

Photo by: Charlie Hamilton James for National Geographic

5. Jagged Peaks
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The peaks of the northern Rockies located in Glacier National Park glow in the morning light. They are cloaked in smoke from wildfires as far away as Washington State. 

Photo by: Keith Ladzinski for National Geographic  

6. A Swirl of Silversides
beautiful earth

Silversides swim through the mangroves of Cuba's Gardens of the Queen marine reserve. The dense forest offers a welcoming shelter for the finger-sized fish which form large schools to try to confuse predators. 

Photo by: David Doubilet for National Geographic

7. Dolphin Superpod
beautiful earth

Captured just off the coast of Costa Rica, photographer Shelton DuPreez was surrounded by a superpod of dolphins. "We were equipped with an electric underwater propellor system, that allowed us to mimic their effortless playful behavior and they LOVED IT!" he recalls. "In crystal clear waters we were surrounded by no less than a couple hundred at any given time."

Photo by: Shelton Du Preez, National Geographic Your Shot

8. Blending In
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Taken in Grand Teton National Park, a weasel blends into the snow. In spring it will molt and turn light brown.

Photo by: Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic

9. Beneath the Surface
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An American alligator waits for prey at the bottom of a cypress swamp in northern Everglades. Due to rising sea levels, salt water is being forced into the Everglades. Consequently, alligators may be edged out by crocodiles, which can excrete excess salt through their tongues. 

Photo by: Keith Ladzinski, National Geographic

10. On the Prowl
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This stunning ocelot was captured while on a nighttime prowl by a camera trap. Ocelots weigh up to 33 pounds. Their diet consists of rodents, lizards, sloths, and chickens. 

Photo by: Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic

11. White Wolves
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These arctic wolves were captured while strolling by on the Arctic Bay in Nunavut Canada. Unfortunately, it is difficult for scientists to spend time studying the animals, as temperatures in their climate can reach lows of −63°F.

Photo by: Ejaz Khan, National Geographic Your Shot

12. Orphaned Apes
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A group of juvenile orangutans was transported in a wheelbarrow by a keeper at the International Animal Rescue center in Borneo, Indonesia. They were taken to a patch of forest where they will learn skills for the wild. 

Photo by: Tim Laman National Geographic

13. Top of the Food Chain
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Captured in the brilliant blue Caribbean Sea, a trio of silky sharks swim by. Healthy coral reefs thriving off of Cuba's southern coast support a food chain that links plankton to predators. 

Photo by: David Doubilet, National Geographic 

14. Tower of Smoke
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Pictured here is Guatemala's Volcano of Fire. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Just two months after this photo was taken in June 2018, the volcano erupted killing and injuring hundreds of people. 

Photo by: Daiva Baleviciute, National Geographic Your Shot

15. First Swim
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The hawksbill sea turtle is critically endangered. It is just three inches long. Pictured here, the turtle paddles away from Cuba's shore under the protective cover of dusk. 

Photo by: David Doubilet, National Geographic

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