Mothers tend to sacrifice themselves for their babies and that happen widely in animal or human society. Kat Zhou documented one of these marine mothers as she was in the process of such a fatal sacrifice – female octopuses refuse to eat, causing them to die of starvation before their young emerge from their eggs. And this photo won the Ocean Art 2022, the 11th annual contest hosted by Underwater Photography Guide.

Zhou’s image was chosen from thousands of entries submitted from 96 countries, and the intimate photo joins a collection that encompasses a vast array of aquatic life and antics.

The contest has been divided into several categories, as following: wide angle, macro, marine life behavior, portrait, coldwater, nudibranch, blackwater, underwater conservation, underwater art, black & white, compact wide angle, compact macro, compact behavoir and mobile phone. Find some of our favorite images below, and see all of the winning photos on the contest’s site.

[“Octopus Mother,” by Kat Zhou, Best of Show, Macro]

[“Peace” by Enrico Somogyi, 1st Compact Wide Angle]

[“Zeepaddestoel” by Luc Rooman, Honorable Mention Marine Life Behavior]

[“Parasite waiting for the next victim” by Lorenzo Terraneo, Honorable Mention Portrait]

[“Rose Among the Thorns” by Ipah Uid Lynn, 4th Compact Macro]

[“The Climb” by Veronika Nagy, 2nd Nudibranchs]

[“Shark Trio” by Renee Capozzola, 1st Wide angle]

[“Mirror reflection” by Kuo-Wei Kao, 1st Portrait]

[“Jaws” by Yannick Gouguenheim, 2nd Cold Water]

[“Ribbed” by Aleksei Permiakov, 1st Nudibranch]

[“A Male Weedy Seadragon Carries Pink Eggs On Its Tail” by PT Hirschfield, 1st Compact Behavior]

[“Cassiopea in the Blue” by Buzzichelli Alessandro, 2nd Mobile phone]

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