French shutterbug Gabriel Barathieu walked away with the top, overall prize in the 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year contest this past week with his photo of a “Dancing Octopus.”

Here’s what the judges had to say of his pic:

Alex Mustard:

Both balletic and malevolent, this image shows that the octopus means business as it hunts in a shallow lagoon. The way it moves is so different from any predator on land, this truly could be an alien from another world. A truly memorable creature, beautifully photographed.

Peter Rowlands:

Vibrant contrasting colours, detailed delicate textures and a perfect pose. Add the right choice of lens for the situation and they all combine to produce a Champion.

Martin Edge:

I cannot praise this photograph enough. As soon as I first set eyes on it as we worked our way through the Wide Angle Cat, I knew it was destined for a huge success. One amazing Image!

Nick Blake from the UK won the prize for “British Underwater Photographer of the Year,” and Argentina’s Horacio Martinez won the “Up and Coming Underwater Photographer” prize.

To view the full list of the winners as well as their amazing photos, check out the video below or go to the UPY website at

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