WPY 2016

Photograph Details

Finalist 2016

Invertebrates

Walter Bassi, Italy

Worm hypnosis

At the slightest disturbance, the European fan worm disappeared inside its leathery tube. Walter was trying to approach slowly, without his diving bubbles disturbing it. He finally got close enough to fill the frame. ‘It’s hypnotic,’ he says. ‘The eye is drawn to the centre, and then the image seems to start moving.’

Brightly coloured tentacles extend five centimetres out into the sea, filtering particles from the water. Native to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, European fan worms have now dispersed across the world’s oceans. Invasive colonies anchor themselves to the seabed, competing with native filter feeders for space and food.

Technical specification

Olympus E-PL1; 60mm lens; 1/100 sec at f14; ISO 100; Olympus housing; two Sea & Sea YS-110α strobes.


Noli, Italy: latitude 44.199986, longitude 8.421324 Noli, Italy: latitude 44.199986, longitude 8.421324

Noli, Italy

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.


Walter Bassi

Walter Bassi, Italy

For Walter, photography is a hobby and a passion. It allows him to show others how he sees the sea and underwater life. He has travelled to the Caribbean, Red Sea, Maldives, Mauritius and Kenya. In the future, Walter hopes to be able to travel to new places and show his daughter how beautiful nature can be.