WPY 2016

Photograph Details

Finalist 2016

Under Water

Geo Cloete, South Africa

Tentacle tornado

Geo had encountered large numbers of jellyfish before, but this time the numbers were astonishing. ‘I was captivated by the rhythmic contractions of their bells as they danced up a storm,’ says Geo. For once, the visibility in these cold waters was reasonable, and he captured this spectacular column against the sunlight.

Thousands of Cape box jellyfish form several columns that are linked deeper down by a thick swarm. Box jellyfish are known to gather in large numbers to mate, performing elaborate courtships. However, the staggering numbers of individuals tightly packed here is unusual, revealing there’s still a lot we don’t know about life in the oceans.

Technical specification

Nikon D300; Tokina 10-17mm f3.5-4.5 lens at 10mm; 1/160 sec at f14; ISO 200; Seatool housing; two Sea & Sea YS-250PRO strobes.


Near Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa: latitude -34.05002, longitude 18.308956 Near Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa: latitude -34.05002, longitude 18.308956

Near Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

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.


Geo Cloete

Geo Cloete, South Africa

Most of Geo's work is created along Cape Town's coastline - but his love of exploring and discovering the unknown also leads him to work in far-off places. His work has allowed him to document previously unknown animal behaviours. He strongly believes that sharing the beauty and wonders of the ocean will cultivate the awareness and love that the ocean and its creatures deserve.

  • Jelly fireworks