National Geographic reveals 2023 Pictures of the Year

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Tuesday, November 14, 2023
National Geographic reveals 2023 Pictures of the Year
National Geographic reveals 2023 Pictures of the Year

From a lion's mane jellyfish in the Arctic Ocean to explorers preparing to dive deep into the dark waters of the Frasassi Caves in Italy, National Geographic's 2023 Pictures of the Year is a dynamic collection of more than two dozen photos selected from more than 2.1 million images.

National Geographic says its new issue showcases "the wonder of our world in 29 pictures" and features work by 160 photographers working across all seven continents.

Marine biologist Alexander Semenov calls the lion
Marine biologist Alexander Semenov calls the lion's mane jellyfish the queen of the Arctic seas. He photographed this regal specimen in its final stage of life.
Photo by Alexander Semenov

"Those images not only convey information, but also make you feel something and really take you somewhere," said National Geographic's Editor-in-Chief Nathan Lump.

One incredible photo appears to show sunlight streaming through trees. But look closer, and you'll discover those "leaves" are actually monarch butterflies at rest just before sunset.

"They migrate up to 3,000 miles across North America to end up in this spot in Mexico and I think the picture is just incredibly beautiful," Lump said.

Streaked with sunlight and crowded together for warmth in winter, monarch butterflies blanket fir trees in El Rosario Sanctuary. He made this photograph shortly before sunset.
Streaked with sunlight and crowded together for warmth in winter, monarch butterflies blanket fir trees in El Rosario Sanctuary. He made this photograph shortly before sunset.
Photo by Jaime Rojo

The retrospective also documents the human condition: from women dancing in dolphin costumes in the Amazon, to a reverend standing in the snow in Norway, to Finnish and U.S. soldiers training for winter warfare in skis.

"We have the ability to tell these stories that you don't see other places," Lump said. "That really bring something to life that you otherwise wouldn't be exposed to."

National Geographic's Pictures of the Year is online now at natgeo.com/photos (A subscription may be required to view the content.)

Disney is the parent company of NatGeo and this station.