National Geographic just picked 10 of the year

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Diving with a humpback whale and her newborn calf while they cruise around Roca Partida in Revillagigedo [Islands], Mexico. This is an outstanding and unique place full of pelagic life, so we need to accelerate the incorporation of the islands into UNESCO as [a] natural heritage site in order to increase the protection of the islands against the prevailing illegal fishing corporations and big-game fishing. Photo and caption: Anuar Patjane

National Geographic just picked 10 of the year

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[This] gravel-crush working place remains full of dust and sand. Three gravel workmen are looking through the window glass at their working place. Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo and caption: Faisal Azim

National Geographic just picked 10 of the year

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Camel Ardah, as it [is] called in Oman, is one of the traditional styles of camel racing between two camels controlled by expert men. The faster camel is the loser so they must be running [at] the same speed level in the same track. The main purpose of Ardah is to show the beauty and strength of Arabian camels and the riders' skills. Ardah [is] considered one of the most risky scenarios, since the camels reactions are unpredictable [and] they may get wild and jump [toward the] audience. Photo and caption: Ahmed Al Toqi

National Geographic just picked 10 of the year

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Two boys trying to catch a duck at the stream of the waterfall. Nong Khai Province, Thailand. Photo and caption: Sarah Wouters

National Geographic just picked 10 of the year

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The night before this photo, we tried all day to get a good photo of the endangered white rhino. Skulking through the grass carefully, trying to stay 30 feet away to be safe, didn't provide me the photo I was hoping for. In the morning, however, I woke up to all three rhinos grazing in front of me. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Uganda. Photo and caption: Stefane Berube

National Geographic just picked 10 of the year

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Kushti is the traditional form of Indian wrestling. Wearing only a well-adjusted loincloth (langot), wrestlers (pehlwans) enter a pit made of clay, often mixed with salt, lemon, and ghee (clarified butter). At the end of a workout, wrestlers rest against the walls of the arena, covering their heads and bodies with earth to soak up any perspiration and avoid catching cold. This relaxation ceremony is completed with massages to soothe tired muscles and demonstrate mutual respect. Photo and caption: Alain Schroeder

National Geographic just picked 10 of the year

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A sauna 2,800 meters high in the heart of Dolomites. Monte Lagazuoi, Cortina, eastern Italian Alps. Photo and caption: Stefano Zardini

National Geographic just picked 10 of the year

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Traditional haymaking in Poland. Many people continue to use the scythe and pitchfork to sort the hay. Photo and caption: Bartlomiej Jurecki

National Geographic just picked 10 of the year

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White frost over Pestera village in Romania. Photo and caption: Eduard Gutescu

National Geographic just picked 10 of the year

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A night at Deadvlei, in Namibia. '[That night], the moon was bright enough to illuminate the sand dunes in the distance, but the skies were still dark enough to clearly see the milky way and Magellanic Clouds. Deadvlei means "dead marsh". The camel thorn trees are believed to be about 900 years old, but have not decomposed because the environment is so dry'. Photo and caption: Beth McCarley

National Geographic just picked 10 of the year's most stunning photos

Speed News Desk

18,000 entries. 10 winners. National Geographic just announced the winners of its 27th annual Traveler Photo Contest and as usual, it was a problem of plenty.

National Geographic is home to some of the world's most iconic photographs: of people, places, landscape, flora, fauna. The magazine's own photographers do a spectacular job of documenting the world's diversity but it is the contributors who truly make the magazine's scale enviable; they're an army of amateur and professional photographers who document what's going on around the world - underwater and on mountaintops, human and still life, spontaneous and planned.

Photographers entered pictures in four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. Three won, and seven were recognised on merit. The annual contest asks photographers to send their most shocking, moving and exquisite photos from all over the world. Both amateurs and professionals are allowed to participate.

Since the contest began, the types of photos and methods of photography used has evolved a great deal. Photos were taken with drones, cell phones and more traditional methods such as DSLRs.

The 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest was the competition's 27th year. The winning photo for this year was taken off the coast of Mexico and shows a humpback whale diving with her newborn calves around Roca Partida Island.

Runners-up was a picture of three workmen looking through the window at their workplace in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

The winner gets an eight-day National Geographic Photo Expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal for two. Second prize is a six-day National Geographic Photo Expedition: Winter Wildlife in Yellowstone for two. The third? A six-day cruise from Schooner American Eagle and Heritage for two.

Text by Sahil Bhalla

Speed News Desk