50 of the World’s Most Gorgeous Photos of Animals

From beloved pets to wild creatures, a series of stunning photos of the amazing animals we share our world with

Jack Shepherd
Published in
13 min readFeb 9, 2021


Photo: JJNMatt; all photos via Agora

Earlier this year, the photography app Agora challenged photographers to submit photos of living creatures from around the world for a contest focused on celebrating the diverse and precious life on our planet. More than 13,000 photos were submitted to the contest before the winner — a dazzling photo of an iguana by Indonesian photographer JJN Matt—was crowned.

From an absolutely charming shot of an arctic fox cub trying (and adorably failing) to look tough to a magical image of a highland cow storming through a misty heather field in the Netherlands to a heartbreaking photo of a devoted dog lying on his master’s gravestone in Bangladesh, each of the finalists has something new to tell us about the beautiful, enchanting, and distinctive creatures who populate the planet. These are 50 of the most captivating photographs from the contest.

“Arctic Fox” (Iceland)

Photo: Eric Panades

I went looking for this little one for days, when suddenly through the glass of the car I saw him perched on a slope. I ran and lay a meter from him while I was eating— that’s how I managed to catch this magnificent moment.

“Anemone Fish” (Sipadan Island, Malaysia)

Photo: Alex de Martin

Sipadan Island is a natural marine park where life thrives. When I was looking at an anemone, this family of clownfish seemed to pose for the camera.

“An Eagle Hunting” (Kruger National Park, South Africa)

Photo: Joe Shellyy

“All the Shades of Blue” (Gili Meno, Indonesia)



Jack Shepherd

I have a newsletter about crossword puzzles and a podcast about rom-coms. Formerly editorial director @BuzzFeed. Email: JackAShepherd at gmail