The numbers are as mind blowing as the photos - 49,162 images were entered in the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
Just 99 images were selected for the 56th annual competition and they are on display at Te Manawa Art Gallery.
The images have come to Palmerston North from the Natural History Museum in London. Eighty-six nationalities are represented in the exhibition.
Speaking at the opening last Friday, Te Manawa chief executive Andy Lowe said the images allow us to witness unique and usually unseen moments.
They allow us to reflect on our place in nature and the changes we all face with climate change. Some are grim reflecting that humanity could be better custodians of life on earth, Lowe said.
One of the more striking images is by Songda Cai of China. It's titled Jelly Nanny and is of a trevally inside a jellyfish. The trevally is not trapped but seeking refuge from predators.
Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 grand title with an image of a Siberian tiger scent-marking a fir tree.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Manawatū Camera Club is running the Manawatū Wildlife Photography Competition for amateur photographers. President Mike Gannaway said photography doesn't require sound or special effects, just the power of the image.
Photography is an art form where the cost of entry is so low and people can walk up to an image and say "I could do that".
The competition has four categories - animals; plants and landscape; backyard wildlife; and human impact on the environment. Entries close June 25.
The winning images will be displayed on the Te Manawa website between July 17 and October 25; the best images will feature in a special edition of the 2022 Te Manawa calendar.
For more information and to enter the competition, click here.
What: Wildlife Photographer of the Year
When: Until July 18
Where: Te Manawa Art Gallery
Tickets: Entry by donation