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Photograph by @paulnicklen // A tech diver descends through a poisonous gas layer of Hydrogen Sulfide in a cenote in Mexico. As we descended deep into this cenote system we were met by this thick gas layer at 110 feet deep. Once through this cloud it was another 150 feet to the cenote floor. This tree provided a reference point as it is easy to become disoriented in a gas layer like this. We went through it quickly to minimize our skin exposure. I do enjoy some aspects of technical…

Mystic sulfate cloud in a deep cenote.

Photograph by @thomaspeschak A blue whale surfaces close to a traditional Sri Lankan vessel. The worlds largest whale migrates past Sri Lanka's south and east coast every year. #srilanka #bluewhale @thephotosociety @natgeocreative by natgeo

Divers ascend through shafts of light during their decompression stops after a long dive in a cave system in Mexico.

photo by @randyolson | words by @neilshea13 In those days we ate many more animals including hippos and crocodiles and most of all perch biggest and best of the lake fish. We hunted by mood and season and men often went below water with their spears walking the mud-bottom stirring up creatures for the cook-fires. Hunters learned to hold their breath and open their eyes to join the water-world and forget for a while the world of air. Sinking and staying under took skill. Stalking was real…

Swimming through a gorgeous curtain of light always lets you know that there is open sky and breathing air above.

Follow our weekend countdown to the big reveal of the 2015 Traveler Photo Contest winners announcement LIVE! on @CBSThisMorning on Mon. Aug. 3. Visit to check out this year's amazing entries. Photograph taken in Bran Brașov Romania by Eduard Gutescu by natgeotravel

Mergulho Livre,Unpublished Photograph,Protected Area,Marine Protected,Free Diver,Iamwater Foundation,Reserves Southafrica,Shoal Marine,Saveourseasfoundation Thephotosociety

Photo by @nickcobbing from an expedition on Svalbard this summer. This male bearded seal was relaxing on a piece of glacial ice in a fjord. As with all the ice dependent Arctic seals bearded seals are facing new challenges. Sea ice has been declining in the fjords around the Arctic archipelago where I photographed this one. The bearded seals future is also linked to the polar bears of Svalbard. Bearded seals are the most important food source for polar bears that have remained in shore…