The internet is crawling with funny animal photos, but these finalists in the 2018 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are some of Mother Nature's best.
With everything from crippling wildfires to mass shootings and refugee crises, 2018 has been a rough year. Mother Nature, however, had our backs and supplied us with some funny animal pictures that prove there is still something to laugh about in these hard times.
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Contest Winners
As a part of their annual contest, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards combed through thousands of submissions to choose this year's most hilarious animal photos guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
The wild animals that roam our planet are known for their majesty, their ferocity, and, apparently, their comedic timing. The finalists for this year's contest feature a squirrel doing the splits, a penguin giving directions to its partner, an owl looking into a camera lens like he's on The Office, two lizards hugging it out like bros, and so much more.
Founders of the contest and wildlife photographers Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks received over 2,000 entries for consideration in the 2018 contest — the fourth since the awards' founding in 2015. Sullum says that each year the competition has gotten tougher.
"The standard of imagery, in terms of quality of the photography, goes up and up every year," he told Bored Panda. "The humor remains as brilliant each year, with new animals that we haven't seen represented before being featured."
Funny Animal Pictures Are Helping Save The Planet
Though each one of these funny animal pictures could generate a dozen silly captions, according to National Geographic, the competition is about much more than making people laugh. It's also about saving the planet.
Sullam and Joynson-Hicks's motto is "conservation through competition," and they partner with the Born Free Foundation to emphasize to the public just how important it is to protect the planet's wildlife through funny animal pictures like these. Sullum says at the heart of the competition is the belief that one person can make a difference.
"In 20 years, some researchers estimate that elephants may well be gone from East Africa," he explained to Bored Panda. "Lions would be the next to follow. It's pretty grim reading, so ultimately we think the smallest snowflake could help turn into the biggest snowball. We just need to create lots of snowflakes!"
While there was only one photo crowned the winner, the surprised squirrel who was caught red-handed, all of these precious and funny animal pictures are number one in our hearts.
Whether you're an animal lover or not, you'll find these funny animal pictures hilarious, and the fact that these photos are helping to conserve wildlife across the globe should make your smile even bigger.
After this look at funny animal pictures, check out these animal facts that will teach you all about love and sex in the animal kingdom. After that, take a look at 31 of the most ridiculous and funny x-ray images that you'll ever see.