By Amanda

LifeBuzz Staff

10 Heart-Stopping Images From National Geographic’s Traveler Contest.

The 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest has officially begun, and the magazine is looking for the most “awe-inspiring diversity of the world’s people, places and cultures.” NatGeo travel is looking for photographers that go above and beyond what we normally see in travel imagery, and this year's contestants seem to be doing just that.

The contest is open until 2016, and these are some of the early entries. Ultimately, the grand prize winner will receive the title of Travel Photographer of the year and a seven-day Polar Bear Photo Safari. Looking at the photos below, the competition is going to be pretty tight.

Eid ul Fitr Prayer, occurring at Alamgir Mosque in Varanasi, India. The special prayer commemorates two Islamic festivals. The photo below is meant to depict a special moment of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood.

On the Somvati Amavasya, or no-moon day, devotees arrive at the God Shiva's Temple festival in Jejuri with a special offering: Large quantities of turmeric, which they spread all over the temple floors.

Thomas, a six-year-old helping his father cleaning his truck after a long day of work transporting horses from file to Cachi, Argentina.

A polar bear on Wahlenbergfjorden off of Svalbard.

La Fournaise volcano, erupting on Reunion Island.

Sakrebailu Elephant Camp, Shimoga, India, which works to rehabilitate elephants from circuses and conflict zones.

Thousands of King Penguins on South Georgia in the early hours of the day.

A snow storm at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah caused visibility to be at almost zero, but this single tree managed to stand out.

Impala silhouetted as the sun rises in the Masai Mara, Kenya.

Source: National Geographic