Mobula rays are perhaps best known for their bold attempts at flight*, but these animals can be every bit as stunning below the waves as above them, as this remarkable photograph reveals. They almost look like an alien invasion.


"The rays were moving quite fast," writes photographer Eduardo Lopez Negrete, who photographed the mob of mobula rays as they receded into the waters of Baja, Mexico. "It was hard enough keeping up with them from the surface, let alone diving down to take a closer look."

Negrete submitted the photograph to the 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. The entry window for this year's competition closed June 30th, so you'll have to wait for 2015's competition to submit photos of your own – but winners will be announced by July 31st.

*For the uninitiated, here's what I mean by "flight." Members of the Mobula genus are often observed breaching the oceanic plane and giving their broad fins a few good flaps before slapping back through the water's surface. It is simultaneously impressive and completely unintimidating:


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