The life aquatic: Amazing underwater photos from around the world

Story highlights

  • Underwater photographers are often SCUBA certified and experienced divers
  • With a little patience and the right equipment, underwater photos can be captured anywhere
  • Share your photos with CNN iReport and you could be featured on CNN

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." -- French explorer Jacques Cousteau

It's said that the ocean is like space: Vast and filled with life, most of which we have yet to discover. The aquatic frontier captivates those who dare to explore its depths, by offering a new realm filled with color and mystery.

In 1968, with the advent of color TV, French explorer Jacques Cousteau introduced viewers to the deep blue sea with his show, "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau," which used underwater cinematography to bring the beauty and wonder of the ocean to viewers around the globe.

Living 60 feet underwater for 31 days
Living 60 feet underwater for 31 days

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    Living 60 feet underwater for 31 days

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Living 60 feet underwater for 31 days 02:53
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Wow! Giant sea 'flower' discovered
Wow! Giant sea 'flower' discovered

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    Wow! Giant sea 'flower' discovered

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Wow! Giant sea 'flower' discovered 01:22
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Men catch joyride on whale shark
Men catch joyride on whale shark

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Fabien Cousteau spends 31 days under the sea

Today, thanks to relatively inexpensive, yet highly sophisticated equipment and access to diving lessons, photographers are able to explore the ocean through their own lens. CNN invited enthusiasts to share their best underwater photos and the stories behind their explorations under the sea.

Ready to dive into the world of underwater photography? Explore the gallery above to view some of the best user-submitted photos and to find out how they captured these amazing underwater images.

Do you have a passion for underwater photography? Share your photos with iReport and you could be featured on CNN.com.