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Boy Swimming with 'Pet Shark,' 'Stairway to Heaven,' & 'Electrifying Ankor Wat': Stunning Entries From Nat Geo's Photo Contest

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"Enal, a young sea nomad, rides on the tail of a tawny nurse shark..."

"Electrifying Ankor Wat" (Photo: Ryan Dayrit via National Geographic Traveler)

Since April, National Geographic has been accepting submissions for its Traveler Photo Contest. With the official deadline for photos ending on June 28, the publication has extended the period for an additional entry fee until July 11, bringing the count to more than 9,000 submissions thus far.

Although many of the photographs are stunning in their own way, one has been causing a stir on the Web since late May. The photograph taken by James Morgan shows an Indonesian boy riding on the tail of a tawny nurse shark -- something the Huffington Post pointed out is "definitely not something the average beachgoer should attempt."

On the entry section of the site, you can see that "Enal with Pet Shark," which is in the category of spontaneous moments, has 355 Facebook "likes."

Here is the description from the photo:

Enal, a young sea nomad, rides on the tail of a tawny nurse shark, in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Marine nomadism has almost completely disappeared in South East Asia as a result of severe marine degradation. I believe children such as Enal have stories that could prove pivotal in contemporary marine conservation.

Here are a few other photographs from the contest:

The above photos are only just a small percent of what have been submitted, see the other entries here.

Photographic experts will judge the contest, first picking 10 entries based on certain criteria. From those, they will choose a winner from each prize level.

Winners of the photo contest are up for a National Geographic Galápagos Photography Expedition; a Santa Fe Workshop; a National Geographic Traveler Seminar; and $200 gift certificates to B&H Photo.

Curious to see last year's grand prize winner? Check it out below:

(H/T: NPR)

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