<p>A California sea lion hunts for fish on a kelp paddy at Cortes Bank, a seamount off the coast of San Diego. It's a trove of marine life that deserves protection, conservationists say. (<i><a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/50-beautiful-photos-of-earth">See 50 dramatic photos from Earth</a>)</i></p>

A California sea lion hunts for fish on a kelp paddy at Cortes Bank, a seamount off the coast of San Diego. It's a trove of marine life that deserves protection, conservationists say. (See 50 dramatic photos from Earth)

Photograph by Brian Skerry, Nat Geo Image Collection

On World Environment Day, soak in these amazing Earth photos

It's a day to see the environment through what may be a slightly different lens: 50 incredible images of our planet.

Created in 1974 by the UN, World Environment Day happens every June 5. Hosted by a different country each year—this year it’s China—the day seeks to raise public awareness of environmental issues.

“The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment,” says the UN’s website.

In celebration of World Environment Day, we’ve collected 50 of our most stunning photos of the natural world.

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