A manta ray swimming peacefully in the Indian Ocean, a peacock fanning its feathers in Rajasthan, and an elephant riding a unicycle – these are just some of the entries submitted this year for the world’s biggest annual photography contest.

In its 10th year, the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards opened for entries in June, and has already assembled an impressive collection from amateur and professional photographers around the globe. Its last edition had received 230,103 entries from 186 countries in the professional, open, youth and national award categories. Among the winners were images of eagle hunters of Western China and Afghan refugees.

This year, the award was opened by the World Photography Organisation, with its CEO Scott Gray reaffirming the commitment to challenge "photographers to push their creative boundaries".

A manta ray swims in the waters of the Indian Ocean, Indonesia. Credit: Daniel Hunter, United Kingdom.

The basic requirement for the contest is that all entries must have been taken in 2016, with the exception of the professional competition entries. Those may have been taken prior to the dates, provided they were first published in 2016. Each year a total prize fund of $30,000 is shared between the winning photographers.

The winners of the 2017 contest will be announced next spring.

Waste from a paper mill is agitated by aerators, producing steam and foam, which are pushed by the wind. Credit: Jassen Todorov, United States.
A peacock fanning its feathers in the forest area of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Credit: Satvik Bhatt, India.
The Dinagyang Festival is a religious and cultural annual event in Iloio City, Philippines, held on the fourth Sunday of January. Credit: Raniel Jose Castañeda, Philippines.
Inside the Warsaw University of Technology in Poland. Credit: Lorenzo Linthout, Italy.
Standing five-metres on a diving platform, the photographer took this shot of a swimming coach performing lengths at the end of a diving practice. Credit: Zuorong Li, China.
A composite print made up of 16 photographs of cubs peeping through their enclosures. Credit: Alex Cearns, Australia.