Dancing Octopus: the winning UPY 2017 photo by Gabriel Barathieu | Photo: Gabriel Barathieu/UPY

Gabriel Barathieu has been named Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) 2017. His photo was chosen among 4,500 shots taken by professionals from 67 countries.

The French lensman won the award for his "Dancing Octopus," a stunning, vivid, and eye-catching picture of an octopus swimming in the island of Mayotte, off the coast of southeast Africa.

"I was surprised and proud when I received the email from [judge] Peter announcing that I was the winner of UPY 2017. I just couldn't believe it, so I asked him to confirm it was true," revealed Barathieu.

Stranded whales: Kiwi volunteers gave their best to save dozens of animals | Photo: Reuters

More than 600 pilot whales have stranded at Farewell Spit, Golden Bay, on New Zealand's South Island.

It was one of the most deadly mass strandings in the history of the country. Two large pods washed ashore with a 48-hour gap between each event.

Marine scientists still don't know why the pilot whales came ashore, but they believe the cetaceans could have been swimming away from sharks, and pushed into shallow waters.

Sharks: the number of unprovoked attacks decreased in 2016 | Photo: Shutterstock

The number of worldwide unprovoked shark attacks dropped 17.3 percent in 2016.

The International Shark Attack File (ISAF) analyzed 150 incidents involving shark-human interaction and concluded that 81 of these events were, in fact, unprovoked attack on humans.

In 2015, the number shark attacks had hit 98. According to the ISAF, an unprovoked attack is an attack occurred in the shark's habitat with no human provocation of the predator.