25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

National Geographic photographers have this amazing gift of taking pictures that make you stop everything you’re doing and stare at them in awe. They capture the most thrilling settings, making it seem like time stopped just for that picture to be possible, like the exact moment a dolphin breaks the surface of the water, or when a mother lioness grabs her cub with her mouth, or if a whale befriends a group of tourists.

AZtag hand-picked some of the most stunning photos captured over the years and showcased them below for you to admire. And we bet they’ll make you want to take photography classes and start traveling the world.

1. 2 children playing — their difference in species isn’t important.

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

2. “I’m not touching you!”

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

3. A gray whale pushing a boat full of tourists

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

4. The tip of the iceberg — a playful whale meeting his new friends somewhere in the South Pacific

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

5. A fresh sprinkle of life

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

6. A mother lioness grabs her cub from its head to protect it from falling over a cliff.

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

7. “Come here, friend!”

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

8. Barracudas forming a vortex as defense against an intruder

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

9. An underwater view of winter in Lofoten, Norway

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

10. Looking into Earth’s beautiful blue eye

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

11. “There’s only room for one down here, buddy.”

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

12. “Beware of Crabzilla!”

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

13. A breathtaking lake in Mongolia known by locals as the “dark blue pearl” showing signs of climate change

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

14. A spectacular tail view of a commercial airplane

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

15. Something fishy is going on down here…

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

16. “Follow me, I know the way!”

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

17. A tiny island looks like it’s floating in the air.

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

18. A dolphin breaking the water’s surface

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

19. A baby chimp taking cover under a leaf, patiently waiting for the rain to stop

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

20. — “Up high!”

 

— “Too slow!”

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

21. A real-life Bambi moment

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

22. Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur…

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

23. Waiting for Harry Potter to finally read their letters

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

24. A photo you can hear and feel!

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

25. A tender moment between a woman and a chimp

25 Stirring Shots in “National Geographic” That Make Time Stop

Are you as fascinated as we are? Tell us which photo is your favorite and share it with your friends!

Preview photo credit David Edgar / National Geographic, Sonalini Khetrapal / National Geographic