When the editors of National Geographic choose the winners of their 2013 photography contest -- three top entries that will be published in a future issue of the magazine -- they'll have some truly stunning contenders to consider. Selecting just ten to feature was itself no easy task.
Below, ten photos from this year's contest capture the beauty of the natural world, from waterfalls in Oregon to ancient salt caves in Turkey, with some birds and beasts thrown in for good measure. Captions written by the photographers describe the amount of skill -- and luck -- that went into capturing the perfect shot. Check out our picks, then head here to view thousands more.
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