Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Let's check out this year's Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards contenders

Photo: Feature China (Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Even at their most stoic, at any given moment there’s roughly a 60% percent chance that animals are mere seconds away from doing something absolutely ridiculous looking. It is part of why we love them; it is definitely why we mock them. And it’s that time of year again, when we all get together to do some truly seriously mocking, courtesy of the following images.

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are held every year to hand out a prize for the silliest and most entertaining moments captured by photographers as they do their level best to document, say, the mating patterns of the Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemur, only for one of those little bastards to do the lemur equivalent of slipping on a banana peel and walking headfirst into a glass door. Does the noble photographer laugh? No, they point and shoot, so the rest of us can laugh. And that’s why these awards exist.

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For instance, here’s a shot titled, “He’s Right Behind Me, Isn’t He?” We will be thinking about this little guy and laughing for the next several minutes.

Screenshot: Anthony N Petrovich (Zero Channel)

Or consider this slice-of-life moment, entitled “Follow At Your Own Risk.” It is funny, because it is a rhinocerous peeing on a bird. You can laugh now, because you get it, because we explained it to you.

Screenshot: Tilakraj Nagaraj (Zero Channel)
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Perhaps your preferred style is less of the potty-humor variety? In which case, take a good look at this one. It’s called, “Hi!” and it is just an otter waving to us. No one doesn’t enjoy an otter doing a little human-seeming activity. They are delightful. Breathe in the whimsy.

Screenshot: Donna Bourdon (Zero Channel)
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There are many more. And it’s for a good cause: The contest is organized via a partnership with the Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity, with the competition being used to promote conservation habits. You could learn all this if you wanted to see the rest of the finalists’ pictures on their site, rather than looking at these images we have pulled from a YouTube video, because Onion, Inc. is currently in between copyright lawyers, and we don’t want to get sued. But never you mind: Here’s a squirrel making a wacky face!

Screenshot: Corey Seeman (Zero Channel)
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There are nearly 40 other contenders, so enjoy what will almost certainly be an assemblage of images that contains at least one future “Hang in there, baby!”-style classroom poster photo.

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About the author

Alex McLevy

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.