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The Best Science Photos of 2017

Glass Frog

(Image credit: J.M. Guayasamin et al.)

The see-through skin of this Ecuadorian glass frog reveals the animal's beating heart. Discovered this year, Hyalinobatrachium yaku, lives in the northeastern lowlands of the country and spends its life in trees. All species in this genus have transparent bellies, but this is the first species in which the skin extends over the chest. [You Can See the Living Heart of This 'Glass Frog']

Volcanic Plume

A true-color image taken by an instrument aboard the Landsat-8 satellite shows a plume of sediment and a puff of steam coming from the Bogoslof Volcano in Alaska.

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory Image by Joshua Stevens)

An eerie green plume of ash and sediment flows over the Bering Sea in this June image of an erupting Alaskan volcano. Bogoslof Volcano in the Aleutian Islands had been erupting since December 2016, occasionally shooting ash high enough to reach the cruising altitude of commercial aircraft. [Pretty Volcanic Plume Seen in Space Image]

Baby Gorilla


(Image credit: Philadelphia Zoo)

That's one contented baby. This infant lowland gorilla was born at the Philadelphia Zoo in June with the help of veterinarians. The mother, Kira, got worn out during labor and showed signs of feeling unwell, but the medical team delivered the healthy male baby without complications. [Endangered Gorilla Gives Birth at Philadelphia Zoo]

Turquoise Black Sea

Phytoplankton swirl in the Black Sea

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

Phytoplankton turn the Black Sea turquoise in an image taken in June by NASA's Aqua satellite. The plankton blooms are particularly concentrated where the Danube and Dnieper Rivers flow into the sea, bringing with them dissolved nutrients. [Tiny Organisms Turn the Black Sea Turquoise in Amazing NASA Earth Photo]

Albino Dolphin

This albino Risso's dolphin was spotted near Moss Landing in California on June 7, 2017 by Blue Ocean Whale Watch.

(Image credit: Kate Cummings/Blue Ocean Whale Watch)

An unusual sighting greeting whale watchers on June 7, 2017 in the waters of California's Monterey Bay: An albino dolphin. Locals had spotted the dolphin a couple times before, but the last sighting was in 2015. The approximately 3-year-old Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) seems happy and healthy, according to the crew of Blue Ocean Whale Watch. [Rare Albino Dolphin Spotted Off California Coast]

Seriously scary fish

researcher with ratfish

(Image credit: Asher Flatt/NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub/CSIRO)

Yow! That's a mouthful. This lizard fish (Bathysaurus ferox) was caught off the coast of Australia on June 4. These fish live 3,280 feet to 8,200 feet (1,000 to 2,500 meters) deep, where they often bury themselves in sand or mud and wait for prey to venture by. [This Terrifying, Toothy 'Monster' Is the World's Deepest Living Predator]

Black Hole in Water

water in a bathtub

(Image credit: The University of Nottingham)

Scientist simulated the edges of a black hole in fluorescent green water in a study released in June. The researchers used their model to study how black holes might die, with waves around the edge of the event horizon gaining momentum as the black hole's spin slows. [Edges of Black Holes Re-Created in a Bathtub of Water]

Mini Saturns

Rings of droplets formed from the equator of a drop after application of an electric pulse.

(Image credit: Q. Brosseau and P.M. Vlahovska)

Another astronomical phenomenon gets recreated in tiny detail in this image of "Saturn" formed in a droplet of oil. Scientists pulsed electricity through the fluid to create the pattern. [Electrified Droplets Create Mini Saturn Planets]

Praying Mantis Eats Bird

(Image credit: Courtesy of Anderson)

A ruby-throated hummingbird becomes prey to an insect in this image taken in Illinois. Research released in July revealed that praying mantises eat birds on every continent except Antarctica. The researchers found 147 examples of mantises chowing down on birds, 70 percent of when were from the United States. [Bug vs. Bird: Praying Mantises Feast on Feathered Prey]

Siberian Crater

A crater on the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia, reported in the spring of 2017.

(Image credit: Itar-Tass/Zuma)

A gaping crater in the Yamal Penisula in Siberia may have been caused by methane gas escaping from melting permafrost. According to eyewitnesses who reported explosions in the area, the collapse may have been recent and sudden. [Oozing Methane Blasts Holes in Siberian Tundra]

Stephanie Pappas
Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science. She covers the world of human and animal behavior, as well as paleontology and other science topics. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has ducked under a glacier in Switzerland and poked hot lava with a stick in Hawaii. Stephanie hails from East Tennessee, the global center for salamander diversity. Follow Stephanie on Google+.