The most amazing pictures from the past seven days – featuring biblical swarms, reaching out into space, and jumping rats.
For more photos from Nasa Astronaut Chris Hadfield follow @Cmdr_Hadfield on Twitter.
To see all 50 images in the Smithsonian’s annual photo competition visit its gallery, where you can also vote for your favourite.
And to see all of the entries in The Mammal Society photo competition, visit this Flickr gallery.
More stunning image galleries:
Deep sea beauty, giant drilling machines and hypnotic space telescopes
Stunning views of Earth and up close and personal with a human parasite
Russian meteor, extreme weather and a turtle with artificial fins
Cosmic storms, the first bionic man and how to clean a oil-covered bird
Birth of stars, life at sub-zero temperatures and micro-living in the city
Pollution from space, active volcanoes and a robot restaurant
Amazing Lego sculptures, freakish weather… and Big Bird
Gruesome tools, environmental disasters and intimate views from space.
Christmas treats and the end of the world
Bathing snow monkeys, a tweeting pope and elephant dung coffee.
Architectural giants and a new way of seeing the Moon
Red pandas, Saturn and Nature’s unstoppable forces
The world's largest bloom, the world's largest aquarium and the world's fastest sailing boat
Venice under water, a total eclipse and a pedestrian-avoiding car
Space shuttle, Baumgartner and Hurricane Sandy
The best of 2012 galleries:
A year in space
The year in technology
A year of discovery
People of the year
The year in weather
The year in wildlife
Weird and wonderful
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