Sure, it's unlikely that the Japanese macaque you see above actually threw up a Wu-Tang sign. Probably by some providential mix of the photographer's skill, patience and plain old dumb luck, this deadpan monkey stumbled into a funny looking moment — not a lifelong appreciation for RZA & Co.
Still, though: Isn't it pretty funny to think so?
The finalists for the 2019 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, unveiled Wednesday, teem with happy accidents such as this. The 40 photographs that got the nod feature a variety of animals caught in the act — though of just what, exactly, is not always clear.
There's a squirrel burying its nose in a dandelion apparently to wish on its seeds. A couple of chill otters waving. An embarrassed bear, a pompous chimp, a flatulent penguin — and one suggestive scene that might not be quite right for a family news outlet.
You can check them all out for yourself right here.
A panel of judges will decide the winner on Nov. 13. Whoever takes home the prize will get a trophy and a chance to join a weeklong safari in Kenya. But folks at home can pick their favorite as well by voting for the people's choice award.
"Every year we do this competition, it gets more and more exciting seeing how people visualize the funny sides of wildlife in the wild," said Paul Joynson-Hicks, who founded the competition about four years ago and manages it with Tom Sullam.
They say the contest is a lighthearted way of raising awareness about the environment. The contest has partnered with Born Free, a wildlife activism group, and on the prize's website is a list of suggestions for "how to be a conservationist."
"Our planet is in distress, we all know that, now we just need to know what to do," Joynson-Hicks added in his statement released Wednesday. "Hopefully, we can provide a few small tips to get people started."
In the meantime, here are a few more glimpses of the tiny wonders of serendipity.