Finalists of the 2017 Smithsonian photo contest revealed

From a cute seal grinning as he rolls on the snow to a rhino roaming in flowers, these are the finalists in the 15th annual Photo Contest.

Over 40,000 images have been whittled down to 60 finalists across six different categories.

The stunning images were submitted from photographers in 240 countries and territories for the Smithsonian competition.

Five of the categories are the natural world, people, travel, altered images and mobile, which includes pictures taken on a phone or tablet.

The sixth category is the American experience, which includes snaps of events, objects or activities connecting the American people to their history or cultural heritage.

Smithsonian’s judges will reward a prize in each category and also hand out a grand prize for the best overall photo. Here MailOnline Travel presents our pick of 15 of the 60 finalists.