In January 2017, a peculiar hashtag -- #bestcarcass -- started trending on Twitter, inviting biologists to enter an informal online competition for the most compelling animal carcass photo.
The biologists didn’t hold back, and soon, nonscientists joined the hashtag trend as well.
Warning: The images in this gallery are graphic in nature.
This porcupine was entombed in ice in Canada.
Credit: Jaime Kennedy
Cold conditions killed these fish. When the temperature dropped even more, the iced-over waters of the Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge buckled, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Credit: Kelly Preheim/U.S. Fish and Wildlife
This is the head of a yellowjacket wasp.
Credit: Christy Pitto
This raccoon was frozen in a pipe.
Credit: Dan Linden
Carcass in Casper
This frozen creature was photographed in Casper, Wyoming.
Credit: Aaron Vee
Impala in a tree
This impala carcass was discovered in a tree in Botswana.
Credit: J.M. Boxer
This alligator carcass was spotted in the St. Johns River in Florida.
Credit: Ambika Kamath
This dead creature, apparently a squid, was spotted on Juno Beach in Florida.
Credit: Ed Pritchard
This seabird got caught in the trees.
Credit: Holly Jones
This fish head was discovered on a Florida beach, according to the photographer.
Credit: Brian Warner
A snow-covered carcass in Kentucky.
Credit: Brandy Markova
This beautiful carcass is that of a chrysiridia rhipheus moth, according to the photographer.
Credit: Anthony Caravaggi/Lizzie Finch
This deceased snowshoe hare was found at Mount St. Helens in Washington state.
Credit: Mt. St. Helens Ecology
This dead cricket was in a strange position.
Credit: Krzysztof Dudek
This fox was frozen in ice in Fridingen, Germany. Johannes Stehle, a local hunter and hotel owner, said the animal fell into the chilly Danube river and drowned. Stehle said he’s seen deer and wild boar meet the same fate.
Credit: Johannes Stehle/AFP/Getty Images
This was a blue glaucus, a type of sea slug, according to the photographer.
Credit: Thoraiya Dyer
A photographer captured this image of a dead snapping turtle near the Tombigbee River in Alabama.
Credit: Dana Ehret
Moorish idol fish
This dead Moorish idol fish was photographed in Hilo, Hawaii.
Credit: David M. Watson
This cormorant got tangled in fishing line and died, according to the photographer.
Credit: Anne Auselbrook
This is a seal that washed up on a beach in Nova Scotia, according to the photographer.
Credit: Rob Maclsaac
These are viperfish from the deep sea, according to the photographer.
Credit: Allison Lee/womanscientist.com
The photographer believes this squirrel was likely electrocuted.
Credit: Kristin Hugo/strangebio.com
This colorful deceased bird was found in Australia, the photographer said.
Credit: Toby Hudson
Gizzard shad carcass
The garter snake is living. The gizzard shad fish is not.
Credit: Jessica Mounts
This is a deceased brolga, a member of the crane family.
Credit: Maggie J. Watson
These are the remnants of a mountain goat carcass, according to the photographer.
Credit: Ethan Linck
This unidentified bird was discovered without a body.
Credit: Hassan Parseyan
This urchin was preserved from a deep-water oceanic basin.