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.
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.
This is the head of a yellowjacket wasp.
This raccoon was frozen in a pipe.
Carcass in Casper
This frozen creature was photographed in Casper, Wyoming.
Impala in a tree
This impala carcass was discovered in a tree in Botswana.
This alligator carcass was spotted in the St. Johns River in Florida.
This dead creature, apparently a squid, was spotted on Juno Beach in Florida.
This seabird got caught in the trees.
This fish head was discovered on a Florida beach, according to the photographer.
A snow-covered carcass in Kentucky.
This beautiful carcass is that of a chrysiridia rhipheus moth, according to the photographer.
This deceased snowshoe hare was found at Mount St. Helens in Washington state.
This dead cricket was in a strange position.
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.
This was a blue glaucus, a type of sea slug, according to the photographer.
A photographer captured this image of a dead snapping turtle near the Tombigbee River in Alabama.
Moorish idol fish
This dead Moorish idol fish was photographed in Hilo, Hawaii.
This cormorant got tangled in fishing line and died, according to the photographer.
This is a seal that washed up on a beach in Nova Scotia, according to the photographer.
These are viperfish from the deep sea, according to the photographer.
The photographer believes this squirrel was likely electrocuted.
This colorful deceased bird was found in Australia, the photographer said.
Gizzard shad carcass
The garter snake is living. The gizzard shad fish is not.
This is a deceased brolga, a member of the crane family.
These are the remnants of a mountain goat carcass, according to the photographer.
This unidentified bird was discovered without a body.
This urchin was preserved from a deep-water oceanic basin.