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There is no doubt that 2020 has been a tough year for many, as millions of people suffer loss and loneliness due to a worldwide pandemic.
We've not been able to see, speak or touch friends and family and the smallest of gestures have been taken for granted.
A photo of two widowed penguins comforting each other in Australia perfectly depicts the reminder of how much we depend on physical intimacy and comfort.
The award-winning picture was taken by Tobias Baumgaertner in Melbourne and bagged the Oceanographic magazine's Ocean Photograph Awards.
The snap also won the Community Choice award after it was liked nearly 55,000 on Instagram.
He wrote: "During times like this the truly lucky ones are those that can be with the person/people they love most. I captured this moment about a year ago."
The German photographer spent three full nights watching the penguin colony to gain the shot of the two fairy penguins embracing.
He continued on Instagram: "These two Fairy penguins poised upon a rock overlooking the Melbourne skyline were standing there for hours, flipper in flipper, watching the sparkling lights of the skyline and ocean."
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The photo was taken at St Kilda Pier, which has a colony of around 1,4000 fairy penguins – also called little penguins – known for their lack of height.
They are the smallest penguin species and on average, stand at just 33cm.
"A volunteer approached me and told me that the white one was an elderly lady who had lost her partner and apparently so did the younger male to the left," he added.
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"Since then they meet regularly comforting each other and standing for hours watching the dancing lights of the nearby city.
“Between not being able or allowed to use any lights and the tiny penguins continuously moving, rubbing their flippers on each other’s backs and cleaning one another, it was really hard to get a shot but i got lucky during one beautiful moment. I hope you enjoy this moment as much as I did."
Despite the birds travelling up to 10,000 miles a year, they are incredibly loyal and remain faithful to their partners.
Even in colonies as large as 100,000, they're able to find their beaus by the distinctive sounds of each other's calls.
Nadia Aly was the overall winner of the Ocean Photography Awards' competition.
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