Moldy tomatoes, mating beetles and fractured credit cards are just a few of the things revealed in amazing detail in the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. The science-focused photography contest applies a microscope to much of what goes on under our noses everyday and the results are nothing but spectacular.
Now its in 43rd year, Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition received more than 2,000 entries from 88 different countries in 2017. These were whittled down to three prize winners, along with 85 honorable mentions and images of distinction. A closeup of a skin cell expressing high amounts of the protein keratin, captured by Dr. Bram van den Broek of The Netherlands Cancer Institute, took top honors.
"This year's winners not only reflect remarkable research and trends in science, but they also allow the public to get a glimpse of a hidden world," said Eric Flem, Communications Manager of Nikon Instruments. "This year's winning photo is an example of important work being done in the world of science, and that work can be shared thanks to rapidly advancing imaging technology."
The mechanics of various cells feature heavily on the winners list, and so too do gobsmacking images of the animal kingdom. Among them are beautifully composed snaps of spider eyes, butterflies and water centipedes, while an extreme closeup of the joint between an ant's abdomen and thorax provides particularly compelling viewing. There is also a smattering of everyday items thrown into the mix, such as paper fibers, toothbrushes and broccoli.
Dr van den Broek was awarded a trip to the Nikon factory in Tokyo for his winning photograph, but truth be told, all of the images to make the winners list really are something to behold. Click through to the gallery to take a look for yourself.