Digital Cameras

Nikon Small World winners zoom in on microscopic marvels

Image of Distinction: Cassida rubiginosa (thistle tortoise beetle), ventral view
Image of Distinction: Cassida rubiginosa (thistle tortoise beetle), ventral view
View 108 Images
1st Place winning image, The eye of a Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer beetle
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1st Place winning image, The eye of a Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer beetle
2nd Place, Fern sorus (structures producing and containing spores)
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2nd Place, Fern sorus (structures producing and containing spores)
3rd Place, A spittlebug nymph in its bubble house
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3rd Place, A spittlebug nymph in its bubble house
4th Place, A close up of a section of a peacock feather
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4th Place, A close up of a section of a peacock feather
5th Place, A spider embryo
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5th Place, A spider embryo
6th Place, The primate foveola (central region of the retina)
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6th Place, The primate foveola (central region of the retina)
7th Place, A human tear drop
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7th Place, A human tear drop
8th Place, Portrait of Sternochetus mangiferae (mango seed weevil)
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8th Place, Portrait of Sternochetus mangiferae (mango seed weevil)
9th Place, A security hologram
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9th Place, A security hologram
10th Place, Stalks with pollen grains
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10th Place, Stalks with pollen grains
11th Place, Human fibroblast undergoing cell division, showing actin (gray), myosin II (green) and DNA (magenta)
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11th Place, Human fibroblast undergoing cell division, showing actin (gray), myosin II (green) and DNA (magenta)
12th Place, Urania ripheus (butterfly) wing scales
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12th Place, Urania ripheus (butterfly) wing scales
13th Place, Balanus glandula (acorn barnacle)
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13th Place, Balanus glandula (acorn barnacle)
14th Place, African green monkey cell (COS-7) stained for actin and microtubules
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14th Place, African green monkey cell (COS-7) stained for actin and microtubules
15th Place, Varroa destructor (mite) on the back of Apis mellifera (honeybee)
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15th Place, Varroa destructor (mite) on the back of Apis mellifera (honeybee)
16th Place, Mouse oviduct vasculature
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16th Place, Mouse oviduct vasculature
17th Place, Breast tissue in lactation: Milk filled spheres (red) surrounded by tiny muscle cells that squeeze out milk (yellow) and immune cells that monitor for infection (blue)
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17th Place, Breast tissue in lactation: Milk filled spheres (red) surrounded by tiny muscle cells that squeeze out milk (yellow) and immune cells that monitor for infection (blue)
18th Place, Amino acid crystals (L-glutamine and beta-alanine)
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18th Place, Amino acid crystals (L-glutamine and beta-alanine)
19th Place, Vespa velutina (Asian hornet) with venom on its stinger
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19th Place, Vespa velutina (Asian hornet) with venom on its stinger
20th Place, Human retina
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20th Place, Human retina
Honorable Mention: A water flea (Daphnia) with visible eggs inside
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Honorable Mention: A water flea (Daphnia) with visible eggs inside
Honorable Mention: The external mouthparts of a sea snail larva
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Honorable Mention: The external mouthparts of a sea snail larva
Honorable Mention: A piece of emmonsite, a kind of iron tellurite mineral
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Honorable Mention: A piece of emmonsite, a kind of iron tellurite mineral
Honorable Mention: A spot of penicillium vulpinum – or more commonly, mold
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Honorable Mention: A spot of penicillium vulpinum – or more commonly, mold
Honorable Mention: The shell of a lychee
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Honorable Mention: The shell of a lychee
Honorable Mention: The wing of an emperor butterfly
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Honorable Mention: The wing of an emperor butterfly
Honorable Mention: A cross section of a Bosnian pine tree
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Honorable Mention: A cross section of a Bosnian pine tree
Honorable Mention: Mosses
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Honorable Mention: Mosses
Honorable Mention: Bubbles on a rock surface, with a single cloth fiber visible in red
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Honorable Mention: Bubbles on a rock surface, with a single cloth fiber visible in red
Honorable Mention: Chameleon embryo
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Honorable Mention: Chameleon embryo
Image of Distinction: Mite on an antenna of a May bug 
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Image of Distinction: Mite on an antenna of a May bug 
Image of Distinction: Phantom midge larva 
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Image of Distinction: Phantom midge larva 
Image of Distinction: Freshwater snail eggs
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Image of Distinction: Freshwater snail eggs
Image of Distinction: Goethite (iron oxide) needles on quartz from Marmoraton Mine (Ontario, Canada) 
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Image of Distinction: Goethite (iron oxide) needles on quartz from Marmoraton Mine (Ontario, Canada) 
Image of Distinction: Dye-injected Purkinje cells in mouse cerebellum 
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Image of Distinction: Dye-injected Purkinje cells in mouse cerebellum 
Image of Distinction: Ascaris lumbricoides (parasitic roundworm) 
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Image of Distinction: Ascaris lumbricoides (parasitic roundworm) 
Image of Distinction: Fruit fly ovary from a young adult 
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Image of Distinction: Fruit fly ovary from a young adult 
Image of Distinction: Cassida rubiginosa (thistle tortoise beetle), ventral view
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Image of Distinction: Cassida rubiginosa (thistle tortoise beetle), ventral view
Image of Distinction: Fang of a tarantula chelicera (exuvia of a Brachypelma) 
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Image of Distinction: Fang of a tarantula chelicera (exuvia of a Brachypelma) 
Image of Distinction: Forficula auricularia (common earwig)
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Image of Distinction: Forficula auricularia (common earwig)
Image of Distinction: The mineral Almandine from Hubei, China 
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Image of Distinction: The mineral Almandine from Hubei, China 
Image of Distinction: Mouse embryo (day 12.5) stained for motor (red) and sensory (magenta) nerves and nerve endings (cyan) 
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Image of Distinction: Mouse embryo (day 12.5) stained for motor (red) and sensory (magenta) nerves and nerve endings (cyan) 
Image of Distinction: Dandelion pollen
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Image of Distinction: Dandelion pollen
Image of Distinction: Surface of aluminum milling grooves 
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Image of Distinction: Surface of aluminum milling grooves 
Image of Distinction: Bee hairs
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Image of Distinction: Bee hairs
Image of Distinction: Freshly laid midget octopus eggs
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Image of Distinction: Freshly laid midget octopus eggs
Image of Distinction: Male wasp from Fiji
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Image of Distinction: Male wasp from Fiji
Image of Distinction: Batrachospermum sp. (red algae) and Cladophora glomerata (green algae) 
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Image of Distinction: Batrachospermum sp. (red algae) and Cladophora glomerata (green algae) 
Image of Distinction: Simple compound flower in bloom
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Image of Distinction: Simple compound flower in bloom
Image of Distinction: Mouse embryonic fibroblast cell stained for actin (magenta), golgi (orange) and nucleus (blue) 
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Image of Distinction: Mouse embryonic fibroblast cell stained for actin (magenta), golgi (orange) and nucleus (blue) 
Image of Distinction: Extremofile algae and mushroom from “Rio Tinto” river 
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Image of Distinction: Extremofile algae and mushroom from “Rio Tinto” river 
Image of Distinction: Hibiscus flower
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Image of Distinction: Hibiscus flower
Image of Distinction: Human skin cells reprogrammed and differentiated into neurons showing nuclei (blue) and inter-neuronal network (green and red) 
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Image of Distinction: Human skin cells reprogrammed and differentiated into neurons showing nuclei (blue) and inter-neuronal network (green and red) 
Image of Distinction: Inner ear neurons of a mouse
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Image of Distinction: Inner ear neurons of a mouse
Image of Distinction: Notodromas monacha (Ostracod), live specimen
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Image of Distinction: Notodromas monacha (Ostracod), live specimen
Image of Distinction: The heart of a 3-week-old zebrafish larva carrying a mutation that causes overgrowth of the atrial compartment
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Image of Distinction: The heart of a 3-week-old zebrafish larva carrying a mutation that causes overgrowth of the atrial compartment
Image of Distinction: Scales of a moth on the edge of the wing
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Image of Distinction: Scales of a moth on the edge of the wing
Image of Distinction: Human neurons in culture from Parkinson patients
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Image of Distinction: Human neurons in culture from Parkinson patients
Image of Distinction: Mosquito Chironomidae 
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Image of Distinction: Mosquito Chironomidae 
Image of Distinction: Marine dinoflagellates from a lab-grown algae culture
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Image of Distinction: Marine dinoflagellates from a lab-grown algae culture
Image of Distinction: Fibers of dandelion fluff
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Image of Distinction: Fibers of dandelion fluff
Image of Distinction: The interior of a mouse eye, showing the lens in the middle and the fibers around the edge that hold it in place
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Image of Distinction: The interior of a mouse eye, showing the lens in the middle and the fibers around the edge that hold it in place
Image of Distinction: The root of a buttercup
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Image of Distinction: The root of a buttercup
Image of Distinction: Vascular bundle of a Bosnian pine tree leaf
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Image of Distinction: Vascular bundle of a Bosnian pine tree leaf
Image of Distinction: A ball of plastic microfibers, found drifting among plankton in the ocean
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Image of Distinction: A ball of plastic microfibers, found drifting among plankton in the ocean
Image of Distinction: The stamen of a tea-leaved willow 
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Image of Distinction: The stamen of a tea-leaved willow 
Image of Distinction: Golden algae
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Image of Distinction: Golden algae
Image of Distinction: A section of a cat tongue, complete with blood capillaries
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Image of Distinction: A section of a cat tongue, complete with blood capillaries
Image of Distinction: A Leavenworth's eryngo seed
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Image of Distinction: A Leavenworth's eryngo seed
Image of Distinction: Fruit fly larval brains
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Image of Distinction: Fruit fly larval brains
Image of Distinction: Cerebellum cells
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Image of Distinction: Cerebellum cells
Image of Distinction: Mouse testicle tissue
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Image of Distinction: Mouse testicle tissue
Image of Distinction: A parasitic wasp larva eating a spider
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Image of Distinction: A parasitic wasp larva eating a spider
Image of Distinction: Floscularia rotifer feeding
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Image of Distinction: Floscularia rotifer feeding
Image of Distinction: Male gypsy moth antenna 
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Image of Distinction: Male gypsy moth antenna 
Image of Distinction: Fern sori (structures producing and containing spores) 
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Image of Distinction: Fern sori (structures producing and containing spores) 
Image of Distinction: Grass seed 
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Image of Distinction: Grass seed 
Image of Distinction: Rice flower stigma 
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Image of Distinction: Rice flower stigma 
Image of Distinction: Rotting willow leaf 
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Image of Distinction: Rotting willow leaf 
Image of Distinction: Skeletal muscle cells 
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Image of Distinction: Skeletal muscle cells 
Image of Distinction: Quartz/Amethyst specimen with a mountain like inclusion scene 
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Image of Distinction: Quartz/Amethyst specimen with a mountain like inclusion scene 
Image of Distinction: Actin cytoskeletal network inside a multi protoplasmic astrocyte
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Image of Distinction: Actin cytoskeletal network inside a multi protoplasmic astrocyte
Image of Distinction: Siphonaptera (flea)
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Image of Distinction: Siphonaptera (flea)
Image of Distinction: Fluorescent actin protein in a living HeLa cell 
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Image of Distinction: Fluorescent actin protein in a living HeLa cell 
Image of Distinction: Dysponetus populonectens (chrysopetalid annelid worm) 
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Image of Distinction: Dysponetus populonectens (chrysopetalid annelid worm) 
Image of Distinction: A flower bud before opening 
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Image of Distinction: A flower bud before opening 
Image of Distinction: Wildflower (top view)
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Image of Distinction: Wildflower (top view)
Image of Distinction: Microtubules in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) 
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Image of Distinction: Microtubules in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) 
Image of Distinction: Wilted flower 
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Image of Distinction: Wilted flower 
Image of Distinction: Pristine layered crystal faces of smithsonite
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Image of Distinction: Pristine layered crystal faces of smithsonite
Image of Distinction: A dry drop of blood 
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Image of Distinction: A dry drop of blood 
Image of Distinction: Mutually reflecting gas bubbles formed in an electrolyzed blood sample
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Image of Distinction: Mutually reflecting gas bubbles formed in an electrolyzed blood sample
Image of Distinction: Owenia fusiformis (marine polychaete worm) transverse section showing the arrangement of its bristles
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Image of Distinction: Owenia fusiformis (marine polychaete worm) transverse section showing the arrangement of its bristles
Image of Distinction: Algae cells within Xenia sp. - pulsing coral (coral) 
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Image of Distinction: Algae cells within Xenia sp. - pulsing coral (coral) 
Image of Distinction: Bryum hornum (moss) antheridia (sex organ) and paraphyses (support structures) 
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Image of Distinction: Bryum hornum (moss) antheridia (sex organ) and paraphyses (support structures) 
Image of Distinction: Pandorea pandorana (Wonga Wonga Vine) 
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Image of Distinction: Pandorea pandorana (Wonga Wonga Vine) 
Image of Distinction: Echinocardium cordatum larva (sea urchin found in marine plankton)
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Image of Distinction: Echinocardium cordatum larva (sea urchin found in marine plankton)
Image of Distinction: Licmophora flabellata (marine diatoms that grow on seaweeds) 
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Image of Distinction: Licmophora flabellata (marine diatoms that grow on seaweeds) 
Image of Distinction: Muscles of a Cyphonautes (aquatic invertebrate animal larva) 
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Image of Distinction: Muscles of a Cyphonautes (aquatic invertebrate animal larva) 
Image of Distinction: The hair on the footpad of the beetle, Pachyrhynchus sarcitis
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Image of Distinction: The hair on the footpad of the beetle, Pachyrhynchus sarcitis
Image of Distinction: Antithamnionella (red algae) with tetra spores
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Image of Distinction: Antithamnionella (red algae) with tetra spores
Image of Distinction: Mouse kidney 
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Image of Distinction: Mouse kidney 
Image of Distinction: Underside of an Quercus rubra (northern red oak) leaf 
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Image of Distinction: Underside of an Quercus rubra (northern red oak) leaf 
Image of Distinction: Iris of a human eye showing a blue 'freckle'
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Image of Distinction: Iris of a human eye showing a blue 'freckle'
Image of Distinction: Skate fish embryo
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Image of Distinction: Skate fish embryo
Image of Distinction: Sporocysts and spores of Cyclosorus parasiticus (fern)
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Image of Distinction: Sporocysts and spores of Cyclosorus parasiticus (fern)
Image of Distinction: Adiantum capillus-veneris (fern) sporangium (enclosure in which spores are formed)
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Image of Distinction: Adiantum capillus-veneris (fern) sporangium (enclosure in which spores are formed)
Image of Distinction: Amino acid crystals (L-glutamine and beta-alanine)
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Image of Distinction: Amino acid crystals (L-glutamine and beta-alanine)

A surreal close-up of a weevil eye has taken the top prize at this year's Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. The magnificent annual photography competition, now in its 44th year, celebrates the skill and artistry in the world of microscopic photography.

The winning image this year, selected from nearly 2,500 entries, came from United Arab Emirates-based photographer Yousef Al Habshi. Zooming in on a unique type of beetle, only found in the Philippines, Habshi's image captures the green scales surrounding the weevil's compound eye in never-before-seen detail.

1st Place winning image, The eye of a Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer beetle
1st Place winning image, The eye of a Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer beetle

"Because of the variety of coloring and the lines that display in the eyes of insects, I feel like I'm photographing a collection of jewelry," says Al Habshi. "Not all people appreciate small species, particularly insects. Through photomicrography we can find a whole new, beautiful world which hasn't been seen before. It's like discovering what lies under the ocean's surface."

2nd Place, Fern sorus (structures producing and containing spores)
2nd Place, Fern sorus (structures producing and containing spores)

Second place went to an equally extraordinary image of a Fern sorus. This striking snap used autoflorecence, capturing incredible colors by striking the structure with ultraviolet light. Third place was given to a somewhat more traditional, but no less spectacular, image of a spittlebug in the midst of constructing its "bubble house", a protective structure made from a foam substance.

Honorable Mention: The shell of a lychee
Honorable Mention: The shell of a lychee

"The Nikon Small World competition is now in its 44th year, and every year we continue to be astounded by the winning images," says Eric Flem, from Nikon Instruments. "Imaging and microscope technologies continue to develop and evolve to allow artists and scientists to capture scientific moments with remarkable clarity. Our first place this year illustrates that fact beautifully."

Image of Distinction: Ascaris lumbricoides (parasitic roundworm) 
Image of Distinction: Ascaris lumbricoides (parasitic roundworm) 

Take a look through our gallery featuring all the winners, honorable mentions and images of distinction in this remarkable competition.

Source: Small World Nikon

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