Nikon has just announced the winners of its annual Small World Photomicrography competition, and as you can see from these stunning photographs, bigger isn't always better.


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The competition is in its 42nd year and this year over 2000 people from 70 countries entered. For those that don't know, photomicrography is the practise of taking a photograph through a microscope or similar magnifying device in order to capture the intricate details of things invisible to the human eye. From the proboscis of a butterfly and the foot of a beetle to espresso coffee crystals, the pictures below give us a whole new way of looking at world. The categories are divided into winners, honorable mentions, and images of distinction, and you can find the full list on the Nikon Small World website.

More info: Nikon Small World (h/t: demilked)

#1 Fourth Place. Butterfly Proboscis

Fourth Place. Butterfly Proboscis

Jochen Schroeder Report

Lynn Daley 1 month ago

Stunning! One of the best macro shots I've ever seen. Congradulations on derserving win!

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#2 Fifth Place. Front Foot (Tarsus) Of A Male Diving Beetle

Fifth Place. Front Foot (Tarsus) Of A Male Diving Beetle

Dr. Igor Siwanowicz Report

Erika Daniel 1 month ago

Wow my foot is boring

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#3 Eyes Of A Jumping Spider

Eyes Of A Jumping Spider

Yousef Al Habshi Report

#4 Nineteenth Place. Human Neural Rosette Primordial Brain Cells

Nineteenth Place. Human Neural Rosette Primordial Brain Cells

Dr. Gist F. Croft Report

Amanda Panda 1 month ago

looks like an egg follicle during fertilization

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#5 Eleventh Place. Scales Of A Butterfly Wing Underside

Eleventh Place. Scales Of A Butterfly Wing Underside

Francis Sneyers Report

Yvonne Bernal 1 month ago

All butterfly wings look like they're made of a million little feathers.

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#6 Thirteenth Place. Poison Fangs Of A Centipede

Thirteenth Place. Poison Fangs Of A Centipede

Walter Piorkowski Report

Yvonne Bernal 1 month ago

At first glance I thought it was an animals teeth. Either way, I would not want to be bit by them!

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#7 Sixth Place. Air Bubbles Formed From Melted Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Crystals

Sixth Place. Air Bubbles Formed From Melted Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Crystals

Marek Mis Report

Cecilia Reyes 1 month ago

"Daft-Werk" Electronic band of the future.

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#8 Eighth Place. Wildflower Stamens

Eighth Place. Wildflower Stamens

Samuel Silberman Report

Yvonne Bernal 1 month ago

This is what the bees and butterflies see as they approach. How enticing.

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#9 Retinal Ganglion Cells In The Whole-Mounted Mouse Retina

Retinal Ganglion Cells In The Whole-Mounted Mouse Retina

Dr. Keunyoung Kim Report

Erika Daniel 1 month ago

This is actually so freaking pretty. Looks like a galaxy flower.

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#10 Ninth Place. Espresso Coffee Crystals

Ninth Place. Espresso Coffee Crystals

Vin Kitayama & Sanae Kitayama Report

Nicole Boivin-Chiasson 1 month ago

That one to the left looks like a snakes head, and you can even see a slithering tongue sticking out!!

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#11 First Place. Four-Day-Old Zebrafish Embryo

First Place. Four-Day-Old Zebrafish Embryo

Dr. Oscar Ruiz Report

Amanda Panda 1 month ago

It already looks disappointed in life

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#12 Caudal Gill Of A Dragonfly Larva

Caudal Gill Of A Dragonfly Larva

Marek Miś Report

Raymond McLaughlin 1 month ago

Beautiful complexity.

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#13 Goatsbeard Flower

Goatsbeard Flower

Dr. Csaba Pintér Report

Yvonne Bernal 1 month ago

Aren't these the same flowers we pick as kids, then make a wish and blow on them?

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#14 Second Place. Polished Slab Of Teepee Canyon Agate

Second Place. Polished Slab Of Teepee Canyon Agate

Douglas L. Moore Report

Yvonne Bernal 1 month ago

Could have fooled me.... I thought it was another butterfly wing!

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#15 Seventh Place. Leaves Of Selaginella

Seventh Place. Leaves Of Selaginella

Dr. David Maitland Report

Yvonne Bernal 1 month ago

Interesting. Because of the beautiful lighting, I would never have guessed this to be a fern.

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