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.

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
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

#4

Nineteenth Place. Human Neural Rosette Primordial Brain Cells

Nineteenth Place. Human Neural Rosette Primordial Brain Cells

Dr. Gist F. Croft Report

#5

Eleventh Place. Scales Of A Butterfly Wing Underside

Eleventh Place. Scales Of A Butterfly Wing Underside

Francis Sneyers Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

#8

Eighth Place. Wildflower Stamens

Eighth Place. Wildflower Stamens

Samuel Silberman Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

#12

Caudal Gill Of A Dragonfly Larva

Caudal Gill Of A Dragonfly Larva

Marek Miś Report

#13

Goatsbeard Flower

Goatsbeard Flower

Dr. Csaba Pintér Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#16

Scales Of A Butterfly Wing

Scales Of A Butterfly Wing

Evan Darling Report

#17

Hippocampal Neurons

Hippocampal Neurons

Dr. Wutian Wu Report

Yana Koleva
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is yet another proof we're all "gay" inside. :-D

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#18

Copper Crystals

Copper Crystals

Honorio Cócera-La Parra Report

#19

Scales Of A Butterfly Wing

Scales Of A Butterfly Wing

Anne Gleich Report

#20

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

Teresa Zgoda Report

Deborah Flowers
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Groovy patterns, though it looks more like a starfish.

#21

Egg Of A Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Egg Of A Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

David Millard Report

#22

Prolegs Of A Hairy Caterpillar Gripping A Small Branch

Prolegs Of A Hairy Caterpillar Gripping A Small Branch

James Dorey Report

#23

Interference Patterns On A Glycerin Based Soapy Solution

Interference Patterns On A Glycerin Based Soapy Solution

Haris Antonopoulos Report

Veronica Hufana
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This looks like an album cover. Hard-pressed to find a worthy bad though.

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#25

Beta-Alanine And Taurine Crystals

Beta-Alanine And Taurine Crystals

Matt Inman Report

Merve Öztürk
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It looks like Prisma photo filter and kinda awesome.

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#26

Gears Coupling Hind Legs Of A Planthopper Nymph

Gears Coupling Hind Legs Of A Planthopper Nymph

Dr. Igor Siwanowicz Report

#27

Twentieth Place. Cow Dung

Twentieth Place. Cow Dung

Michael Crutchley Report

Shane Allon
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Quick Fact. Those liquid filled spores you see there are the fastest objects known to man(on earth). they accellerate faster than any bullet. This is so that the bacteria can land on a fresh piece of grass, far far away from the poo so that the cow can eat it again. Clever little spore right?

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#29

Leg Of A Water Boatman

Leg Of A Water Boatman

Marek Miś Report

Sean Gay
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is a beautiful transgender lgb..............whatever.

#30

Black Elder Tree Flower Stamen

Black Elder Tree Flower Stamen

Laurie Knight Report

#31

Ant Leg

Ant Leg

Györgyi Zséli Report

Melorie Vasquez
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It reminds me of the strange toe in the back of a dogs foot 😆

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#32

Wildflower Stamens

Wildflower Stamens

Samuel Silberman Report

Daria B
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I see the octopus monster in this one. And I feel like a cat that wants to attack it! =⊙.⊙=

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#33

Twelfth Place. Human Hela Cell Undergoing Cell Division

Twelfth Place. Human Hela Cell Undergoing Cell Division

Dr. Dylan Burnette Report

Yvette Desmarais
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That should be in the book about Henrietta Lacks.

#34

Sixteenth Place. 65 Fossil Radiolarians (Zooplankton) Carefully Arranged By Hand In Victorian Style

Sixteenth Place. 65 Fossil Radiolarians (Zooplankton) Carefully Arranged By Hand In Victorian Style

Stefano Barone Report

#35

Licmophora Flabellata Diatoms

Licmophora Flabellata Diatoms

Dr. Arlene Wechezak Report

#36

Third Place. Brain Cells From Skin Cells

Third Place. Brain Cells From Skin Cells

Rebecca Nutbrown Report

#37

Spore Capsule Of A Moss

Spore Capsule Of A Moss

Henri Koskinen Report

#38

Green Bottle Fly

Green Bottle Fly

Erno Endre Gergely Report

Qwerty65
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If we see this much detail, it means it's big... and we need Master Chief to take it out. Seriously, it looks like something out of a Halo game.

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#39

Curvepod Fumewort (Corydalis Curvisiliqua) Seed

Curvepod Fumewort (Corydalis Curvisiliqua) Seed

David Millard Report

Alex K
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

looks like something lady gaga would wear

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#40

Seeds Of An Indian Paintbrush Wildflower

Seeds Of An Indian Paintbrush Wildflower

David Millard Report

#41

Slime Mold

Slime Mold

José R. Almodóvar Report

#42

Fifteenth Place. Head Section Of An Orange Ladybird

Fifteenth Place. Head Section Of An Orange Ladybird

Geir Drange Report

Raymond McLaughlin
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For all of you future designers, great ideas for spaceship design.

#43

Dentate Gyrus Of A Optically-Cleared Transgenic Mouse Brain

Dentate Gyrus Of A Optically-Cleared Transgenic Mouse Brain

Hei Ming Lai & Dr. Wutian Wu Report

rai mei
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

so that's why mice reproduce fast, their brain also contains sperms

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#44

Testis Of A Fruit Fly

Testis Of A Fruit Fly

Christopher Large Report

Ava Masumi
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

never in my life I thought I would ever see such a thing

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#46

Microcrystal Test For Oxycodone Using Platinic Bromide Solution

Microcrystal Test For Oxycodone Using Platinic Bromide Solution

Kelly Brinsko Report

#47

Ammonite Shell

Ammonite Shell

Norm Barker Report

Tracy Goree
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The coolest crazy paving ever!

#49

Tenth Place. Frontonia (Showing Ingested Food, Cilia, Mouth And Trichocysts)

Tenth Place. Frontonia (Showing Ingested Food, Cilia, Mouth And Trichocysts)

Rogelio Moreno Gill Report

#50

Section Of A Begonia Flower

Section Of A Begonia Flower

Viktor Sykora Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#51

Tail Of A A Small Shrimp

Tail Of A A Small Shrimp

Charles B. Krebs Report

#52

Deep Sea Crustacea

Deep Sea Crustacea

Dr. Tomonari Kaji Report

over opinionated
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So much colour for it to be so far from light.

#53

Mouse Hand, Showing Veins

Mouse Hand, Showing Veins

Evan Darling Report

over opinionated
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How many pictures of mouse parts not attached have I seen eyes brains hands... sure multi coloured things are pretty but you didn't need to mutilate the poor creature

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#54

Young Flower Buds Of Arabidopsis

Young Flower Buds Of Arabidopsis

Dr. Nathanaël Prunet Report

#55

Diclofenac Crystals

Diclofenac Crystals

Adolfo Ruiz De Segovia Report

over opinionated
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Don't know what they are but I wish they were bigger it would make a good jewelry jewel

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#56

Ant Pupae

Ant Pupae

Geir Drange Report

brandon sat
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

those lil soon to be biting bastards!!

#58

Cross Section Of Stem Of Barley

Cross Section Of Stem Of Barley

Dr. Stephen Lowry Report

#59

Viperfish

Viperfish