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 2 years 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 2 years 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

Kjorn 2 years ago

Minions?

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#4

Nineteenth Place. Human Neural Rosette Primordial Brain Cells

Nineteenth Place. Human Neural Rosette Primordial Brain Cells

Dr. Gist F. Croft Report

Amanda Panda 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago

Beautiful complexity.

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#13

Goatsbeard Flower

Goatsbeard Flower

Dr. Csaba Pintér Report

Yvonne Bernal 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago

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

Melissa Apple 2 years ago

Wow, this one should've gotten a higher place

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#17

Hippocampal Neurons

Hippocampal Neurons

Dr. Wutian Wu Report

Yana Koleva 2 years ago

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

Raymond McLaughlin 2 years ago

Looks like a Chillida scupture.

#19

Scales Of A Butterfly Wing

Scales Of A Butterfly Wing

Anne Gleich Report

Yvonne Bernal 2 years ago

Nature on this level is so spectacular!

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#20

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

Teresa Zgoda Report

Deborah Flowers 2 years ago

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

Raymond McLaughlin 2 years ago

More alien highrise architecture. Love it.

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#22

Prolegs Of A Hairy Caterpillar Gripping A Small Branch

Prolegs Of A Hairy Caterpillar Gripping A Small Branch

James Dorey Report

Cecilia Reyes 2 years ago

Aw wee toes, this is quite cute.

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#23

Interference Patterns On A Glycerin Based Soapy Solution

Interference Patterns On A Glycerin Based Soapy Solution

Haris Antonopoulos Report

Veronica Hufana 2 years ago

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

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#24

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Jan Rosenboom Report

#25

Beta-Alanine And Taurine Crystals

Beta-Alanine And Taurine Crystals

Matt Inman Report

Merve Öztürk 2 years ago

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

Cecilia Reyes 2 years ago

Nature always has the best tech!

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#27

Twentieth Place. Cow Dung

Twentieth Place. Cow Dung

Michael Crutchley Report

Shane Allon 2 years ago

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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#28

Water Mite

Water Mite

Jacek Myslowski Report

Jerome Atillo 2 years ago

it looks like a skeletal hand

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#29

Leg Of A Water Boatman

Leg Of A Water Boatman

Marek Miś Report

Sean Gay 2 years ago

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

#30

Black Elder Tree Flower Stamen

Black Elder Tree Flower Stamen

Laurie Knight Report

Flora Polvado 2 years ago

I have a very dirty mind:(

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#31

Ant Leg

Ant Leg

Györgyi Zséli Report

Melorie Vasquez 2 years ago

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 2 years ago

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 2 years ago

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

Simone Baker 2 years ago

Yeah, what they said...

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#36

Third Place. Brain Cells From Skin Cells

Third Place. Brain Cells From Skin Cells

Rebecca Nutbrown Report

Luis Milian 2 years ago

so Cells²

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#37

Spore Capsule Of A Moss

Spore Capsule Of A Moss

Henri Koskinen Report

Yvonne Bernal 2 years ago

I thought it looked like a penis AND a nipple

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#38

Green Bottle Fly

Green Bottle Fly

Erno Endre Gergely Report

Qwerty65 2 years ago

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 2 years ago

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

Sean Gay 2 years ago

Bees bottles

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#41

Slime Mold

Slime Mold

José R. Almodóvar Report

Yaya Gutierrez 2 years ago

Looks like a tree from dr Seuss book

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#42

Fifteenth Place. Head Section Of An Orange Ladybird

Fifteenth Place. Head Section Of An Orange Ladybird

Geir Drange Report

Raymond McLaughlin 2 years ago

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 2 years ago

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 2 years ago

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

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#45

Algae

Algae

Anne Gleich Report

rai mei 2 years ago

a vacuum packed lily pad

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#46

Microcrystal Test For Oxycodone Using Platinic Bromide Solution

Microcrystal Test For Oxycodone Using Platinic Bromide Solution

Kelly Brinsko Report

Lea Opitz 2 years ago

cool! It looks like flower wallpaper!

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#47

Ammonite Shell

Ammonite Shell

Norm Barker Report

Tracy Goree 2 years ago

The coolest crazy paving ever!

#48

Section Of A Red Speckled Jewel Beetle

Section Of A Red Speckled Jewel Beetle

Yousef Al Habshi Report

Aleksandra Kozłowska 2 years ago

Beautiful

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#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

Pamela Beuret 2 years ago

Still looking for the mouth

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#50

Section Of A Begonia Flower

Section Of A Begonia Flower

Viktor Sykora Report

Jason Morrison 2 years ago

Georgia O'Keeffe would approve!

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#51

Tail Of A A Small Shrimp

Tail Of A A Small Shrimp

Charles B. Krebs Report

Tiffany Harris 2 years ago

It looks like a dress!

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See Also on Bored Panda
#52

Deep Sea Crustacea

Deep Sea Crustacea

Dr. Tomonari Kaji Report

over opinionated 2 years ago

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 2 years ago

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

rai mei 2 years ago

this was how barney was formed

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#55

Diclofenac Crystals

Diclofenac Crystals

Adolfo Ruiz De Segovia Report

over opinionated 2 years ago

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 2 years ago

those lil soon to be biting bastards!!

#57

Cerebellum Brain Section Of A Rat

Cerebellum Brain Section Of A Rat

Dr. Barbara Orsolits Report

Santhosh Srinivasan 2 years ago

Nice garden.!

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#58

Cross Section Of Stem Of Barley

Cross Section Of Stem Of Barley

Dr. Stephen Lowry Report

#59

Viperfish

Viperfish

Dr. Alvaro Roura Report

Howie Boyd 2 years ago

Shriekback, Oil and Gold back of album photograph.

#60

Early Stages Of Mouse Embryo Development

Early Stages Of Mouse Embryo Development

Dr. Gaelle Recher Report

#61

Fourteenth Place. Mouse Retinal Ganglion Cells

Fourteenth Place. Mouse Retinal Ganglion Cells

Dr. Keunyoung Kim Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#62

Section Of The Cerebellum

Section Of The Cerebellum

Dr. Marc Leushacke Report

#63

Galls Of A Mite

Galls Of A Mite

Györgyi Zséli Report

Sean Gay 2 years ago

With blurred vision(don't go there) it looks like a road map with multi coloured fields of patchwork dreams.

#64

Surface Of Embryonic Mouse Kidney

Surface Of Embryonic Mouse Kidney

Dr. Nils Lindström Report

Flyfloon 2 years ago

Looks like tiny brains

#65

Tintinnid Ciliate Of The Marine Plankton

Tintinnid Ciliate Of The Marine Plankton

Dr. John R. Dolan Report

Jennifer Ezzi-Wilson 2 years ago

I've seen his wife Karen....

#66

Hippocampal Slice Culture Stained For Neurons

Hippocampal Slice Culture Stained For Neurons

Dr. Jennifer L. Peters Report

Faturrahman 2 years ago

so trippy

#67

Forewing (Elytron) Of A Tiger Beetle

Forewing (Elytron) Of A Tiger Beetle

Dr. Rudolf Büchi Report

Rudolf Büchi 2 years ago

The forewing of the tiger beetle and the scale oft he forester moth are seen by the unaided human eye as a deep green. This picture with a magnification of 500x reveals that it is an additive color mixing of many color points originating from a combination of multilayer interference and dense arranged dimples in the insect cuticle.

#68

Leaves Of A Liverwort

Leaves Of A Liverwort

Magdalena Turzańska Report

#69

Actin, Mitochondria And Dna In A Bovine Pulmonary Artery Endothelial Cell

Actin, Mitochondria And Dna In A Bovine Pulmonary Artery Endothelial Cell

Dr. Talley J. Lambert Report

#70

Mullein Flower

Mullein Flower

Karl Gaff Report

Gale Comin 2 years ago

beautiful detail

#71

Eighteenth Place. Parts Of Wing-Cover

Eighteenth Place. Parts Of Wing-Cover

Pia Scanlon Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#72

Jurinea Mollis Seed

Jurinea Mollis Seed

Viktor Sykora Report

#73

Micrasterias Thomasiana

Micrasterias Thomasiana

Jacek Myslowski Report

#74

Moving Vesicles

Moving Vesicles

Dr. Erdinc Sezgin Report

Sean Gay 2 years ago

Slinky universe

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#75

Cross Section Of A Lily Of The Valley

Cross Section Of A Lily Of The Valley

Falco Krüger Report

#76

Cultured Fat Cells

Cultured Fat Cells

Heiko T. Jansen Report

#77

Cross-Section Through A Multi-Layered Carbon-Fiber Reinforced Composite Structure For Defect Analysis

Cross-Section Through A Multi-Layered Carbon-Fiber Reinforced Composite Structure For Defect Analysis

Peter Pook Report

#78

A Daisy’s Central Disc Pattern Of Tiny Unopened Flowers

A Daisy’s Central Disc Pattern Of Tiny Unopened Flowers

Peter Courtney Kinchington Report

Gale Comin 2 years ago

wonderful

#79

Trumpet Animalcule Containing Endosymbionts

Trumpet Animalcule Containing Endosymbionts

Wim van Egmond Report

#80

Dasineura Affinis

Dasineura Affinis

Dr. Csaba Pintér Report