For the 48th time, Nikon has held its Small World Photomicrography Competition and the winners of the year 2022 have already been announced!

The awards are celebrating the mesmerizing microscopic world and applaud the efforts of those involved with photography, scientists and enthusiasts alike, through the light microscope. 

Scroll down for the stunning photographs and don't forget to upvote your favorite ones!

More info: nikonsmallworld.com | Instagram | Facebook | twitter.com

#1

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Eugenijus Kavaliauskas

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Eugenijus Kavaliauskas

"Ant (Camponotus)."

Tauragė, Lithuania

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The winner of this year's competition is Grigorii Timin, supervised by Dr. Michel Milinkovitch at the University of Geneva with the image of an embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko. "Masterfully blending imaging technology and artistic creativity, Timin utilized high-resolution microscopy and image-stitching to capture this species of Phelsuma grandis day gecko."

#2

Image Of Distinction - Xinpei Zhang

Image Of Distinction - Xinpei Zhang

"Alaskan sand."

Yu Cheng, Ya'an, China

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#3

5th Place - Alison Pollack

5th Place - Alison Pollack

"Slime mold (Lamproderma)."

San Anselmo, California, USA

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According to their website, Nikon’s Small World is regarded as "the leading forum for showcasing the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope. The Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in microscopy and photography."

#4

Image Of Distinction - Yuan Ji

Image Of Distinction - Yuan Ji

"Butterfly scales."

World Expo Museum
Shanghai, China

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#5

Image Of Distinction - Anne-Françoise Tasnier

Image Of Distinction - Anne-Françoise Tasnier

"Wood cells."

Royal Museum for Central Africa
Department of Wood Biology
Tervuren, Belgium

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Besides the photomicrography competition, Nikon is also organizing video competitions, entitled Small World In Motion that "encompass any movie or digital time-lapse photography taken through the microscope."

#6

10th Place - Murat Öztürk

10th Place - Murat Öztürk

"A fly under the chin of a tiger beetle."

Ankara, Turkey

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#7

Honorable Mention - Sebastian Sparenga

Honorable Mention - Sebastian Sparenga

"Recrystallized Vitamin C."

McCrone Research Institute
Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Let us know what you think of these photographs in the comments!

For more mesmerizing images, check out the winners of previous contests (2016, 2017, 2019, 2020)!

#8

Image Of Distinction - Adolfo Ruiz De Segovia

Image Of Distinction - Adolfo Ruiz De Segovia

"Drops of olive oil in water."

Particular
Madrid, Spain

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#9

6th Place - Ole Bielfeldt

6th Place - Ole Bielfeldt

"Unburned particles of carbon released when the hydrocarbon chain of candle wax breaks down."

Macrofying
Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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#10

Honorable Mention - Ye Fei Zhang

Honorable Mention - Ye Fei Zhang

"Butterfly egg."

Jiang Yin, Jiangsu, China

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#11

1st Place - Grigorii Timin, Dr. Michel Milinkovitch

1st Place - Grigorii Timin, Dr. Michel Milinkovitch

"Embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko (Phelsuma grandis)."

University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
Department of Genetics and Evolution

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Bob D. Lin Quint
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The Madagascar Giant Day Gecko can grow to be 30ft in length, lives underground, and sends out 3 tentacles from its mouth to grab prey when it senses any kind of vibration coming from above. It can sense anything from pogo sticks to ice machines. Their only natural predators are dynamite and cliffs.

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#12

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Stephen S. Nagy

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Stephen S. Nagy

"Diatoms arranged in an exhibition rosette by Klaus D. Kemp."

Montana Diatoms
Helena, Montana, USA

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Dynein
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Diatoms are *beautiful* and accurately also called "jewels of the sea". They have hard outer cell walls made silica (SiO2) - glass, basically. THOSE CELLS ARE INTRICATE MICROSCOPIC GLASS SCULPTURES.

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#13

8th Place - Dr. Nathanaël Prunet

8th Place - Dr. Nathanaël Prunet

"Growing tip of a red algae."

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Department of Biology

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#14

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Marko Pende

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Marko Pende

"Transgenic axolotl (CNP:GFP;β3Tubulin:mCherry) showing components of the nervous system. CNP+ Schwann cells (cyan) and axons (magenta)."

MDI Biological Laboratory
Bar Harbor, Maine, USA

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#15

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Andrew Posselt

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Andrew Posselt

"Bold jumping spider (Phidippus audax)."

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Department of Surgery
Mill Valley, California, USA

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Ranger Kanootsen
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Holy f*****g s**t, that's simultaneously the most beautiful and horrifying thing I've ever seen!

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#16

11th Place - Ye Fei Zhang

11th Place - Ye Fei Zhang

"Moth eggs."

Jiang Yin, Jiangsu, China

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#17

Honorable Mention - Dr. Laurent Formery

Honorable Mention - Dr. Laurent Formery

"Two-month old juvenile sea star (Patiria miniata)."

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

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#18

Image Of Distinction - Karl Deckart

Image Of Distinction - Karl Deckart

"Dental drill bit studded with diamond chips."

Eckental, Bavaria, Germany

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#19

Image Of Distinction - Ahmad Fauzan

Image Of Distinction - Ahmad Fauzan

"Black and white human hair."

Macro Depok (MD)
Department of Engineering
Jakarta, Indonesia

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Ivo H
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I read somewhere that hair with round crossection is straight and the more flattened it is, the more curly the hair is. So I would guess the black hair is curly and the white is straight

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#20

Image Of Distinction - Yoshihiro Tamaru

Image Of Distinction - Yoshihiro Tamaru

"Tail of a planktonic crustacean (Oithona brevicornis)."

Hino, Tokyo, Japan

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#21

Image Of Distinction - Gabriel Fernández Fernández Jorge Alberto

Image Of Distinction - Gabriel Fernández Fernández Jorge Alberto

"Four o'clock flower (Mirabilis jalapa)."

San Luis, Argentina

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#22

Image Of Distinction - Michael Landgrebe

Image Of Distinction - Michael Landgrebe

"Moss spore capsule (sporangium)."

Berlin, Germany

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#23

Image Of Distinction - Dr. John Hart

Image Of Distinction - Dr. John Hart

"Amino acid crystals (L-glutamine and beta-alanine)."

University of Colorado Boulder
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Boulder, Colorado, USA

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#24

Image Of Distinction - Teresa Zgoda

Image Of Distinction - Teresa Zgoda

"Eyeshadow cosmetic."

Arvada, Colorado, USA

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Anne Jones
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wish it looked like that when you’ve applied it. Beautiful.

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#25

Image Of Distinction - Yousef Al Habshi

Image Of Distinction - Yousef Al Habshi

"Red speckled jewel beetle (Chrysochroa buqueti rugicollis)."

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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#26

Honorable Mention - Alison Pollack

Honorable Mention - Alison Pollack

"Slime mold (Didymium clavus)."

San Anselmo, California, USA

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#27

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Keat Ying Chan

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Keat Ying Chan

"Epithelial cells of a palmskin zebrafish larva."

Academia Sinica
Chen-Hui Chen's Lab
Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology
Taipei, Taiwan

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#28

13th Place - Randy Fullbright

13th Place - Randy Fullbright

"Agatized dinosaur bone."

Fullbright Studio
Vernal, Utah, USA

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#29

16th Place - Dr. Olivier Leroux

16th Place - Dr. Olivier Leroux

"Longitudinal section through a white asparagus shoot tip."

Ghent University, Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Department of Biology & Department of Plants and Crops

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#30

Honorable Mention - Dr. Igor Siwanowicz

Honorable Mention - Dr. Igor Siwanowicz

"Radula (rasping tongue) of a marine snail (Turbinidae family)."

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Ashburn, Virginia, USA
Janelia Research Campus

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Andrew
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That is beautiful. If I remember correctly certain species of snails have the hardest biologically formed material on the planet.

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#31

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Honor Glenn

Image Of Distinction - Dr. Honor Glenn

"Human lung cell infected with coronavirus."

Arizona State University
Biodesign Institute
Biodesign Imaging Facility, Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines, and Virotherapy
Tempe, Arizona, USA

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Michaela
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It’s the green Disney uses for evil. Also known as arsenic green

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#32

Image Of Distinction - Anatoly Mikhaltsov

Image Of Distinction - Anatoly Mikhaltsov

"Cross section of a leaf of dune grass (Ammophila arenaria)."

Children’s Ecological and Biological Center
Department of Botany
Omsk, Russia

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#33

4th Place - Dr. Andrew Posselt

4th Place - Dr. Andrew Posselt

"Long-bodied cellar/daddy long-legs spider (Pholcus phalangioides)."

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Mill Valley, California, USA
Department of Surgery

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#34

Honorable Mention - Karl Gaff

Honorable Mention - Karl Gaff

"Midge larva collected from a freshwater pond."

Dublin, Ireland

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#35

14th Place - Nadia Efimova

14th Place - Nadia Efimova

"Differentiated cultured mouse myoblasts with lysosomes (cyan/green), nuclei (yellow), F-actin (magenta)."

Amicus Therapeutics
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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columbokateUK
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't understand a word of the description but it looks wonderful 😊

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Note: this post originally had 92 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.

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