Ever wanted to see the head of a tapeworm up close? How about the eye of a daddy long legs?
Us neither – but thanks to Nikon, you can get up close and personal with nature’s weirdest phenomena.
The camera company launched their 43rd annual Small World photomicrography competition, and the resulting images are pretty phenomenal.
From moth eggs trapped in a spider web to blood vessels in a human tongue, the competition has captured the minutiae of nature that we never knew we needed to see.
There’s also plenty of pictures of man-made entities, too – from paracetamol crystals to plastic fracturing on a credit card hologram.
The winning image, shot by researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, captured a beautiful golden halo surrounding a human skin cell, caused by an excessive amount of keratin in the cell.
It’s an example of the incredible work scientists are doing to fight cancer – and gives us insight into what the weird world of cells really looks like.
Which image is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!
1st place. Immortalized human skin cells (HaCaT keratinocytes) expressing fluorescently tagged keratin. 40x (objective lens magnification.)
2nd place. Senecio vulgaris (a flowering plant) seed head. 2x magnification.
Credit: Dr. Havi Sarfaty
3rd place. Living Volvox algae releasing its daughter colonies. 100x magnification.
Credit: Jean-Marc Babalian
4th place.Taenia solium (tapeworm) everted scolex. 200x magnification.
Credit: Teresa Zgoda
5th place. Mold on a tomato. 3.9x magnification.
6th place. Lily pollen. 63x (objective lens magnification.)
7th place. Individually labeled axons in an embryonic chick ciliary ganglion. 30x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Dr. Ryo Egawa
8th place. Newborn rat cochlea with sensory hair cells (green) and spiral ganglion neurons (red). 100x magnification.
9th place. Growing cartilage-like tissue in the lab using bone stem cells (collagen fibers in green and fat deposits in red). 20x for collagen; 40x for fat deposits magnification.
10th place. Phyllobius roboretanus (weevils).80x magnification.
Credit: Dr. Csaba Pintér
11th place. Plastic fracturing on credit card hologram. 10x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Steven Simon
12th place. Opiliones (daddy longlegs) eye. 20x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Charles B. Krebs
13th place. Exaerete frontalis (orchid cuckoo bee) from the collections of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. 10x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Levon Biss
Credit: David Millard
15th place. 3rd trimester fetus of Megachiroptera (fruit bat.) 7.5x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Dr. Rick Adams
16th place. Parus major (titmouse) down feather. 25x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Marek Mi?
17th place. Dyed human hair. 40x magnification.
Credit: Harald K. Andersen
18th place. Synapta (sea-cucumber) skin. 100x magnification.
Credit: Christian Gautier
19th place. Embryonic body wall from a developing Mus musculus (mouse). 100x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Dr. Dylan Burnette
20th place. Spergillus flavus (fungus) and yeast colony from soil. 40x magnification.
Credit: Tracy Scott
Honourable mention. Jumping spider. 6x magnification.
Credit: Emre Can Alagöz
Image of distinction. Abdominal proleg of Lasiocampa (a caterpillar). 3.7x magnification.
Credit: Dr. Robert Markus
Honourable mention. Broccoli. 4.9x magnification.
Credit: Dr. Nathan Myhrvold
Image of distinction. Nsutite and Cacoxenite (minerals.) 5x (objective lens magnification.)
Image of distinction. Natural bridge (Petiole nodes) connecting the abdomen and thorax of an ant. 5x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Can Tunçer
Image of distinction. Pyromorphite (mineral). 2.5x (objective lens magnification.)
Image of distinction. Asilidae (rubber fly) eye section. 20x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Yousef Al Habshi
Credit: Walter Piorkowski
Image of distinction. Nerves (in green) under the skin of a mouse (hair follicles are shown in red and blue.) 40x magnification.
Credit: Dr. Kif Liakath-Ali
Image of distinction. Paracetamol (common painkiller) crystals. 20x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Henri Koskinen
Image of distinction. Early stage development of Alcea rosea (an ornamental flower). 5x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Masoumeh Sahar Khodaverdi
Image of distinction. Natural sponge. 100x magnification.
Image of distinction. Simple Eyes of Ectemnius (digger wasp) with condensation. 20x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Laurie Knight
Image of distinction. Small moth. 5x (objective lens magnification.)
Credit: Jan Rosenboom