The world of the incredibly small is also the world of the incredibly cool. Check out the winners of this year's Small World Photomicrography Competition.

All images via Small World Nikon

Nikon's Small World competition is one of the leading forums for showcasing the insanely beautiful and bizarre worlds that only light microscopes can reveal. Nikon listed 20 winners this year, including the one shown above — a marine worm taken by Alvaro Esteves Migotto. The photograph won him a third place prize.


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First place went to Wim van Egmond for this photo of of Chaetoceros debilis (marine diatom), a colonial plankton organism (250x):

Second place went to Joseph Corbo for his image of a painted turtle retina (400x):

Rogelio Moreno Gill won 4th place. The image is of Paramecium sp. showing the nucleus, mouth and water expulsion vacuoles (40x):

Fifth place went to Kieran Boyle for an image showing the hippocampal neuron receiving excitatory contacts (63x):

Dorit Hockman's 6th place photo of Chamaeleo calyptratus (veiled chameleon) embryo showing cartilage (blue) and bone (red):

Jan Michels won 7th place for adhesive pad on a foreleg of a ladybird beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) (20x):

Magdalena Turzańska's 8th place photo of Barbilophozia sp. (a leafy liverwort, bryophyte plant) and cyanobacteria (50x):

Mark A. Sanders's 9th place photo of an insect wrapped in spider web (85x):

Ted Kinsman's 10th place photo of a thin section of a dinosaur bone preserved in clear agate (10x):

Here are some other ones we liked:

In 13th place: Michael Paul Nelson & Samantha Smith for their mouse vertebra section (200x):

Zhong Hua's mouse embryo (5x) finished in 14th place:

Geir Drange won the 16th position for a photo of Pityohyphantes phrygianus (sheet weaver spider) with a parasitic wasp larva on the abdomen (5x):

Alexandre William Moreau got 17th place for showing pyramidal neurons and their dendrites visualized in the visual cortex of a mouse brain (40x):