Stunning Photos of the Natural World—Taken Through a Microscope

Stunning Photos of the Natural World—Taken Through a Microscope

Weird and beautiful photos from Nikon's Small World competition.

 

By Alisa Opar
Published: 11/01/2013

It's impossible to ignore nature right now, even living in New York City. The trees are on fire with deep red, vivid orange, and bright yellow leaves. Yet even if you stop to examine a fallen leaf, or, if you look at dew on a spider web (the photo above), there's only so much the human eye can see. Look at life under a microscope, and a beautifully bizarre world emerges.

Nikon celebrates that hidden realm each year with its Small World photomicrography competition. The camera company announced the 2013 winners and finalists this week, and we've got a selection of the weirdly wonderful images below.

If you're up for a challenge, try to guess the subject of each image before scrolling down to the caption.

Dorit Hockman, University of Cambridge, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
A veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) embryo. Cartilage is blue, and bone is red. 

 

Gabriel G. Martins & Rob Bryson-Richardson, University of Lisbon, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
Quail embryo. (0.5x)

 

Mariela Loschi, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
Detail of the microtubules and nucleus in a cultured kidney cell of a monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops). (100x)

 

Charles Krebs, Charles Krebs Photography, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
Peacock feather section. (50x)

 

Vitoria Tobias Santos, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
Eye of the ghost shrimp (Macrobrachium). (140X)

 

Kata Kenesei & Barbara Orsolits Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
Butterfly tongue. (60x)

 

James Nicholson, Coral Culture and Collaborative Research Facility, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
A single live Ricordea florida, a soft coral. (20x)

 

Andrew J. Woolley, Himanshi Desai & Kevin Otto, Purdue University, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
Adult mouse foot showing blood vessels, immune cells, and soft tissue.

 

Mark Sanders, University of Minnesota, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
An insect wrapped in spider web. (85X)

 

Viktor Sykora, Charles University, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
Geranium (Geranium bohemica) seed. (10x)

 

Rogelio Moreno Gill, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
This shot of a paramecium sp. showing the nucleus, mouth, and water expulsion vacuoles, took fourth place. (40x)

 

Alvaro Migotto, University of Sao Paulo Courtesy of Nikon Small World
Third place went to a photo of a marine worm. (20x)

 

Joseph Corbo, Washington University School of Medicine, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
Coming in second was the retina of a painted turtle (Chrysemys picta). (400x)

 

Wim van Egmond, Micropolitan Museum, Courtesy of Nikon Small World
First place went to a marine diatom, called Chaetoceros debilis, a colonial plankton organism. (250x)

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Alisa Opar

Alisa Opar is the articles editor at Audubon magazine. Follow her on Twitter @alisaopar.

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine

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