There's a whole world of fascinating images that people so rarely get the opportunity to see. That's why Nikon Microscopy hosts a photo contest each year -- to bring the average person who doesn't have access to a microscope the stunning images of what things like human brain tissue or dinosaur bones look like up close.
The camera manufacturer recently announced the winners of its 39th annual Small World contest, which features specimens like marine diatoms, Hippocampal neuron, retina cells, Annelid larva and desmids, among other subjects.
Here are the top honors:
First place went to Wim van Egmond's marine diatom close up. (Image source: Wim van Egmond via Nikon)
A close up of retina cells -- cells within the eye -- taken with an interference contrast treatment. (Image source: Dr. Joseph Corbo via Nikon)
Dr. Alvaro Migotto earned third place for his marine worm taking on a darkfield. (Image source: Dr. Alvaro Migotto via Nikon)
These are a few other images cited as winners by Nikon:
A close up slice from a dinosaur bone. (Image source: Ted Kinsman via Nikon)
Motor neuron and skeletal muscle. (Image source: Dr. David Ward via Nikon)
A sheet weaver spider with a parasitic larva on it. (Image source: Geir Drange via Nikon)
A peacock feather like you've likely never seen it before. (Image source: Charles Krebs via Nikon)
An annelid larva (Image source: Christian Sardet via Nikon)
Check out more of the winners and honorable mentions on Nikon's Small World contest website.
(H/T: Ars Technica)