Nikon's microscopic photo contest will blow your mind

Nikon's Small World has hosted its 2020 photomicrography competition, and the results are eye-popping.

Ahmad Fauzen/Nikon

The Nikon Small World Competition has been running since 1975. The competition celebrates photographs taken through the light microscope.

On October 13, Nikon announced the winners of the 46th competition – and the results are nothing short of stunning.

Robert Markus/Nikon

This was the winner, the head of a fish with a fluorescently-tagged skeleton. It's comprised of 350 images, and it formed part of research that revealed zebrafish also have lymphatic vessels. Previously only thought to be found in mammals, their discovery could help with research into human brain diseases like Alzheimer's.

Daniel Castranova, Dr. Brant M. Weinstein, Bakary Samasa/Nikon

“By studying [zebrafish] now, the scientific community can expedite a range of research and clinical innovations – everything from drug trials to cancer treatments. This is because fish are so much easier to raise and image than mammals.”

Daniel Castranova, National Institutes of Health

In second place, Daniel Knop's image showing a clownfish developing from an embryo. the image shows day one, the morning of day three, evening of day three, day five, and day nine.Daniel Knop/Nikon

In third place is Igor Siwanowicz's tongue of a freshwater snail.

Igor Siwanowicz/Nikon

Some of the photographers produced fantastic patterns, like Michael Gibson's leaf of bindweed that won an image of distinction award.

Michael Gibson/Nikon

Others lead to some dazzling colors, like Marcel Clemens' wing case of the anthaxia candens beetle.

Marcel Clemens/Nikon

It's not the only competition operating on the small scale. Kym Cox won the 2020 British Photography Awards in the Macro category with this image of a flowing soap film.

British Photography Awards

Galice Hoarau won Close Up Photographer of the Year this year with this eel larva.

CUPTY/Galice Hoarau

With events like these and more, the small scale is having a big impact.

Miroslav Zit/Nikon

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