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28 Jaw-Dropping Close-Up Photographs Of Nature

And a few of human-made things, too. All of these images are from the 2015 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition.

Posted on October 14, 2015, at 11:20 a.m. ET

Eye of a honey bee (Apis mellifera) covered in dandelion pollen (120x). This image was the overall winner of the competition.
Ralph Claus Grimm / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Eye of a honey bee (Apis mellifera) covered in dandelion pollen (120x). This image was the overall winner of the competition.

Liverwort (Lepidolaena taylorii) plant showing modified leaves or "water sacs", which are often home to aquatic microorganisms such as rotifers. (100x). This image got an honourable mention in the competition.
Susan Tremblay

Liverwort (Lepidolaena taylorii) plant showing modified leaves or "water sacs", which are often home to aquatic microorganisms such as rotifers. (100x). This image got an honourable mention in the competition.

Australian grass (Austrostipa nodosa) seed (5x). This image came 14th in the competition.
Viktor Sykora

Australian grass (Austrostipa nodosa) seed (5x). This image came 14th in the competition.

Starfish imaged using confocal microscopy (10x). This image came 7th in the competition.
Evan Darling / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Starfish imaged using confocal microscopy (10x). This image came 7th in the competition.

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Mouth parts (pseudo trachea) of a blowfly (calliphora vomitoria) (750x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Raymond Morrison Sloss / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Mouth parts (pseudo trachea) of a blowfly (calliphora vomitoria) (750x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.

Adult marine worm (Autolytus) (30x). This image got an honourable mention in the competition.
Michael Crutchley / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Adult marine worm (Autolytus) (30x). This image got an honourable mention in the competition.

Detail of ancient Chinese pottery from the Song Dynasty (960-1126 AD) (4x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Yvonne Lu (yi Chieh Lu) / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Detail of ancient Chinese pottery from the Song Dynasty (960-1126 AD) (4x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.

Vascular bundles of papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) (200x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Dr David Maitland / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Vascular bundles of papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) (200x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.

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Leaf cross-section of a water lily leaf bud (Nupha lutea) (12.5x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Dr. David Maitland / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Leaf cross-section of a water lily leaf bud (Nupha lutea) (12.5x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.

Numerical traces on a DVD/Blu-ray (100x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Massimo Brizzi / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Numerical traces on a DVD/Blu-ray (100x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.

Spore capsule of a moss (Bryum sp.). This image came 6th in the competition.
Henri Koskinen / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Spore capsule of a moss (Bryum sp.). This image came 6th in the competition.

Black witch-hazel (Trichodactylus crinitus) leaf producing crystals to defend against herbivores (100x). This image came 17th in the competition.
Dr David Maitland / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Black witch-hazel (Trichodactylus crinitus) leaf producing crystals to defend against herbivores (100x). This image came 17th in the competition.

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Scales on moth wing (300x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Don Parsons / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Scales on moth wing (300x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.

Tentacles of a carnivorous plant (Drosera sp.) (20x). This image came 13th in the competition.
José R. Almodóvar / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Tentacles of a carnivorous plant (Drosera sp.) (20x). This image came 13th in the competition.

Clam shrimp (Cyzicus mexicanus), live specimen (25x). This image came 10th in the competition.
Ian Gardiner / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Clam shrimp (Cyzicus mexicanus), live specimen (25x). This image came 10th in the competition.

Antenna of a male moth (Anisota sp.) (100x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Dr. Igor Siwanowicz / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Antenna of a male moth (Anisota sp.) (100x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.

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Hairyback worm (Chaetonotus sp.) and algae (Micrasterias sp.) (400x). This image came 14th in the competition.
Roland Gross / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Hairyback worm (Chaetonotus sp.) and algae (Micrasterias sp.) (400x). This image came 14th in the competition.

Jaws and head of a long-jawed spider (Metellina sp.) (10x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Geir Drange / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Jaws and head of a long-jawed spider (Metellina sp.) (10x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.

Skin of a sea urchin (Synapta) containing plates and anchors composed of calcareous (chalky) material (63x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Dr. Richard Howey / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Skin of a sea urchin (Synapta) containing plates and anchors composed of calcareous (chalky) material (63x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.

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Developing sea mullet (Mugil cephalus) embryos (40x). This image came 12th in the competition.
Hannah Sheppard-Brennand / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Developing sea mullet (Mugil cephalus) embryos (40x). This image came 12th in the competition.

Birefringent andradite garnet with magnetite inclusions (15x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Dr. Aaron Palke / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Birefringent andradite garnet with magnetite inclusions (15x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.

Twinned crystals of 4,4’-dibromobiphenyl (25x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Dr. Ryoji Tanaka / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Twinned crystals of 4,4’-dibromobiphenyl (25x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.

Red fossil coral slab (20x). This image got an honorable mention in the competition.
Norm Barker, RBP / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Red fossil coral slab (20x). This image got an honorable mention in the competition.

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Nerves and blood vessels in a mouse ear skin (10x). This image came 8th in the competition.
Dr. Tomoko Yamazaki / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Nerves and blood vessels in a mouse ear skin (10x). This image came 8th in the competition.

Suction cups on the diving beetle (Dytiscus sp.) foreleg (50x). This image came 20th in the competition.
Frank Reiser / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Suction cups on the diving beetle (Dytiscus sp.) foreleg (50x). This image came 20th in the competition.

Fern sorus at varying levels of maturity (20x). This image came 11th in the competition.
Rogelio Moreno Gill / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Fern sorus at varying levels of maturity (20x). This image came 11th in the competition.

Mites on insect pupa (20x). This image got an honorable mention in the competition.
Rogelio Moreno Gill / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Mites on insect pupa (20x). This image got an honorable mention in the competition.

Transverse section of an ostrich fern (250x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.
Anatoly Mikhaltsov / Via nikonsmallworld.com

Transverse section of an ostrich fern (250x). This was an image of distinction in the competition.


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