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11 Stunning Microscopic Photos

Nikon's annual Small World Photomicrography Competition attracts thousands of entries from photographers using light microscopes to produce images of the natural world. These are some of this year's top submissions.

Posted on October 25, 2012, at 1:33 p.m. ET


Subject: Section of a Coccinella (ladybug) leg

Photographer: Andrea Genre, Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Turin, Italy

Magnification: 10x


Subject: Pistil of the flower of Adenium obesum

Photographer: José R. Almodovar Rivera, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

Magnification: 10x


Subject: Cosmarium sp. (desmid) near a Sphagnum sp. leaf

Photographer: Marek Mis, Marek Mis Photography, Suwalki, Poland

Magnification: 100x


Subject: Brittle star

Photographer: Alvaro Migotto, University of São Paulo, Centro de Biologia Marinha, São Paulo Brazil

Magnification: 8x


Subject: Stinging nettle trichome on leaf vein

Photographer: Charles Krebs, Charles Krebs Photography, Issaquah, Washington

Magnification: 100x


Subject: The blood-brain barrier in a live zebrafish embryo

Photographers: Dr. Jennifer L. Peters and Dr. Michael R. Taylor, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Magnification: 20x


Subject: Pleurobrachia sp. (sea gooseberry) larva

Photographer: Gerd A. Guenther, Düsseldorf, Germany

Magnification: 500x


Subject: Cacoxenite (mineral) from La Paloma Mine, Spain

Photographer: Honorio Cócera, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Magnification: 18x


Subject: Sonderia sp. (a ciliate that preys upon various algae, diatoms, and cyanobacteria)

Photographer: Diana Lipscomb, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Magnification: 400x


Subject: Eye organ of a Drosophila melanogaster (third-instar larvae)

Photographer: Michael Bridge, HSC Core Research Facilities -- Cell Imaging Lab, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

Magnification: 60x


Subject: Coral sand

Photographer: David Maitland, Feltwell, United Kingdom

Magnification: 100x

You can see the rest of this year's top 20 entries at Wired Science, and more entries and details at Nikon's contest site.

H/t to Betsy Mason, the editor of Wired Science.