SCIENCE

These Photos Reveal How Magnificent Our World Is On The Micro Level

The award-winning images represent some of the best microphotography from around the world.

The winning photos this year in Nikon's annual Small World Photomicrography Competition offer an up-close look at our world's microscopic realm -- things that can't be seen with the naked eye.

The annual competition, in its 41st year, recognizes some of the best photography taken under a microscope. This year's contest cast a bigger net than last year's with more than 2,000 entries from more than 80 countries that were considered.

The winning image, by Australian photographer Ralph Grimm, shows the super-magnified eye of a honey bee covered in dandelion pollen, a nod to the recent and disturbing decline of honey bee populations.

"I am scared of the possibility that the decline of the honey bee may be the first indication or global warning of many more species beginning to decline as our city-expansive and environmentally destructive habits on this Earth shamelessly continue," Grimm told The Huffington Post, "My bee eye in a way is a message to all people on this Earth to take ‘a closer look.'"

Have a look at the top 20 winning photos, and the honorable mentions below. Enjoy!

Editor's note: HuffPost Science's Jacqueline Howard was a judge in the competition alongside Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Tim Mitchison, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering investigator Dr. Hari Shroff, and Discover Magazine photo editor Ernie Mastroianni.

  • 1
    The eye of a honey bee covered in dandelion pollen.
    Ralph Claus Grimm
    The eye of a honey bee covered in dandelion pollen.
  • 2
    Mouse colon colonized with human microbiota.
    Kristen Earle, Gabriel Billings, KC Huang
    Mouse colon colonized with human microbiota.
  • 3
    A freshwater carnivorous plant known as a humped bladderwort.
    Dr. Igor Siwanowicz Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Janelia Farm Research Campus, Leonardo Lab
    A freshwater carnivorous plant known as a humped bladderwort.
  • 4
    Lab-grown human mammary gland organoid.
    Daniel H. Miller
    Lab-grown human mammary gland organoid.
  • 5
    The live imaging of perfused vasculature in a mouse brain with glioblastoma.
    Dr. Giorgio Seano & Dr. Rakesh K. Jain Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    The live imaging of perfused vasculature in a mouse brain with glioblastoma.
  • 6
    The spore capsule of a moss.
    Henri Koskinen Helsinki, Finland
    The spore capsule of a moss.
  • 7
    A starfish imaged using confocal microscopy.
    Evan Darling Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, New York, USA
    A starfish imaged using confocal microscopy.
  • 8
    Nerves and blood vessels in a mouse ear.
    Dr. Tomoko Yamazaki National Institutes of Health (NIH) Bethesda, Maryland, USA
    Nerves and blood vessels in a mouse ear.
  • 9
    Young buds of Arabidopsis, a flowering plant.
    Dr. Nathanael Prunet California Institute of Technology and Dartmouth College, Department of Biology Pasadena, California, USA
    Young buds of Arabidopsis, a flowering plant.
  • 10
    A live clam shrimp.
    Ian Gardiner Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    A live clam shrimp.
  • 11
    Fern sorus at varying levels of maturity.
    Rogelio Moreno Gill Panama, Panama
    Fern sorus at varying levels of maturity.
  • 12
    Developing sea mullet embryos.
    Hannah Sheppard-Brennand Southern Cross University, National Marine Science Centre Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    Developing sea mullet embryos.
  • 13
    Tentacles of a carnivorous plant.
    Jose Almodovar University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Mayaguez Campus, Biology Department Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, USA
    Tentacles of a carnivorous plant.
  • 14
    Australian grass seed.
    Viktor Sykora Charles University, First Faculty of Medicine Prague, Czech Republic
    Australian grass seed.
  • 15
    The anthers of thale cress.
    Dr. Heiti Paves Tallinn University of Technology, Department of Gene Technology Tallinn, Estonia
    The anthers of thale cress.
  • 16
    Feeding rotifers.
    Charles B.Krebs Charles Krebs Photography Issaquah, Washington, USA
    Feeding rotifers.
  • 17
    Black witch-hazel leaf producing crystals to defend against herbivores.
    Dr. David Maitland Feltwell, United Kingdom
    Black witch-hazel leaf producing crystals to defend against herbivores.
  • 18
    Hairyback worm and algae.
    Roland Gross Gruenen, Bern, Switzerland
    Hairyback worm and algae.
  • 19
    Planktonic larva of a horseshoe worm.
    Dr. Richard R.Kirby Marine Biological Association Plymouth, United Kingdom
    Planktonic larva of a horseshoe worm.
  • 20
    The suction cups on a diving beetle foreleg.
    Frank Reiser Nassau Community College, Department of Biology Garden City, New York, USA
    The suction cups on a diving beetle foreleg.
PHOTO GALLERY
2015 Nikon Small World Honorable Mentions And Images Of Distinction
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