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.

Ralph Claus Grimm
The eye of a honey bee covered in dandelion pollen.
Kristen Earle, Gabriel Billings, KC Huang
Mouse colon colonized with human microbiota.
Dr. Igor Siwanowicz Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Janelia Farm Research Campus, Leonardo Lab
A freshwater carnivorous plant known as a humped bladderwort.
Daniel H. Miller
Lab-grown human mammary gland organoid.
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.
Henri Koskinen Helsinki, Finland
The spore capsule of a moss.
Evan Darling Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, New York, USA
A starfish imaged using confocal microscopy.
Dr. Tomoko Yamazaki National Institutes of Health (NIH) Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Nerves and blood vessels in a mouse ear.
Dr. Nathanael Prunet California Institute of Technology and Dartmouth College, Department of Biology Pasadena, California, USA
Young buds of Arabidopsis, a flowering plant.
Ian Gardiner Calgary, Alberta, Canada
A live clam shrimp.
Rogelio Moreno Gill Panama, Panama
Fern sorus at varying levels of maturity.
Hannah Sheppard-Brennand Southern Cross University, National Marine Science Centre Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Developing sea mullet embryos.
Jose Almodovar University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Mayaguez Campus, Biology Department Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, USA
Tentacles of a carnivorous plant.
Viktor Sykora Charles University, First Faculty of Medicine Prague, Czech Republic
Australian grass seed.
Dr. Heiti Paves Tallinn University of Technology, Department of Gene Technology Tallinn, Estonia
The anthers of thale cress.
Charles B.Krebs Charles Krebs Photography Issaquah, Washington, USA
Feeding rotifers.
Dr. David Maitland Feltwell, United Kingdom
Black witch-hazel leaf producing crystals to defend against herbivores.
Roland Gross Gruenen, Bern, Switzerland
Hairyback worm and algae.
Dr. Richard R.Kirby Marine Biological Association Plymouth, United Kingdom
Planktonic larva of a horseshoe worm.
Frank Reiser Nassau Community College, Department of Biology Garden City, New York, USA
The suction cups on a diving beetle foreleg.
Honorable Mention

2015 Nikon Small World Honorable Mentions And Images Of Distinction

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