Eeeek! A fluorescing ant head/horror movie monster took 11th place in the Nikon Small World contest.
HeLa Cell Dance
This colorful image of cancer cells took 12th place in the 2011 Nikon competition. These HeLa cells are the descendants of a seemingly immortal cancer cell line taken from the cervix of Henrietta Lacks, a black woman born in Virginia who died of her disease in 1951, never knowing how important her cells would become to medicine.
A curare vine (Chondrodendron tomentosum) in cross-section took 13th place in the Nikon competition.
In a Grain of Sand
Bet you didn't know how shapely sand could be. These grains took 14th place in the 2011 Nikon Small World contest.
No, this is not a rip in the fabric of space-time. This is a close-up look at a lobe coral's pigmentation response.
Scaffold of Life
Cultured cells grow on a bio-polymer scaffold in the 16th place winner of the 2011 Nikon Small World contest.
Filaria worms lurk inside lymphatic vessels in a mouse's ear. This shudder-worthy image took 17th place in the 2011 Nikon Small World competition.
The delicate veins of a quaking aspen leaf, magnified four times, took 18th place in the 2011 Nikon contest.
Really Tiny Christmas
Nikon winner Donna Stolz is ready for Christmas -- on a microscopic level, at least. This is a collage of mammalian cells, stained to reveal various proteins and organelles and then assembled into a wreath. Happy holidays!
Dinosaur Bone Art
20th place has been waiting a long time for this -- 150 million years, to be precise. This image of agatized dinosaur bone cells magnified 42 times rounds out the top 20 in the 2011 Nikon Small World photography contest.