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Images: Small Worlds Come to Life in Stunning Photos

Images of the small world around us

nikon small world competition, vitamin c

(Image credit: Mr. Raul M. Gonzalez | Courtesy of Nikon Small World.)

From an up-close look at yellow food coloring to a peek at pearly dewdrops dangling from a spider web, here's a look at a world too tiny to see with the naked eye in images from the 2013 Nikon Small World Competition.

Round and about

nikon small world competition, nylon

(Image credit: Ms. Kelly Brinsko | Courtesy of Nikon Small World.)

False-twist textured nylon yarn. Crossed Polarized Light at 100X.

Tiny tree?

nikon small world competition

(Image credit: Mr. Frank Fox | Courtesy of Nikon Small World.)

Vorticella sp. (protozoa). Darkfield at 20X.

Knobs and rods

nikon small world competition, pollen

(Image credit: Mr. Frederic Labaune | Courtesy of Nikon Small World.)

Crocus pollen and stigmate. Episcopy and stacking at 40X.

Not what it seems

nikon small world competition, tartrazine

(Image credit: Mr. Frederic Labaune | Courtesy of Nikon Small World.)

Crystallization of tartrazine (dye primarily used as a food coloring). Differential Interference Contrast at 40X.

The stars aligned

nikon small world competition, coinstar

(Image credit: Dr. Veli-Pekka Ronkainen | Courtesy of Nikon Small World.)

Surface details of a one euro coin. Confocal reflection microscopy, Z-stacking and maximum intensity projection at 10X.

With open arms

nikon small world competition, Actinarctus doryphorus

(Image credit: Dr. Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa, Corinna Schulze and Ricardo Neves | Courtesy of Nikon Small World.)

Actinarctus doryphorus (marine tardigrade) autofluorescence of cuticle. Confocal at 40X.

A peek inside

nikon small image competition, nerve and muscle

(Image credit: Dr. David Ward | Courtesy of Nikon Small World.)

Nerve and muscle thin section. Brightfield, Image Stacking at 40X.

Strange and beautiful

nikon small world competition

(Image credit: Dr. Havi Sarfaty | Courtesy of Nikon Small World.)

A flower stamen. Reflected light at 40X.

Sleek and shiny

nikon small world competition, pearceite

(Image credit: Dr. César Menor Salván | Courtesy of Nikon Small World.)

Pearceite, an uncommon silver mineral, in beautiful hexagonal crystals, from a copper mine in Spain. Reflected Light, Stereomicroscopy at 100X.

A tiny explosion

nikon small world competition, sugar dynamics

(Image credit: Dr. James Burchfield | Courtesy of Nikon Small World.)

The explosive dynamics of sugar transport in fat cells. Live Cell Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence at 1,000,000X.