Since 1974, Nikon has recognized the advances of microscopic technology and has been organizing the Nikon Small World Contest which is now in its 45th year involving microscope photographers. In the latest contest, more than 2000 entries from scientists across the world took part and the final winners were narrowed down to a list of 20 which were announced on 21st October. Take a look at some of the mindboggling microscopic photographs of the Nikon Small World contest 2019 that will freak you out.

1 Winner: Fluorescent Turtle

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The first place was awarded to Microscopic technicians Teresa Zgoda and Teresa Kugler who is a recent graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology. They painstakingly stacked hundreds of images together to create the mosaic of fluorescent turtle embryo. Says Teresa ““Microscopy lets us zoom in on the smallest organisms and building blocks that comprise our world—giving us a profound appreciation for the small things in life that far too often go unnoticed.”

2 2nd Place: Turtle

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Among microscopic photographs, the second place was awarded to Igor Siwanowicz a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research scientist who whimsically color-coded these images of stentors which are single-celled freshwater protozoa. The technique showcased their 3D shapes.

3 3rd Place: Alligator embryo

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This is an immunofluorescence image that was captured by Daniel Smith Paredes a Yale graduate alogwith his advisor Bharat Anjan Bhullar. They even revealed the developing bones and nerves of the alligator embryo.

Modern instruments and computerized technology have given microscopists fantastic tools at their disposal. This enables them to take some amazing images of tiny thing in stunning detail. These photographs show how beauty lies in the smaller details of life.

4 4th place: Mosquito

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This amazing photograph won fourth place. Jan Rosenboom from Germany’s Rostock University made a combination of several images shot from different focus distances to get this Seussian view of a male mosquito

5 5th place: Snowflake

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As fifth place among Nikon Small World Contest 2019, Caleb Foster from Jericho Vermont shot this beautiful magnified photo of a snowflake showing its many hexagonal facets gleaming blue and purple. Often when it snows, we don’t even bother to wonder that the marvel of a snowflakes shape.

6 6th Place: Small white haired spider

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Among microscopic photographs, this macro wizened portrait of a small white haired spider was created by stacking several images together and shot through magnified objective lens by Spanish photographer: Javier Rupérez, Almáchar, Málaga

7 7th place: Pollen bearing stamens

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Here is another microscopic look at nature. It is a magnified image of pollen bearing stamens of a Chinese red carnation and taken by photographer Dr. Guillermo López, Alicante, of Spain. This was taken also through 3x objective lens magnification

8 8th place: Frozen water droplets

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Without the title, you would have never guessed what this was. This is an illuminated shot of a multitude of frozen water droplets shot by objective lens magnification by French photographer Garzon Christian Cotes-d’Armor, France.

9 9th place: A magical crystal?

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No this is not a magical crystal but a magnified shot of a tulip bulb cross section in reflected light with 1x objective lens magnification. It was shot by photographer Andrei Savitsky from Ukraine. Truly brilliant and colourful too.

10 10th place: Mitosis

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This is another amazing microscopic photograph by Jason M. Kirk, Baylor College of Medicine, Optical Imaging & Vital Microscopy Core, and Houston, Texas, USA. It shows BPAE cells in the telephase stage of mitosis using confocal with enhanced resolution and 63 x objective lens magnifications.

11 11th place: Ovaries of a drosophila fly

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Could you have imagined a fly’s ovaries to look like this? This is a shot off the ovaries of a drosophila female fly stained for nuclei (green) and F-actin (yellow). The magenta color is the follicle cells. This was a joint entry by Dr. Yujun Chen & Dr. Jocelyn McDonald, Kansas State University, Department of Biology, Manhattan, Kansas, USA.

12 12th place: Mosquito larvae

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Well, no one would really want to know what mosquito larvae looks like close up but to scientists such things are important. This was an entry by Anne Algar of Hunslow Middlesex, United Kingdom and taken with 4x objective lens magnification.

13 13th place: Copper oxide crystal

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This was an entry by Dr Emilio Carabajal Marquez Madrid Spain and shows Cuprite which is a mineral composed of copper oxide.

14 14th place: Lynx spider

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One wonders why this image wasn’t chosen higher up in the winning list of the Nikon small world contest 2019. It is a Female Oxyopes Dumonti Lynx spider and taken by Antoine Frank of St Pierre.

15 15th place: Crustacean

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Among the best microscopic photographs, this is a magnified kaleidoscope image by Polish photographer Marek Miś of a pregnant Daphnia magna, a small aquatic crustacean.