Microscopic World Unveiled With 20 Stunning Photos: The Winners Of 2017 Nikon’s Small World Competition


People who like photography made a good decision entering this post. People who love science may feel in the best place today, while reading this article. People who feel attracted by the unseen, by the ‘untouchable’ microscopic world, will be inspired by the extraordinary images from the Nikon’s Small World competition.

After 43 years, Nikon celebrated the moment with stunning images captured by the light microscope. Welcome to the unbelievable world of photomicrography. The competition is ended and the winners announced. The competition was open to anyone and allowed to showcase the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope.

This is the top 20 ranking at the 2017 Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition, with bizarre and unknown subjects only this art can catch.


1ST PLACE: human skin cells (HaCaT keratinocytes) expressing fluorescently tagged keratin.

human skin cells nikons small world competition

By Dr. Bram van den Broek, Andriy Volkov, Dr. Kees Jalink, Dr. Reinhard Windoffer & Dr. Nicole Schwarz from The Netherlands Cancer Institute.


2ND PLACE: Senecio vulgaris (a flowering plant) seed head.

senecio vulgaris human skin cells nikons small world competition

By Dr. Havi Sarfaty from Eyecare Clinic.


3RD PLACE: Living Volvox algae releasing its daughter colonies.

living volvox algae nikons small world competition

By Jean-Marc Babalian.


4TH PLACE: Taenia solium (tapeworm) everted scolex.

taena solium nikons small world competition

What a “cute monster”.
By Teresa Zgoda from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).


5TH PLACE: Mold on a tomato.

moldo on a tomato nikons small world competition

Fluffy, isn’t it?
By Dean Lerman.


6TH PLACE: Lily pollen.

lily pollen nikons small world competition

So much inside this tiny thing.
By Dr. David A. Johnston from University Hospital Southampton, Biomedical Imaging Unit.


7TH PLACE: Individually labeled axons in an embryonic chick ciliary ganglion.

embryonic nikons small world competition

I would believe they are some colourful lights from an evening party.
By Dr. Ryo Egawa from Nagoya University.


8TH PLACE: Newborn rat cochlea with sensory hair cells (green) and spiral ganglion neurons (red).

spiral ganglion neurons nikons small world competition

I would have never imaged this will become a rat one day.
By Dr. Michael Perny from University of Bern, Institute for Infectious Diseases.


9TH PLACE: Growing cartilage-like tissue in the lab using bone stem cells (collagen fibers in green and fat deposits in red).

bone stem cells nikons small world competition

By Catarina Moura, Dr. Sumeet Mahajan, Dr. Richard Oreffo & Dr. Rahul Tare from University of Southampton, Institute for Life Sciences.


10TH PLACE: Phyllobius roboretanus (weevil).

phyllobius roboretanus nikons small world competition

By Dr. Csaba Pintér from University of Pannonia, Georgikon Faculty, Department of Plant Protection.


11TH PLACE: Plastic fracturing on credit card hologram.

credit card hologram nikons small world competition

This is what you use when you pay. Would you ever believed that?
By Steven Simon of Simon Photography


12TH PLACE: Opiliones (daddy longlegs) eye.

opiliones eye nikons small world competition

Do you feel observed?
By Charles B. Krebs of Charles Krebs Photography.


13TH PLACE: Exaerete frontalis (orchid cuckoo bee).

exaerete frontalis nikons small world competition

By Levon Biss of Levon Biss Photography Ltd.


14TH PLACE: Common Mestra butterfly eggs, laid on a leaf of Tragia sp. (Noseburn plant).

noseburn plant nikons small world competition

By David Millard.


15TH PLACE: 3rd trimester fetus of a fruit bat (Megachiroptera).

fetus nikons small world competition

By Dr. Rick Adams from University of Northern Colorado, Department of Biological Sciences.


16TH PLACE: Parus major (titmouse) down feather.

parus major nikons small world competition

By Marek Miś of Marek Mis Photography.


17TH PLACE: Dyed human hair.

diyed human hair nikons small world competition

From the outside they may look charming, but what do you think now?
By Harald K. Andersen.


18TH PLACE: Synapta (sea-cucumber) skin.

synapta nikons small world competition

Wow, I thought it was a pattern for a beach towel design.
By Christian Gautier of Biosphoto.


19TH PLACE: Embryonic body wall from a developing Mus musculus (mouse).

hembryonic body wall nikons small world competition

Well, with a bit of imagination it may look like a satellite map. Am I too imaginative?
By Dr. Dylan Burnette from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology.


20TH PLACE: Aspergillus flavus (fungus) and yeast colony from soil.

aspergillus flavus nikons small world competition

Let’s print this on canvas: it could easily be a nice painting to hang on your wall. What do you think?
By Tracy Scott.

Do you like photography and the microscopic world? Which image do you prefer? Let us know your personal ranking by commenting below.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here