Gallery: This Year’s Most Amazing Microscopic Photography

Winners of the Nikon's annual Small World competition represent the best in through-the-microscope photography
This strangely glowing, somewhat translucent shot captures the anther of a thale cress, an organism whose genome was fully sequenced in 2000. According to photographer and research scientist Dr. Heiti Paves, the photo has no scientific significance—it just happened to be the most artistic in his pile of thousands. Still, the thale cress is known to be a model organism in plant biology. Courtesy Nikon Small World Photo Micrography Competition: Photographed by Dr. Heiti Paves

Nikon’s annual Small World Competition began in 1974 to showcase the best microscope-aided photography. The competition attracts a fascinating variety of subjects, photographed using a range of microscopy techniques. Many of the images are scientifically important, but all are aesthetically stunning. This year’s 137 winners have been announced, and we’ve got them all here for you.

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