The Beauty of Tiny Worlds

Beautiful things are everywhere. Look around you, isn’t it true? The red roses, the puffy clouds, and the kid that left a big stain of ketchup on his face beside you in McD. Things that trigger positive emotion in our brains, making us utter “hmm that’s nice” or something along the line.

On the other hand, fascinating and pretty stuff also exist at places that we can’t see. Nikon, one of the major imaging experts in industry, came up with a competition called The Nikon International Small World Competition in 1975 to promote photomicrography. (yes, that’s a word).

Since then, scientists, researchers and engineers sent their artistic photos taken under their microscopes to Nikon. All kinds of techniques and subjects are allowed, so you would expect there would be … interesting photos there.

Behold, the first place this year:

Guess what it is? Some sort of worm covered in eggs? Closed eyelid of an alien animal? It is actually “Eye of a honey bee (Apis mellifera) covered in dandelion pollen“. Bee and dandelion!

However, other entries may be too exotic for our daily, mundane tastes. Look at this one:

What, in the name of God, is this freaky thing? The business end of an insect? The private part of some micro-organism? It turns out to be spore capsule of a moss.

There are many gems throughout the years:

Mosquito’s heart…

Pupil of freshwater shrimp…

 and Influenza virus crystals.

Go and browse the gallery, you will definitely find something that interests (or disgusts) you. Yet these are all different snapshots of our nature, empowered by the tools of science!

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