Featured image: Live zebrafish embryo at 22 hours post-fertilization

When you get up really close to something, a whole new visual world opens up, a micro-reality where objects are transformed into incredible minute details. There are some photographers whose professional speciality is using a microscope, capturing these amazing close-ups and giving us a glimpse of microcosms we would never ordinarily see, and the Nikon Small World Competition is an annual celebration of this genre of photography.

This year’s entry pool is definitely worth a look, with some images appearing so surreal they look painted, while others are in such fine detail they become like satellite images from space. Take a look at a selection of them below and go here to see even more. Via

Jumping Spider Eyes
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Anagallis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel)

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Ant Eye

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Tradescantia zebrina (wandering jew) leaf stomata

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Chrysochroa buqueti (jewel beetle) carapace, near eye

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Reproductive tissues (gray) surrounded by neurons (colors) in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

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Young Starfish

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Magnesium chloride and potassium alum mixture

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Hydra and Volvox

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By snapme On Friday, October 24 th, 2014 · In Art ,Life