Photomicrograph of helix-shaped plankton

Photo: Wim van Egmond/Nikon Small World

Small World contest winner

Nikon’s Small World competition honors images of objects too small for the unaided eye to see. Wim van Egmond, a photographer from The Netherlands, won first place in the 2013 contest for his image of Chaetoceros debilis, a colonial diatom, a type of algae.

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Photomicrograph of a painted turtle's retina

Photo: Joseph Corbo/Nikon Small World

This year's second prize went to Joseph Corbo,for his photo of a painted turtle's retina, the light-sensitive membrane inside the eye.

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Photomicrograph of a marine worm

Photo: Alvaro Esteves Migotto/Nikon Small World

Alvaro Migotto, a researcher at the University of São Paulo, took home third prize for his magnified image of a marine worm.

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Photomicrograph of a Paramecium

Photo: Rogelio Moreno Gill/Nikon Small World

Rogelio Moreno Gill created this photo of a Paramecium, showing the nucleus, mouth and water expulsion vacuoles.

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Photomicrograph of a neuron

Photo: Kieran Boyle/Nikon Small World

Kieran Boyle's award-winning image shows a hippocampal neuron receiving excitatory contacts.

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Photomicrograph of chameleon embryo

Photo: Dorit Hockman/Nikon Small World

Dorit Hockman is credited for this amazing view of a veiled chameleon embryo, showing cartilage in blue and bone in red.

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Photomicrograph of a ladybird's leg

Photo: Jan Michels/Nikon Small World

You've never seen a ladybug like this. The contest's seventh prize went to Jan Michels, who took this image of an adhesive pad on a foreleg of ladybird beetle, or Coccinella septempunctata.

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Photomicrograph of a leafy liverwort plant

Photo: Magdalena Turzańska/Getty Images

This photomicrograph shows a leafy liverwort plant and cyanobacteria, and earned Magdalena Turzańska the eighth prize.

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Photomicrograph of an insect wrapped in a spider web

Photo: Mark A. Sanders/Nikon Small World

This haunting photomicrograph of an insect wrapped in a spider web was taken by Mark A. Sanders.

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Photomicrograph of a section of dinosaur bone

Photo: Ted Kinsman/Nikon Small World

Ted Kinsman took this photograph of this section of a dinosaur bone that has been preserved in clear agate.

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This story was originally written for LiveScience, with images courtesy of Nikon, and has been republished with permission here. Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company.
Prize-winning photos taken through a microscope
From plankton to neurons, this year's winners of Nikon's Small World photography contest shed light on a world that's normally invisible to the human eye.