14/10/2020 8:43 AM IST

These Award-Winning Photos Of The Microscopic World Will Blow Your Mind

The winners of the 46th annual Nikon Small World photo competition are truly amazing.

On Tuesday, Nikon Instruments announced the winner of its Nikon Small World photo competition. The contest, founded in 1974, received more than 2,000 entries from scientists, artists and hobbyists in 90 countries.

A beautiful image of the dorsal side of a zebrafish won the first prize. The image was taken by Daniel Castranova and assisted by Bakary Samasa while they were working in the lab of Dr. Brant Weinstein at the National Institutes of Health. Not only was it an amazing microscopic photo, but the image was significant because it helped Castranova’s team in a groundbreaking study about the anatomy of zebrafish.

According to a press release, the image revealed that “zebrafish have lymphatic vessels inside their skull that were previously thought to occur only in mammals. Their occurrence in fish, a much easier subject to raise, experiment with, and photograph, could expedite and revolutionize research related to treatments for diseases that occur in the human brain, including cancer and Alzheimer’s.”

See the top 20 winners from the Nikon Small World photo competition below. 

Above: An Honorable mention image by Dr. Saikat Ghosh and Dr. Lolitika Mandal shows a lymph gland of a fruit fly larva. 

Daniel Castranova/Dr. Brant Weinstein/Bakary Samasa/Nikon Small World

1st Place: Dorsal view of bones and scales (blue) and lymphatic vessels (orange) in a juvenile zebrafish.

Daniel Knop/Nikon Small World

2nd Place: Embryonic development of a clownfish.

Dr. Igor Siwanowicz/Nikon Small World

3rd Place: Tongue of a freshwater snail.

Dr. Vasileios Kokkoris/Dr. Franck Stefani/Dr. Nicolas Corradi/Nikon Small World

Multi-nucleate spores and hyphae of a soil fungus.

Ahmad Fauzan/Nikon Small World

Bogong moth.

Dr. Robert Markus/ Zsuzsa Markus/Nikon Small World

Hebe plant anther with pollen.

Jason Kirk/Nikon Small World

Microtubules (orange) inside a cell. Nucleus is shown in cyan.

Dr. Allan Carrillo-Baltodano/David Salamanca/Nikon Small World

Chameleon embryo.

Jason Kirk/Nikon Small World

Connections between hippocampal neurons (brain cells).

Ahmad Fauzan/Nikon Small World

Daphnia magna, a small crustacean.

Dr. Tagide de Carvalho/Nikon Small World

Red algae.

Robert Vierthaler/Nikon Small World

Human hair.

Justin Zoll/Nikon Small World

Crystals formed after heating an ethanol and water solution containing L-glutamine and beta-alanine.

Özgür Kerem Bulur/Nikon Small World

Leaf roller weevil.

Dr. Eduardo Zattara/Dr. Alexa Bely/Nikon Small World

Chain of daughter individuals from the asexually reproducing annelid species.

Alexander Klepnev/Nikon Small World

Nylon stockings.

Anne Algar/Nikon Small World

Ventral view of an immature water boatman.

Chris Perani/Nikon Small World

Atlas moth wing.

Dr. Jan Michels/Nikon Small World

Silica cell wall of the marine diatom Arachnoidiscus sp.

Dr. Dorit Hockman/Dr. Vanessa Chong-Morrison/Nikon Small World

Skeleton preparation of a short-tailed fruit bat embryo.

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