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Nikon Small World 2014: 40 Years of Seeing the Invisible

The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition has been exploring a world invisible to the naked eye for 40 years. The contest features artistic photos of microscopic subjects. This year, Nikon received more than 1,200 entries from scientists, artists and photographers all over the world.

The 20th-place entry was submitted by Dylan T. Burnette of Nashville's Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. It shows an osteosarcoma (bone cancer) cell at 8000X magnification.

This 19th-place image by Sabrina Kaul of the University of Vienna shows the larval stage of the acorn worm at 10X magnification.

The 18th-place entry by Jens H. Petersen of Denmark's MycoKey shows a tower of pollen on a scarlet pimpernel plant at 80X magnification.

An odd-looking species of micro algae (Pleurotaenium ovatum) is the subject of the 17th-place entry by Rogelio Moreno of Panama City, Panama. Magnification is 40X.

Rogelio Moreno Gill

The 16th-place entry by Nils Lindstrom of Scotland's Roslin Institute shows three transgenic kidneys cultured together, as seen at 20X magnification.

A segment of a jewel beetle's eye sparkles at 45X magnification in the Nikon Small World contest's 15th-place entry, submitted by Charles Krebs of Issaquah, Washington.

The 14th-place entry by Ali Erturk of Munich, Germany, shows blood circulating in a mouse's brain at 2X magnification

Another entry from Charles Krebs took 13th place in the contest. This 417X magnification image shows a microscopic aquatic animal known as a rotifer in the middle of a meal.

Charles Krebs

The 12th-place entry, submitted by Douglas Moore from University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, shows an unpolished Montana Dryhead agate rock at 50X magnification.

At 25X magnification, a house cricket's tongue takes on the appearance of a leaf. This 11th-place entry was submitted by Stefano Barone of Cremona, Italy.

Stefano Barone

The 10th-place entry by the University of Western Australia's Paul Joseph Rigby shows a daisy petal with a fungal infection at 10X magnification.

The ninth-place entry by Meritxell Vendrell from Barcelona's Universitat Autònoma shows a tinted parsley ovary at 63X magnification.

The appendages of a brine shrimp look like feathers at 100X magnification. This eighth-place entry was submitted by Igor Robert Siwanowicz of Virginia's Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The Nikon Small World contest's seventh-place entry, submitted by Dennis Hinks of Cleveland, Ohio, shows the circuitry inside a DVD reader at 100X magnification.

The sixth-place entry by MIT's Douglas Brumley shows fluid flow around a coral polyp at 4X magnification.

University of Georgia researcher Muthugapatti K. Kandasamy submitted this fifth-place entry, which shows the stained endothelial cells of a cow's pulmonary artery. The stains highlight actin (pink), mitochondria (green) and DNA (yellow).

This fourth-place entry by Karin Panser of Vienna's Institute of Molecular Pathology shows a caterpillar's proleg with gripping hooks, at 20X magnification.

Here's looking at you: The eyes of a jumping spider stare out at 20X magnification in this third-place entry from Noah Fram-Schwartz of Greenwich, Connecticut.

The second-place entry, submitted by the University of Pisa's Alessandro Da Mommio, shows diamond-shaped splits in calcite crystal at 10X magnification.

The Nikon Small World's first-place image, submitted by Panama's Rogelio Moreno, shows a rotifer's mouth at 40X magnification. Moreno captured the image just as the mouth was opening. "When you see that movement, you fall in love," Moreno said in a news release. "I thought, 'Wow, that is amazing. I can’t believe what I’m seeing.'"

Top images from the competition will be featured in a full-color calendar and a national museum tour.

See last year's Nikon Small World winners

Learn more about the Nikon Small World contest

Rogelio Moreno Gill