The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Comp is hands down the coolest competition in science.
Now in its 45th year, the Nikon Small World Photomicrography contest invites photographers and scientists from around the world to submit images of the insane stuff they’ve seen under the microscope.
With more than 2,000 images submitted from 100 countries, this year’s first prize went to US-based microscopy technician Teresa Zgoda and recent Uni graduate Teresa Kugler for their painstakingly prepared image of a turtle embryo.
Captured with fluorescence and stereo microscopy, the impressive capture is an example of image-stitching – an intricate process where hundreds of teeny tiny images are stacked on top of each other.
“Microscopy lets us zoom in on the smallest organisms and building blocks that comprise our world – giving us a profound appreciation for the small things in life that far too often go unnoticed,” Kugler told Nikon. “It allows me to do science with a purpose.”
“We are inspired by the beautiful images we see through the microscope,” added Zgoda. “It’s humbling and deeply fulfilling to be able to share that science with other people.”
If you’re into STEM + art, chances are you’ll totally geek out over the winning entries. Here are the top five – enough to keep your desktop going until the rest of the year.
1st place: Florescent turtle embryo
2nd place: Depth colour-coded projections of three stentors
3rd place: Alligator embryo developing nerves and skeleton
4th place: Male mosquito
5th place: Snowflake
Want more STEAM (science, technology, engineering, ART and maths) inspo? Check out a stack of creative STEM career pathways here.
Author: Cassie Steel
As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.