When engineering student Shaahin Amini magnified the chemical elements nickel, aluminum and carbon under his high-powered microscope, he was surprised when he saw what appeared to be a tiny giraffe.

After a color touch-up in Photoshop, the University of California Riverside student entered the 0.005 millimeter figure into the "Science As Art" competition in San Francisco.

Amini's giraffe was selected as one of the first place winners at the competition, which included some 150 entries from around the world.

"Exploration under the microscope will give you the chance to detach yourself from this world and momentarily live in a microscopic wonderland where beauty can be found in unexpected spots," Amini said in a UCR press release.

Check out more nature inspired art, including Ondrej Pakan's dew soaked microscopic bugs and the Olympus Bioscapes competition's winning entries.

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