SCIENCE
12/16/2013 04:49 pm ET | Updated Dec 17, 2013

11 Spectacular Photos That Make Microscopic Realm Look Enormous, Beautiful

The world looks a lot different through a microscope. For instance, the trap of a carnivorous plant is truly terrifying. Baby box bugs are absolutely adorable. And who knew a bat embryo could play "peek-a-boo?"

Each of these images is a winner in the 2013 Olympus Bioscapes Digital Imaging Competition. The images were judged according to three criteria: the uniqueness of the specimen shown; the aesthetic beauty; how difficult capturing the image must have been. Here are the top 10 images in reverse order -- scroll down for the winner!

  • 10 Paramecium -- a one-celled organism that lives in fresh water. Photo by Ralph Grimm
    2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition
  • 9 Head and legs of a caddisfly larva -- a European and North American genus of insects whose larvae live in fresh water, in gravel, stones or sand. Photo by Fabrice Parais
    2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition
  • 8 Mouse tail -- with hair follicle stem cells. Photo by Dr. Yaron Fuchs
    2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition
  • 7 Phantom midge larva -- Chaoborus, also known as "Glassworm." Photo by Charles Krebs
    2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition
  • 6 Brother bugs -- two box bugs, Gonocerus acuteangulatus, at just two hours old. Photo by Kurt Wirz
    2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition
  • 5 Mouse cells -- embryonic fibroblasts showing the actin filaments (red) and DNA (blue). Photo by Dr. Dylan Burnette
    2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition
  • 4 Lily flower -- stained transverse section of the flower bud. Photo by Spike Walker
    2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition
  • 3 Green algae -- this composite image shows a collection of single-cell freshwater algae, called Desmids. Photo by Dr. Igor Siwanowicz
    2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition
  • 2 Bat embryo -- this micrograph shows a black mastiff bat embryo (Molossus rufus), at the "Peek-a-boo" stage of development, when its wings have grown to cover its eyes. Photo by Dorit Hockman
    2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition
  • 1 Carnivorous plant -- open trap of the aquatic carnivorous plant humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba). Photo by Dr. Igor Siwanowicz, a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus
    2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

  • Carbajo Maria / FEI
    Spider Skin FEI
  • Ken Bart / FEI
    Caterpillar FEI
  • Maria Carbajo, FEI
    Ground coffee FEI
  • Gerald Poirier / FEI
    Dandelions FEI
  • Nayely Pineda / FEI
    Fruit Fly FEI
  • Maksim Kalienko / FEI
    Aluminium Fracture FEI
  • Ken Bart / FEI
    Tomato Leaf FEI
  • Wadah Mahmoud / FEI
    Penicillium Fungus of Bread FEI
  • Alexander Kraft / FEI
    Stoma of a Potato Leaf FEI
  • Valerie Lynch-Holm / FEI
    Embedded Tick FEI

CONVERSATIONS