SCIENCE
12/09/2015 12:00 pm ET Updated Dec 09, 2015

18 Award-Winning Videos That Prove The Hidden Micro Realm Is Beautiful

"A pool in your garden is actually a miniature underwater jungle..."

There is a micro world full of drama and action all around us that our naked eyes can't see.

But thanks to the incredible power of microscopes and advancing video technologies, this hidden realm can be revealed -- just check out the videos (below) that were recently honored in Nikon's fifth annual Small World in Motion Photomicrography Competition.

The first place-winning video was taken by Wim van Egmond, a curator at the Micropolitan Museum in The Netherlands, and shows a microorganism devouring its prey in water that was scooped out of a friend’s backyard pond.

"Wildlife is so close to us, yet most of us never look close enough to see it," van Egmond said in a statement. "A pool in your garden is actually a miniature underwater jungle teeming with life. If you want to see the world, your backyard is a great place to start."

Check out the top three winning videos and 15 honorable mentions below. Enjoy!

  • 1
    A tiny single-celled creature, called a ciliate, devouring its prey.
    Mr. Wim van Egmond
    A tiny single-celled creature, called a ciliate, devouring its prey.
  • 2
    The microorganisms found in the gut contents of a termite.
    Miss Danielle Parsons
    The microorganisms found in the gut contents of a termite.
  • 3
    A parasite larva breaking out of its host, <i>Uraba lugens</i>, and then spinning its own cocoon.
    Mr. Gonzalo Avila
    A parasite larva breaking out of its host, Uraba lugens, and then spinning its own cocoon.
  • 4
    The&nbsp;calcium increase and sperm incorporation that happens after a starfish egg is fertilized.
    Dr. Luigia Santella, A. Puppo, JT Chun, G. Gragnaniello & E. Garante
    The calcium increase and sperm incorporation that happens after a starfish egg is fertilized.
  • 5
    These are janus colloids, or micron-sized particles that spontaneously move in an AC electric field.
    Dr. Jing Yan, Jie Zhang & Dr. Steve Granick
    These are janus colloids, or micron-sized particles that spontaneously move in an AC electric field.
  • 6
    Fluorescently labeled chromatin array (in&nbsp;red) and mRNA (in&nbsp;green) in cells.
    Dr. Paolo Annibale & Enrico Gratton
    Fluorescently labeled chromatin array (in red) and mRNA (in green) in cells.
  • 7
    Droplets releasing&nbsp;nutrients after being&nbsp;exposed to a simulated gastric fluid.
    Dr. Alireza Abbaspourrad
    Droplets releasing nutrients after being exposed to a simulated gastric fluid.
  • 8
    Capsules containing platinum reacting with hydrogen peroxide.
    Dr. Annie Lu & Dr. Srinivasa Raghavan
    Capsules containing platinum reacting with hydrogen peroxide.
  • 9
    A mouse whisker hair follicle developing.
    Dr. Abigail Tucker & Dr. Marcia Gaete, King's College London
    A mouse whisker hair follicle developing.
  • 10
    A small aquatic animal called a rotifer, or <i>Lepadella triba</i>.
    Mr. Ralph Grimm
    A small aquatic animal called a rotifer, or Lepadella triba.
  • 11
    The embryogenesis of a thale cress plant, or <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i>.
    Dr. Daisuke Kurihara of Nagoya University
    The embryogenesis of a thale cress plant, or Arabidopsis thaliana.
  • 12
    The cardiovascular system of a four-day-old zebrafish.
    Dr. Michael Weber of Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
    The cardiovascular system of a four-day-old zebrafish.
  • 13
    Human&nbsp;tissue ablated by a laser pulse.
    Mr. Michael Evers
    Human tissue ablated by a laser pulse.
  • 14
    Cyanobacterium, or <i>Oscillatoria princeps</i>, filaments.
    Ms. Haripriya Mukundarajan, Vivek N. Prakash, Nicolas Harmand & Manu Prakash
    Cyanobacterium, or Oscillatoria princeps, filaments.
  • 15
    Soap film.
    Dr. John Hart
    Soap film.
  • 16
    A water flea.
    Mr. Wim van Egmond
    A water flea.
  • 17
    Single-celled creatures called&nbsp;ciliates (<i>Paramecium caudatum</i> and <i>Frontonia leucas</i>).
    Mr. Gerd-A. Günther
    Single-celled creatures called ciliates (Paramecium caudatum and Frontonia leucas).
  • 18
    The growth of penicillium fungi.
    Mr. Wim van Egmond
    The growth of penicillium fungi.

Check out this year's Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition winners in the slideshow below.

 

PHOTO GALLERY
2015 Nikon Small World Top 20
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