It's a small world after all—at least in the world of photomicrography.
Wim Van Egmond is one of Small World's most prolific photomicrographers and scored top honors with this detailed image of a diatom, using contrast to bring out the gymnastic rhythm of the bristles.
"I approach micrographs as if they are portraits," said Egmond. "The same way you look at a person and try to capture their personality, I observe an organism and try to capture it as honestly and realistically as possible."
On Wednesday, Nikon's Small World photo competition announced the winners of a worldwide contest to find stunning photos of the world invisible to the naked eye.
"This competition brings together some of the top talent from around the world, from all walks of life and scientific disciplines," said Eric Flem, communications manager at Nikon Instruments.
Click through to see the gallery of selected images from the Top 20 and Honorable Mentions of the competition—no microscope necessary.