Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

The world of the incredibly small is also the world of the incredibly cool. Check out the winners of this year's Small World Photomicrography Competition.

All images via Small World Nikon

Nikon's Small World competition is one of the leading forums for showcasing the insanely beautiful and bizarre worlds that only light microscopes can reveal. Nikon listed 20 winners this year, including the one shown above — a marine worm taken by Alvaro Esteves Migotto. The photograph won him a third place prize.

Related: Photos of the Amazing and Gruesome World Under a Microscope | Under a microscope, the smallest animals on Earth become beautiful nightmare fuel

First place went to Wim van Egmond for this photo of of Chaetoceros debilis (marine diatom), a colonial plankton organism (250x):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Second place went to Joseph Corbo for his image of a painted turtle retina (400x):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Rogelio Moreno Gill won 4th place. The image is of Paramecium sp. showing the nucleus, mouth and water expulsion vacuoles (40x):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Fifth place went to Kieran Boyle for an image showing the hippocampal neuron receiving excitatory contacts (63x):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Dorit Hockman's 6th place photo of Chamaeleo calyptratus (veiled chameleon) embryo showing cartilage (blue) and bone (red):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Jan Michels won 7th place for adhesive pad on a foreleg of a ladybird beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) (20x):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Magdalena Turzańska's 8th place photo of Barbilophozia sp. (a leafy liverwort, bryophyte plant) and cyanobacteria (50x):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Mark A. Sanders's 9th place photo of an insect wrapped in spider web (85x):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Ted Kinsman's 10th place photo of a thin section of a dinosaur bone preserved in clear agate (10x):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Here are some other ones we liked:

In 13th place: Michael Paul Nelson & Samantha Smith for their mouse vertebra section (200x):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Zhong Hua's mouse embryo (5x) finished in 14th place:

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Geir Drange won the 16th position for a photo of Pityohyphantes phrygianus (sheet weaver spider) with a parasitic wasp larva on the abdomen (5x):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography

Alexandre William Moreau got 17th place for showing pyramidal neurons and their dendrites visualized in the visual cortex of a mouse brain (40x):

Marvel at 2013's best microscopic photography