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This year’s best microscope photos from the Nikon Small World contest will give you an eyeful of some of the amazing things you usually can’t see at all.
More than 2,000 images from 80 different countries were entered in the 39th annual competition. The panel of judges that combed through all of them to find the best ones included scientists, journalists and microscope experts. The photos were judged on their originality, the information they conveyed, the technical skills that created them and their visual impact.
The winning image, by freelance photographer Wim van Egmond of The Netherlands, is an amazing view of a colony of marine diatoms, a type of phytoplankton. The colony is shaped like a hairy helical ribbon. To get all the detail and give a sense of three dimensions, Egmond used a technique called image stacking to piece together more than 90 images.
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