Stunning microscope images show the beauty in detail

By Keith Morrison

Taking the phrase of "putting it under the microscope" quite literally, the Nikon Small World contest recently announced its winners for 2014. Now in its 40th year, the contest aims to seamlessly merge the worlds of science and photography into a genre known as photomicrography.

The submissions -- 2,000 in total from professionals and hobbyists alike -- allow the viewer to step into the lab and explore the otherwise unseen world around them in a new and colorful way. This year's collection features an array of subject matter stemming from an up-close encounter with a jumping spider all the way down to the intricate circuitry of a DVD player.

This year's top prize was awarded to Rogelio Moreno of Panama for his unique shot of an open-mouthed rotifer. The extremely rare site required diligence on the end of Moreno who had to sit for hours waiting patiently for the moment to depress the shutter.

"When you see that movement, you fall in love. I thought -- wow, that is amazing, I can't believe what I'm seeing," said Moreno in a press release. "I hope now it can inspire others as much as it has inspired me –- to learn about science, to look closely and notice something truly amazing."

A computer system programmer by day, the self-taught Moreno now enters a collection of 36 other individuals who have received the top prize.

Browse the full set of winners and Honorable Mentions in the slideshow above!

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