Stunning images of things invisible to the naked eye
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Stunning images of things invisible to the naked eye

A close up of a corkscrew-shaped plankton, a look into a weaver spider's abdomen, and a microscopic view of a mouse's spine are among the winners of this year's Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition

Dutch photographer Wim van Egmond took top prize for his Chaetoceros debilis (marine diatom), a colonial plankton organism, image (see above). 

"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."

The contest, founded in 1975, recognizes excellence in photography through a microscope. 

Check out the rest of the Top 20 in our gallery above.