All of the following images, over the course of several years, were entered into the annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography competition. It is amazing how beautiful even the most ugly subject matter can be when examined close-up.
1House Fly (6.25x)
You can practically hear him buzzing!
This Muscoid fly (house fly) was photographed by Charles B. Krebs. It won 1st prize in the 2005 competition.
2HeLa (Cancer Cells) (300x)
Who knew such an ugly thing as cancer could look so beautiful under a microscope?
Photographed by Thomas J. Deerinck, this image won 12th place in the 2011 competition.
Think about this photo next time you're on the beach.
Photographed by Yanping Wang, this image won 14th place in the 2011 competition.
4Daphnia Magna (freshwater water flea) (100x)
Dare we say... this flea almost looks cute?
This image was photographed by Joan Röhl. It won 10th place in the 2011 competition.
Photographed by Manuela Schaper, this image won 16th place in the 2001 competition.
6Tip of a Butterfly Tongue (720x)
Wow. Just... wow.
Stephen S. Nagy, MD took this photo of a butterfly tongue, which earned an honorable mention in the 2011 competition.
7Human Brain Sections (63x)
Photographed by Dr. María Prado-Figueroa, this image shows sections of a human brain, magnified 63 times. This image won an honorable mention in the 2010 contest.
8Geranium Flower (20x)
This image was taken by Shamuel Silberman and earned 15th place in the Nikon 2005 competition.
9Bubble Plastic Wrap Injected with Ink
This is the only image on our list which is not natural, but it's so artistic that we had to include it.
Photographed by Carole Cliff, this image won 19th place in the 2000 competition.