For 12 years, camera and microscope manufacturer Nikon has hosted an annual contest of the best videos showing life and nature on a microscopic scale. On Tuesday, it presented the latest winners of the Nikon Small World in Motion Video Competition, along with many more dazzling entries.
The contest is an offshoot of Nikon’s Small World Competition, with an emphasis on movies or digital time-lapsed photography taken through a microscope. A panel of scientists and journalists specializing in photo and video judged the entries, and the top prize went to a time-lapsed video of a zebrafish embryo going through the stages of development over an eight-hour period, with fluorescent markers used to display the winding journey that different types of cells take to eventually become fully functioning organs and tissues. Other videos this year show how a sea anemone’s cells allow it to sting animals that gets too close, a cancer cell with more DNA than it bargained for, and a hydra in the middle of its meal.
Here are the top five winners along with some honorable mentions, with videos courtesy of Nikon Small World. A full list of the top 30 videos can be seen here.