TIME Photo

Tiny Beauties: Life’s Smallest Wonders As Seen Through a Microscope

The universe’s wonders are all around us — you just have to look close enough.

Every year, the Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition asks microscope-wielding photographers the world over to send their most magnificent imagery of the magnified world. The result? Beautiful colors, unusual textures and unique patterns visible only under scientific instruments.

This year, more than 2,100 still images and movies were submitted from artists in 71 different countries—the largest field of competing countries in the contest’s 10-year history. The images collected in the above gallery represent the 10 winners, plus 10 more honorable mentions.

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