Proboscis of a blowfly.
Honorable Mention: Proboscis of a blowfly.Michael Gibson—Olympus Bioscapes
Proboscis of a blowfly.
Adult mouse cerebral cortex.
Black beetle.
Tracheae of a silkworm
Axons in a mouse brainstem.
Anemone flower.
Chick embryonic kidney.
Tip of the proboscis of a Viceroy butterfly.
Cell division, movements and cytoplasmic streaming of the desmid
Placental vasculature of a transgenic mouse embryo.
Paramecium, showing contactile vacuole and ciliary motion.
Head and legs of a caddisfly larva.
Mouse tail whole mounts stained for the K15 (green) hair follicle stem cell marker as well as Ki67 (red), which proliferating cells.
Phantom midge larva (Chaoborus).
Gonocerus acuteangulatus, two hours old.
Mouse embryonic fibroblasts showing the actin filaments (red) and DNA (blue).
Stained transverse section of a lily flower bud.
A composite image showing a collection of single-cell fresh water algae, desmids.
A lateral view of a black mastiff bat embryo (Molossus rufus).
Open trap of aquatic carnivorous plant, humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba).
Honorable Mention: Proboscis of a blowfly.
Michael Gibson—Olympus Bioscapes
1 of 20

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

Dec 16, 2013

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.

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.