Each year people break out their cameras and microscopes for the Nikon Small World Motion Photomicrography Competition. The submissions give us a unique glimpse into the realm of the extremely tiny. Watch a flea giving birth and clock ticking away time like you’ve never seen before. Learn more about this year’s competition here and check out the gallery page. Following is a transcript of the video.
Just beyond the limits of human sight is an unseen universe that microscopes can explore. These are the gears of ap pocket watch ticking away time. Some of this footage is helping researchers crack nature’s mysteries like this video filmed over 16 hours. It reveals how a baby Zebrafish’s nervous system develops. The video won 1st place at this year’s Nikon Small World competition. In 2nd place were these electrifying green bolts. They’re actually a laser beam shooting through soap bubbles bending and refracting into a dazzling display of light. And in 3rd place was this marine worm. No, it’s not playing an instrument. It’s just trying to swallow something. The animal’s mostly transparent body offers a clear look at its organs. In 4th place is this footage of an expectant mother. She’s a tiny Daphnia water flea and is having twins!
But these award winners are just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some more honorable mentions. Everybody starts somewhere and if you’re a baby stinkbug, then its’ an egg hatching under a leaf. Ever seen the skin of a squid? It’s full of cells called chromatophores. Alone these pigment-filled cells look rather strange. But together they help the animal change colour on a whim. What about these growing golden crystals/ Just a bit of soy sauce that’s drying up. The salts begin to crystallize as the water evaporates away. Microstomum lineare: an aquatic worm that likes to wriggle. These fat cells of a mouse are dividing and multiplying. Oh hello there, little larva of a Japanese mantis shrimp. This creature is magnified about four to six times. Inside each of our cells is a dynamic network of structural tubes and our bodies are constantly fighting off enemies including the cancer cells in this tissue. The microscopic world around us is mesmerising to watch. Each clip shown was a finalist in this year’s annual Nikon Small World in Motion Photomicrography Competition.
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