Nikon's Small World Contest

Well, this is my new obsession. Science and photography mashed up together. The results of Nikon’s 47th annual Small World photomicrography contest have been posted and they’re just incredible. The gallery features photos from this year, but also the winners from the past 47 years, each one more beautiful than the last.

I can’t even begin to choose a favorite, but here are a couple from that I like just to give you an idea.

Thin slice of a meteorite

Sleeping cuckoo wasp

Which ones do you love?

Ooo… I like this one. Amino Acid Crystals. 18th place, 2018.

This one amuses me, Witchhazel, 17th place, 2015.

This one, too, Coral Sand, 18th place, 2012 (looks like it’s by the same guy, so I guess I’ve found a style I like):

This one, too. 6th place, 2011, cracked gallium arsenide solar cell flims:

Whoops, I missed the edit window and this should say “a couple from this year’s contest”

And @pulykamell, I LOVE the coral sand. And all of them!

These should be framed and mounted on a wall.


That witch hazel one is astounding. I’d bloody love it as part of a bedding set. That might sound like a mundane way to approach art but I have shit-all wall space, so it’s the easiest way for me to make art a part of my home.

Looks like stained glass, doesn’t it? It’s one of my favourite things to show geological laypeople, petrographic slides under polarized light.

If you like the meteorite slice, then some keywords you will want to learn are “thin section” and “crossed polars”, combined with various meteorite or rock keywords. A Google Image Search for “thin section achondrite”, “thin section dunite” or “thin section peridotite”, for instance, would return a lot of similar images.

This is my favourite meteorite thin section (preview not working).

Neither is the link (for me)

Mmmm, don’t know why, works for me. It’s the bottom pic on this page: thin section | Center for Meteorite Studies

That one works for me…very pretty!