These Videos Show The Hauntingly Beautiful Microscopic World

You've never seen the microscopic world like this before.

Nikon has held the Small World photomicrography contest each year since 1975 to find the most amazing images that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

A second category was added in 2011, and the Small World In Motion contest brings these microcosms to life through video and time lapse photography. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners  are awarded money for great Nikon equipment that the photographers can use to explore and expand our understanding and appreciation of the microscopic world. 

All entries are judged on their originality, informational content, technical proficiency, and visual impact. This year's submissions were judged by Dr. Paul Maddox from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Take a look at the stunning winners as well as some incredible honorable mentions:

First Place: The development of the zebrafish lateral line, the organ that senses water movements in the fish.

Credit: Dr. Mariana Muzzopappa and Jim Swoger of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine Barcelona in Spain. 

Second Place: Time-lapse of caffeine crystallization

Credit: Dr. Douglas Clark of the Paedia Corporation in San Francisco, California.

Third Place: Oil film floating on water (12.5x)

Credit: Dr. John Hart from the University of Colorado Boulder

Honorable Mention: Developing mouse embryonic kidneys (4x)

Credit: Dr. Nils Lindström from The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh

Honorable Mention: Killer T cell engaging a cancer cell (1000x)

Credit: Alex Ritter, Dr. Bi-Chang Chen,Dr. Wesley Legant & Dr. Liang Gao from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland

Honorable Mention: Human melanoma (cancer) cells blebbing (100x)

Credit: Dr. Jeremy Logue from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland

Honorable Mention: Tracking the locomotion of a fruit fly (10x)

Credit: Pushkar Paranjpe from Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Honorable Mention: C. elegans (nematode) cell division (63x)

Credit: Shaohe Wang from the University of California, San Diego

Honorable Mention: Rotifer (microscopic water creature) (750x)

Credit: Ralph Claus Grimm from Jimboomba, Queensland, Australia

Honorable Mention: Time-lapse of a 2 day old zebrafish embryo with green erythrocytes and red blood vessels

Credit: Elliott Hagedorn from Boston Children's Hospital

Visit Nikon to view more of the honorable mentions in this amazing series.