Biology can be fascinating at any scale, but the most intriguing aspects are often the ones we can't see without the aid of a microscope. Plants, animals, microbes, and even humans are completely alien, sometimes strange, and almost always beautiful this close up.
This year's winners of the ninth annual Olympus Bioscapes Digital Imaging Competition are simply stunning. Every time I think I've seen the most amazing microscope images, a new crop comes along to prove me wrong. The top ten images and videos were chosen from nearly 2,000 entries from 62 countries.
The first place winner is Ralph Grimm, a teacher from Australia who made the video above of a colony of microscopic rotifers from a lily pad in his pond. It is the first video to win the competition.
Ralph Grimm, Jimboomba, Queensland, Australia
Subject: Colonial rotifers showing eyespots and corona.
Image: Ralph Grimm / Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®
Technique: Differential interference contrast microscopy
Magnification: 200x - 500x