Watch the Trippy Winners of a Microscopic Film Contest

Nikon's Small World in Motion honors the best movie or time-lapse photography taken through a microscope.
Image: Nikon/Youtube

There’s something about watching the world’s tiniest things up close that can blow your mind, and there’s no better example of this than microscopic film. Take this one by University of Wisconsin biologists Elizabeth Haynes and Jiaye He, which shows a 16-hour timelapse of a tiny zebrafish embryo growing its elaborate sensory nervous system:

Since 2011, Nikon has held this annual competition, called Small World in Motion, to highlight the best tiny filmmaking in the world. Any movie or timelapse shot through a microscope is eligible, and a panel of photomicrogaphy experts judges the entries. The zebrafish video above won first place in this year’s competition.


Surprisingly, every year they uncover new, interesting takes on the format. Second place this year, for example, shows the strange patterns that emerge when you shine a laser through some soap bubbles:

And the third place winner was a short profile of this translucent, wriggling, weirdly-cute polychaete worm—a microorganism that can be as small as two millimeters long.

You can check out all of this year’s finalists and other microscopic vids on Nikon’s YouTube page. Trippy vibes guaranteed.