Every year, Nikon’s Small World in Motion Competition rounds up the best microscopic videos from scientists across the world. The results are always strange, beautiful and oddly compelling. Watch them here.
In fact, if there’s any unifying theme to this year’s winners, it’s that they’re all a bit... icky. The winner shows one kind of protozome eating another, second place goes to the contents of a termite’s gut, and third spot to a larva escaping from its host. Here they are to watch in full. Maybe make sure you’re breakfast’s gone down first.
1st Place: One protozome feeding on another
Captured by Wim van Egmond from the Micropolitan Museum in Rotterdam, this video shows Trachelius ciliate feeding on a Campanella ciliate—at 250x magnification.
2nd Place: The gut contents of a termite
Ever wondered what happens inside a termite’s gut? This video by Danielle Parsons from Wonder Science TV in Los Angeles reveals that there are hundreds of species of single-celled parabasalid microorganisms, known as Trichonympha.
3rd Place: A larva breaking out of its host
And finally, this video from Gonzalo Avila at the University of Auckland shows how a parasitoid larva called Cotesia urabae goes about breaking out of its host,Uraba lugens. Nice.