Extraordinary Images Taken Under a Microscope

Nearly 800 images were submitted to the Olympus Image of the Year Award 2021.


Celebrating scientific photos taken with a microscope, the contest is filled with imagery that reveals a world hidden from the naked eye. This year's winner, Jan Martinek, took the top prize thanks to his interesting look at a small flowering plant often used in genetic research.


Small flowering plant photographed through a microscope
Global winner – Jan Martinek (Czech Republic).

Leaf photographed through a microscope
Honorable mention – David Maitland (UK). Blue autofluorescent, star-shaped defensive hairs cover the surface of a Deutzia leaf.

Spores of soil fungus photographed through a microscope
Regional winner (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) – Vasilis Kokkoris (Netherlands). Multinucleate spores of a soil fungus.

Snail tongue photographed through a microscope
Honorable mention – Igor Siwanowiczfrom (USA). Rasping tongue, or radula, of an Astraea conehead snail, Astraea tecta.

Ovaries of a fruit fly photographed through a microscope
Honorable mention – Yujun Chen (USA). Ovaries of the fruit fly.

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