Photographer takes incredible close-up of an ant’s face – and it gives you nightmares

Just in time for Halloween! Photographer takes incredible close-up of an ant’s face – and it gives you nightmares

  • Lithuanian photographer Dr. Eugenijus Kavaliauskas cut the ant 5x magnified under a microscope
  • The image was one of 57 ‘Images of Distinction’ in Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition
  • The top prize went to Grigorii Timin for his depiction of an embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko

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At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a still from the latest horror blockbuster.

But the image is very real – and is actually a close-up of an ant.

Lithuanian photographer Dr. Eugenijus Kavaliauskas photographed the ant magnified five times under a microscope, revealing its red eyes and shadowy face in exceptional detail.

The image was entered into Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition and has been selected as one of 57 ‘Images of Distinction’.

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a still from the latest horror blockbuster. But the image is very real – and is actually a close-up of an ant

Photo of an embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko wins

The top prize in Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition was awarded to Grigorii Timin for his remarkable depiction of an embryonic hand of a giant day gecko from Madagascar.

Masterfully blending imaging technology and artistic creativity, Timin used high-resolution microscopy and image stitching to capture this species of Phelsuma grandis day gecko.

“This embryonic hand is about 3 mm (0.12 in) long, which is a huge sample for high-resolution microscopy,” Timin said. “The scan consists of 300 tiles with about 250 optical sections each, resulting in more than two days of acquisition and about 200 GB of data.”

“Each year, Nikon Small World receives a series of microscopic images that demonstrate exemplary scientific engineering and artistry,” said Eric Flem, Communications and CRM Manager at Nikon Instruments.

“This year was no exception.

“At the intersection of art and science, this year’s competition highlights stunning images from scientists, artists and microphotographers of all experience levels and backgrounds from around the world.”

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explained Dr. Kavaliauskas explains how he caught the ant in a forest near his home in Tauragė, Lithuania.

“I’m always looking for details, shadows and invisible angles,” he explained. ‘The main purpose of photography is to be an explorer.

“I am fascinated by the Creator’s masterpieces and the opportunity to see God’s designs.”

Although the ant looks quite terrifying, Dr. Kavaliauskas insists that “there are no terrors in nature.”

“When I first started microphotography, I also thought that all the beetles looked a bit like monsters,” he said.

“But now I’ve gotten used to it and it amazes me that there are so many interesting, beautiful and unknown wonders under our feet.”

Dr. Kavaliauskas’ photo wasn’t the only close-up of insects shown by Nikon.

Dr. Kavaliauskas’ photo wasn’t the only close-up of insects shown by Nikon. There was also an incredible photo of a red speckled jewel beetle

This colorful photo of a daring jumping spider was taken by Dr. Andrew Posselt of the University of California, San Francisco

An incredible photo of a red-speckled jewel beetle and a colorful photo of a daring leaping spider were also featured in the ‘Images of Distinction’ category.

However, the winner of this year’s competition was Grigorii Timin for his remarkable depiction of an embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko.

“This embryonic hand is about 3 mm (0.12 in) long, which is a huge sample for high-resolution microscopy,” Timin said.

The winner of this year’s competition was Grigorii Timin for his remarkable depiction of an embryonic hand of a giant day gecko from Madagascar

“The scan consists of 300 tiles with about 250 optical sections each, resulting in more than two days of acquisition and about 200 GB of data.”

Second place was awarded to Dr. Caleb Dawson for his image of breast tissue with contractile myoepithelial cells wrapped around milk-producing alveoli.

The myoepithelial cells took a week to process and were stained with multiple rounds of fluorescent dyes and captured with a confocal microscope.

Third place was taken by Satu Paavonsalo and Dr. Sinem Karaman for their depiction of blood vessel networks in the gut of an adult mouse.

HOW DO ANTS USE MATHEMATICS TO BUILD ‘LIVING BRIDGES’?

Different species of ants build ‘living bridges’ made of their own bodies to bridge small gaps.

Researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology showed in 2015 that up to 20 percent of a colony can be trapped in bridges on a route at any one time.

This is when an individual ant can run a ‘bridging’ algorithm.

An ant can see how many times it has been stamped by previous ants and use this to judge the width of the bridge.

When this reaches a certain number, an ant – deeming too many members of the colony now occupying bridges – can join the march again.

Different species of ants build ‘living bridges’ made of their bodies to bridge small gaps

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