Ivan Oransky, managing editor of Scientific American online, was one of the judges for Nikon's Small World contest: "Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of serving as one of several judges for the Nikon Small World contest. Our task was to sit in a dimly lit room and try to rank the hundreds of entries—images taken by professional and amateur scientists around the world using visible-light microscopes."

First place went to the U.K.'s Michael Stringer for his image of freshwater diatoms. It was hard to pick a favorite, but I think I'd go with 3rd place winner Albert Tousson's high-res confocal image of Lily of the Valley. It reminds me a little of that old arcade game, Gopher Hunt. (Did you know you can play that online? Check out this site for Gopher Hunt and other classics like Frogger, and watch your work productivity disappear before your eyes.) Favorite title award goes to 18th place's Tamily Weissman.

Nikon isn't the only camera company contest out there; check out the winners of the 2006 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition (best microphotographs of living or formerly living things).

There are many more contests and gorgeous images, of course - you are only limited by your imagination and possibly Google.