Varroa destructor (mite) on the back of Apis mellifera (honeybee) by Antoine Franck.
Varroa destructor (mite) on the back of Apis mellifera (honeybee) by Antoine Franck.

Incredible nature pics of unseen world

YOU can't see them but you almost certainly have tiny animals living on your face.

These microscopic mites eat, mate and finally die on your all while residing on your face. It sounds gross but it's kind of a beautiful unseen world.

Thanks to photomicrography - photos taken through a microscope - we can see the true beauty of tiny life forms.

Nikon's Small World photo competition gives a glimpse into the thriving world beyond our natural vision. While these guys are bigger than face mites, it's rare we see them up close and personal.

This year's finalists included an array of vibrant images that show the stunning patterns and beautiful colours of the microscopic natural world.

The winner of the 2018 competition was Yousef Al Habshi from the United Arab Emirates who snapped an image of the compound eyes and surrounding greenish scales of a weevil, or Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer.

Here's some of our favourite images from the unusual photo competition.

Eye of a Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer beetle by Yousef Al Habshi

The photo was taken at 20x objective lens magnification.
The photo was taken at 20x objective lens magnification.

Fern sorus (structures producing and containing spores) by Rogelio Moreno Gill

The photographer from Panama tool the photo at 10x objective lens magnification.
The photographer from Panama tool the photo at 10x objective lens magnification.

Human fibroblast undergoing cell division, showing actin (grey), myosin II (green) and DNA (pink) by Nilay Taneja and Dr Dylan Burnette

Photo taken at 60 x objective lens magnification using a technique called Structured Illumination Microscopy.
Photo taken at 60 x objective lens magnification using a technique called Structured Illumination Microscopy.

Spittlebug nymph in its bubble house by Saulius Gugis

This photo used a technique called Focus Stacking and took out third prize.
This photo used a technique called Focus Stacking and took out third prize.

Portrait of Sternochetus mangiferae (mango seed weevil) by Pia Scanlon

This photo was taken in Perth, Australia using stereomicroscopy and image stacking.
This photo was taken in Perth, Australia using stereomicroscopy and image stacking.

Parasteatoda tepidariorum (spider embryo) stained for embryo surface (pink), nuclei (blue) and microtubules (green) by Dr. Tessa Montague

Dr Tessa Montague works at Harvard University, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Dr Tessa Montague works at Harvard University, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Security Hologram by Dr Haris Antonopoulos

A technique known as Darkfield Epi-illumination was used to take this photo.
A technique known as Darkfield Epi-illumination was used to take this photo.