Beyond the naked eye, there is a wonderful world going on around us we rarely get the chance to see.
Technology, however, now gives us rare and incredible access to peer into this world and see it in detail like never before.
Here are a selection of winning and shortlisted images from the 2015 Scientific Imaging Competition, run by the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) in the UK, which occurs every two years.
Competition judge, Professor Chris Hawes HonFRMS, says: “It has been brilliant to see so many entries, not only across such a broad spectrum of microscopy but also from all over the world!
"It really has been tough to judge this year’s competition, but I speak on behalf of all the judges when I say we are thrilled to present these images as our 2015 winners”
Winning images were announced earlier this month at the RMS’ flagship event, the Microscience Microscopy Congress held in Manchester, UK.
Follow Ben Aviss and BBC Earth on Twitter.
Like BBC Earth on Facebook or follow us on Instagram.