A competition run by Nikon’s microscope division has shown the incredible world that lives well out of sight, with some breathtaking images and video showing what goes on at the microscopic level.

Run by Nikon’s instruments division, this is the inaugural 2011 Small World In Motion competition, aimed at showing the world through a microscope.

While most people know about Nikon’s cameras, the company is also responsible for much of the world’s microscopic instruments used in the fields of science and medicine.

Previously, Nikon’s Small World competition has run only as a photographic competition, judging the world’s best entries for photomicrographs, or images shot through a microscope.

This year’s entrants have found some absolute stunners, including the video below which took out the top prize.

In this video, Oxford’s Anna Franz injected ink into a 72-hour old chick embryo to show the beating heart. And in case you’re wondering what the white around the yellow is, that’s egg shell.

Other videos on Nikon’s Small World competition site include ants eating a drop of grenadine syrup, cells in a zebra fish, and a water flea playing with algae.

If anything, the competition ignites a love for science and shows the sort of things people can do with microscopes, like the one we’re giving away right now.

What would you put under a microscope?