That viral image showing an ant's face in close-up isn't exactly what you think it is
Who knew zooming into an ant would be so terrifying?
No, this is not the villain of a new horror movie but just a tiny, tiny insect.
A close-up photograph of an ant was sent in as a submission to the 48th annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition — and the results are freaky.
The tight shot of the tiny insect, captured by Dr. Eugenijus Kavaliauskas of Taurage in Lithuania, shows what appears to be the ant's beady red eyes and long sharp teeth.
However, though it seems as if the insect is conveying an angry expression, a number of Redditors have highlighted that what looks like the ant's eyes are actually just the base of its antennae.
The ant's eyes would actually be further back on the side of its face but have been faded out for the photo.
Kavaliauskas captured the image of the ant by using reflected light with 5X objective lens magnification, according to the competition.
Yet, the detailed snapshot that has stirred up so much conversation and shock on social media did not place in the Small World competition.
Instead, Nikon’s first-place winner, Grigorii Timin and Dr. Michel Milinkovitch of the University of Geneva, presented a detailed photo of the embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko — showing the complete internal structure in vibrant colour.
This is what in fact took the top prize.
Embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko by Grigorii Timin and Dr Michel Milinkovitch, Geneva, Switzerland.
63X objective lens magnification. pic.twitter.com/HhXgJO8MTe
— Imagine5 (@imagine5_real) October 19, 2022
"Masterfully blending imaging technology and artistic creativity, Timin utilized high-resolution microscopy and image-stitching to capture this species of Phelsuma grandis day gecko," Nikon said in a press release.
"[With] a visually stunning and painstaking technique, Timin used image-stitching to merge hundreds of images together to create the final image of his gecko."
Timin himself commented: "This particular image is beautiful and informative, as an overview and also when you magnify it in a certain region, shedding light on how the structures are organized on a cellular level.