The image below is not from an upcoming horror movie set to drop before Halloween. It’s an extreme close-up photo of an ant. One of Nikon’s 57 Images of Distinction, this petrifying photo was captured by Eugenijus Kavaliauskas, a Lithuanian photographer. The competitions seeks to “recognize excellence in photography through the microscope,” CNN reports . This is the contest’s 48th year. According to Nikon, the contest judges evaluated entries from all around the world based on originality, informational content, technical proficiency and visual impact.
Nikon announced that the 2022 contest received nearly 1,300 entries from 72 countries.Before Kavaliauskas became an insect photographer, he worked with birds, as his website notes.To get a close-up of the ant, he used reflected light, which made the creature’s dark red eyes and angry expression all the more striking. Out of the 20 submissions, some honorable mentions go to an agatized dinosaur bone, a tiger beetle holding a fly close-up under fluorescent light, cross-sections of human colons. Of course, last but not least was a daddy-long-legs spider that seems to have an adorably little face.
Although the viral ant image was widely welcomed online, Kavaliauskas didn’t win the top prize in the competition. Timin and Milinkovitch’s image of a Madagascar giant day gecko’s front paw won first prize. The 63x magnification makes the tiny veins and bones visible in beautiful detail. However, the demonic looking insect has captured the imagination of social media after being shared on Twitter.
No, this photo doesn’t portray one of the new creatures on HBO’s “House of the Dragon,” or an outtake from a horror movie. It’s an award-winning close-up photo of … an ant. https://t.co/dvsw11pEeu— CNN (@CNN) October 22, 2022
The internet has mixed emotions about the close up ant image
Social media met the image of the horrific ant with terrified eyes. “Why am I seeing this at midnight,” one Twitter user lamented. “Well that’s terrifying,” another chimed in. Still, another user felt that cartoon ants need to be reevalutated. “They need to remake A Bugs Life,” they quipped.
Other Twitter users weren’t so taken by the alien ant image. They noted that the close up nature of the photo can be a bit decieving. “It’s not accurate because it doesn’t show the eyes,” one user wrote. “It’s created specifically to make it look scary. Not award winning if you can’t even accurately take a photo.” Other Twitter users agreed with this asscessment. “Misleading photo, picture doesn’t show the ant’s eyes. When seeing the whole pic they look cuter.”
Ants are often looked down upon because they Hitchhike into our homes uninvited. However what many people don’t consider is that ants play a critical role in the ecosystem. For example, ants help to suppress pest populations and aerate the soil. In fact, the practice of using weaver ants in citrus cultivation dates back thousands of years ago to southern China–one of oldest known applications of biological control.