Crawling ants with a menacing bite that can cause insatiable itching are many people’s nightmares. A close-up of one of these pint-sized horrors Nikon Small World 2022 Photomicrography Contest (opens in a new tab) causing horror that spread across the internet like poison through the lymphatic system.
Eugenius Kovalevskas, a Lithuanian photographer, captured the gruesome scene, which earned him an “Outstanding Image” award from the judges. The appropriate name “Ant (Campanotus),” the image was taken using magnification antthe alien’s face five times under a 10x stereo microscope. Kovaliauskas called it an example of “God’s plans and many interesting, beautiful, unknown miracles under the feet of people.” The Washington Post (opens in a new tab).
So what makes this magnified image so scary? Perhaps it is the antennae of the insect, which look eerily like the piercing red eyes of a demon. Or maybe it’s the insect’s razor-sharp teeth, designed to pierce the flesh of its prey with a single bite.
The creepy image isn’t the only scary thing about ants. Entomologists recorded the ants turning into a zombie after contact with mind-controlling parasites, throw up in each other’s mouths form social bonds and queens willingly sacrificing himself as a way to keep the throne.
The image of the ant was not the only one that caught the judges’ attention. Other terrible pictures among the rewards are a fly-eating tiger beetle, a huge blob of slime, and a psychedelic image of a tarnished dinosaur bone.