Sometimes, the most amazing interactions caught on camera happen in places you would suspect—like the Serengeti, or a Waffle House. And sometimes, they happen in places that you would not only never consider, but wouldn’t be able to see for yourself even if you did.
The video above—which was an honorable mention in Nikon’s Small World in Motion competition—falls firmly in the latter category. Filmed (with the help of a microscope) by Australian high school teacher Ralph Grimm, the footage shows the struggle of a rotifer attempting to detach itself from a piece of detritus. The microscopic sea creature fights for its life, struggling against the weight of the debris, before finally, and valiantly, gaining its freedom and swimming to safety.
Grimm was pleased to capture the moment not only because of his fascination with rotifers, but also because he thought it encapsulated the misunderstood subject of microscopy.
“There are so many things happening under the microscope that are thoroughly ignored by a lot of people,” he said in a release. “They’re scared of the words education and science, thinking it sounds boring or it’s all viruses and bacteria—creatures that are small and dangerous. However, there is so much inherent beauty and mystery—even just plain cuteness. I liked that my video shows my own humorous take on these themes.”
The winners of the Small World in Motion competition will be announced in the coming months.