close up of ants face close-up of ant's face

Terrifying close-up of ant’s face wins Nikon’s photo competition prize

In this world we live in, perception is everything. A mountain can seem like a minuscule shape along the horizon with pointed tips if you’re looking at it from a distance. But, the close you get, the bigger it becomes. A picture was taken of an ant’s face which won a competition run by Nikon. They had to zoom up real close to capture the ant’s features, and the result was terrifying.

Shocking image of an ant’s face

Generally, when one thinks of ants, our minds immediately draw up those tiny little black specks that flock to our scattered crumbs. They are so small that most people do not give them much attention. Not many people can say they have seen what an ant’s face looks like. But, one photographer, known as Eugenijus Kavaliauskas, decided to get up close and personal with an ant to show the world what their faces actually look like. It turns out, that an ant’s face looks like some kind of alien… or a monster from your worst nightmare.

Eugenijus entered the photograph into the 2022 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. He won first prize for the detail he and his lens managed to achieve is phenomenal. When asked, he told the insider that he had easy access to the ants because he lives in a forest. “There are no horrors in nature,” said Eugenijus. “I’m always looking for details, shadows, and unseen corners. The main goal of photography is to be a discoverer,” Mr Kavaliauskas told Insider. “I am fascinated by the Creator’s masterpieces and the opportunity to see God’s designs.”

Viral Ant

The post was shared by the Instagram account, Pubity. It has just over 780,000 likes and many different comments of people exclaiming their surprise over the ant’s face, which looks particularly menacing. But, The caption fails to explain exactly what you are looking at. There are two red dots that resemble beady eyes. However, this is misleading. Because they are actually the connecting points for the antenna. The eyes are further up the ant’s face.

As soon as the came snaps a pic of an ant’s face from just a little further away, you will see the eyes are much larger and similar to a bee’s eyes. This change in perspective makes the ant look much less terrifying. Take a look at this close-up image by Joshua Coogler below. While they may look menacing, you’ll notice the large black eyes and furry claw-like mouth.

Read: What Really Happens When A House Fly Lands On Your Food

Image Credit: Joshua Coogler | Petapixel

Shock and horror in the comments section

One person commented saying: “All of a sudden, the kid sitting by the ant hill with a magnifying glass doesn’t seem so malicious.” Another person feel like their whole life has been a lie. “So, have Hollywood and video games, FRICKING ANTMAN LIED TO US ALL on how ants look up close?!?!” Another person feels betrayed by the post. They wrote: “Thank you for ruining ants. I thought they looked cute. Now I’m terrified.”

Some followers of Pubity pointed out the fact that what everyone thinks are terrifying eyes, are actually just the base of the ant’s antenna. “Those aren’t eyes, they’re the base of the antenna,” wrote one user. “The eyes are further up and way less creepy looking. Still a cool pic though.” Another user made the same realization and commented: “I’m pretty sure his eyes aren’t actually in this photo. The eyes are set further back behind the antenna, and they’re not beady.” And finally, a third comment mentions the post only shows half the ant’s face. “To give a bit more detail,” they wrote. “This is only a ants nose. Not his full face. The eyes are out of the picture.”

Why is the Ant’s face so horrifying up close?

Looking at an ant’s face from that angle is not something you see every day. Some of you might be surprised by the sheer scariness of its appearance. Well, this might be a case of Pareidolia. This is a psychological phenomenon where people see an image in an unrelated object. The website, Live Science states: “The psychological phenomenon that causes some people to see or hear a vague or random image or sound as something significant is known as pareidolia.” In this case, you are seeing a ghoulish almost satanic-looking ant face with red beady eyes and gnarly teeth. However, the ant’s face is actually much more subdued. Their faces still aren’t that pleasant to look at, but not the scary image we thought we were seeing.

Keep Reading: These Special Bees Crafted Nests From Flower Petals


  1. Extraordinary close up of ant’s face wins Nikon photo competition prize.” Independent. Abe Asher. October 23, 2022.
  2. Terrifying close-up photo of ant’s face wins prize at Nikon competition.First Post. October 22, 2022.