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The Horrors Of Electron Microscopy

Written by grrenth.

Maybe you’ve been sleeping really well lately and you’re bored of that now. Or maybe you’ve finally got around to reading the masterpiece of science fiction that is Frank Herbert’s epicDune trilogy and now you’re wondering what one of those sandworms might actually look like.

In either case, you’re going to just love these crazy images of various nutty looking creatures taken with electron microscopes.

The good news is that the width of field in these pictures, all taken with FEI electron microscopes, is measured in the micrometres. So some of the guys featured in this rogues’ gallery are amongst the smallest living things on the planet. Combine that with the pretty far-out places many of them live- think deep sea hydrothermal vents- and you’ll be relieved to know that you’re never going to bump into any of them in real life.

Spider’s Head magnified 50 times.

Mosquito Eyes magnified 450x.

Head Of A Moth

Tardigr E granul
This is a Water Bear, an animal built only on a few hundred cells, magnified 7oo times. It lives in moss and ‘wakes’ when the moss gets wet, feeding on it by sucking the cells. If the moss cells dry out the Water Bears encapsulates itself for up to a year, waiting for the rain.

Tardigr Pm kenianus at 300x magnification.
This tardigrade, first discovered in Africa, feeds on bacteria and protozoan.

Worm polychaete

Hydrothermal marine worms

Argulus freshwater parasite

If that’s only just whet your appetite for the terrors of microscopy and you’re hungry for more, you’ll want to check out the FEI photostream.
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