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Electron Microscope Zooms In, Finds Life on Life on Life

There's a bacterium on a diatom on an amphipod on a frog on a bump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea!

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Once you’ve picked your jaw from the floor, here’s what you’re looking at: the final stop of this zoom, which spans multiple orders of magnitude, is a little bacterium. That bacterium is resting on a diatom, a class of algae that are known for their silica shells. The diatom is, in turn, sitting on an amphipod, a type of shell-less crustacean.

Reddit’s adamwong246 said it best, “There’s a bacterium on a diatom on an amphipod on a frog on a bump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea!”

The animated gif was made by James Tyrwhitt-Drake using a scanning electronic microscope at the University of Victoria’s Advanced Microscopy Facility. Tyrwhitt-Drake runs the blog Infinity Imagined.

To zoom out even further (or in even more), Cary Huang’s Scale of the Universe slides from the smallest conceivable sizes all the way out to the whole universe, encompassing myriad points of interest in between.

 

More from Smithsonian.com:

Fruits and Vegetables Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before
Magnificent Magnifications
Doctors Probe Bodies with Tiny Microscopes But Don’t Know What They Are Seeing

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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