I am forever amazed by a true artist’s ability to bring beauty to the mundane. Scientist Michael Davidson of Florida State University created a series of micrographs featuring popular liquors and cocktails, crystallized, hit with polarized light, and viewed under a microscope. The result is nothing short of mesmerizing, and reminds me of the artwork that used to grace the covers of Trapper Keepers and novelty pencils:
A similar technique is used in all microscopic science, and allows us to see in near-perfect detail how diverse the world of super-tinyness really is. For example, many scientists use it to study populations of Tardigrades, or Water Bears, a breed of microscopic polyextremophiles that are practically indestructible:
You can burn, boil, crush, freeze, dry out, or dismember these adorable little dudes and they’ll be all sorts of okay. They can even, scientists have discovered, survive the vacuum of outer space. While most are herbivores, one specific breed (Milnesium Tardigradum) are carnivorous and feast on tiny nematodes, which is totally cool since most nema’s are parasitic (think roundworms, flatworms, and other scary shit that burrows into you for survival). They’re kind of like the spiders of the microscopic world, only unsquishable and a little less nightmare-inducing. Yet, they choose to live peacefully in mosses and hot springs, quietly waiting for the end of humanity and their inevitable takeover of planet Earth.