There’s nothing weirder or more beautiful than microscopic life. My interview for Weird Animal Question of the Week and some additional images.

Since the first time I peered at pond water under the microscope, I’ve been transfixed by this tiny world. It’s beautiful, amazing, and often seems unreal. The patterns, structures, and neat lifestyles of microscopic critters are simply mind-blowing. Nowadays I most frequently think of bacteria, but there’s sooo many other interesting microscopic things as well – from viruses and fungi to microscopic insects, mites, and relatives of crabs, to  single-celled algae and protists. I was thrilled beyond belief when Liz Langley, a science writer for National Geographic’s Weird Animal Question of the Week, asked me about interesting microscopic life.

It was so much fun talking to Liz and thinking of some of the rest of the microscopic world I wanted to put up some other beautiful and interesting microscopic critter links if anyone is interested.

Ernst Hackel’s drawings are simply phenomenal: Art Forms in Nature (also with CD of images, or a coloring book version; art blog post)


Radiolarian plate from Haeckel’s Art Forms in Nature
Diatoms – Plate from Haeckel’s Art Forms in Nature


Jabez Hogg’s The Microscope also has some pretty amazing drawings of microscopic life in it. Some of the plates are isolated nicely here.

Want to experience the joy of microscopy, but don’t have $100-200 to spare – stay tuned for information on a CHEAP, GOOD, PAPER microscope soon! Here’s a teaser image: rotifer


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