7 Totally Awesome (and Terrifying) Objects Under a Microscope

Published January 30, 2014
Updated February 27, 2024
Fish Eggs Under Microscope

Source: The Atlantic

Whether in black and white or saturated with color and light, even the most commonplace of objects assume new, ornate features under a microscope. We’ve found seven ordinary objects that transform into incredible (and sometimes terrifying) images up close.

1. Alcohol Under a Microscope

Vodka Under A Microscope

Source: NPR

If you’ve been wondering what your favorite cocktail looks like under a microscope, look no further. Michael Davidson, from the company BevShots, captured these incredibly colorful images of alcohol under a microscope.

Colorful Microscopic Liquor

Source: NPR

Martini Under Microscope

Source: Photography

To create these images of alcohol, Davidson and co start by crystallizing the drink of choice (they’ve tried cocktails, liquors, beer and other drinks). They then use a standard light microscope with an attached camera to capture the image. Since the light source is polarized and passed through crystal, the result is brilliant patterns of color.

2. Human Hair Under a Microscope

Although every individual loses between 40-200 strands of hair per day, none of those strands looks half as cool as they do when under a microscope. A human hair shaft (the visible part of hair) is made up of a hard protein called keratin, and contains three layers which include the medulla, cortex and cuticle. These layers can break when mistreated, and result in broken, fragmented strands as seen in the image above.

Strand of Hair Under Microscope

Source: LWR LVL

3. Bugs Under a Microscope

Head of an Ant Under Microscope

Source: Splashnology

While bugs aren’t too scary in real life, they assume a much more menacing appearance when under a microscope. Only under a microscope do tiny pincers, teeth and claws look so ugly and dangerous.

Fly Under Microscope

Source: Daily Mail

Scary Microscopic Bug

Source: Splashnology

Kiri Picone
Kiri Picone holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Pepperdine University and has been writing for various digital publishers for more than 10 years.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
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Picone, Kiri. "7 Totally Awesome (and Terrifying) Objects Under a Microscope." AllThatsInteresting.com, January 30, 2014, https://allthatsinteresting.com/objects-under-a-microscope. Accessed June 14, 2024.