8 Ordinary Things That Look Insanely Cool Under a Microscope

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8 Ordinary Things That Look Insanely Cool Under a  Microscope

 A really powerful microscope is the sort of thing nobody would buy for  entertainment, yet we can’t shake the feeling that if we had one, we’d use it  all the time. That’s because, as we’ve proven several times over, the most mundane crap in your house is transformed into  surreal, freaky, trippy, and sometimes terrifying works of art when viewed at a  microscopic level. It’s like seeing into an alternate universe.
Don’t know what we mean? Well, check out the mind-blowing close-up views of  …

#8.  Chalk

Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty  Images

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For decades, chalk was used in classrooms to spread knowledge to large groups  of students, and in recess to spread the myth that hopscotch was fun. It turns  into powder when you use it, so up close it probably just looks like, what, sand  or something? It can’t be too exciting …

But Up Close:

PLOS Biology It kinda looks like we  should be worshiping it.

Huh. Apparently, chalk is a bunch of tiny little soccer balls … if soccer  balls were made out of dead bodies, that is.

Yes, those yarmulke-looking things are actually the shells of dead  microscopic organisms like foraminifera mixed with the corpses of sea algae. So  the next time you see a chalk outline of a murder victim, just know that it was  created with the help of about a billion teeny-weeny corpses. It’s pretty much  the ultimate counter to that circle-of-life crap that Disney likes to shove down our throats.

#7.  Kosher Salt


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Kosher salt is the slightly chunkier cousin of regular salt, so named due to  its ability to soak up the blood of various meats, rendering them kosher. It’s  pretty much Dracula in salt form.

But Up Close:

Museum of  Science, Boston The microscopic ancient Mayans  sacrificed many innocents here.

Wait, when did Dracula leave Transylvania and move to an ancient temple?  Because that’s exactly what a crystal of kosher salt looks like. This isn’t  food; this is something a tiny little Indiana Jones would invade while searching  for long-lost religious artifacts that will melt Nazis’ faces off.

Dr. Gary  Gaugler / Science Photo Library We’ll be shocked if  that thing isn’t filled with wee little Predators and Aliens.

And here’s another shot, lest you think the first one was just a lucky angle.  Nope: Kosher salt, across the board, is made out of tiny pyramids. So the next  time the office racist starts ranting and rambling about some vast Zionist  conspiracy, show them these pictures as proof that, if they’ve ever ingested  kosher salt, they now have little Illuminati pyramids floating around inside them. Then take cover,  because exploding heads tend to be quite messy and sticky.

#6.  Orange Juice

Hemera  Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

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No false advertising here: This is juice, and it is very much orange. No  other juice is that straightforward. If you ever call tomato juice “red juice,”  for example, you’re either a baby, insane, or a straw man we just created for  the sake of this joke.

But Up Close:

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY/BARCROFT This is what a screwdriver looks like if you replace the vodka with  LSD.

As it turns out, orange juice only contains the slightest hint of orange. In  fact, it looks more like Jackson Pollock’s busted windshield than something you  pour down your gullet whenever you’re sick with the flu.

This picture is courtesy of our old friends at Bevshots, who magnify dried droplets of various drinks and then  photograph the results. They tend to stick to alcoholic drinks mainly, but  occasionally venture into the world of non-booze, as long as you can easily mix  it with booze, as is the case here.

So now you know; enjoy a tall glass of  yellow-purple-blue-green-red-pink-orange-brown-silver glass shards, liquefied  into juice form and then turned solid orange somehow, in the morning. It’s part  of a complete breakfast.

#5.  Snow

Emmanuel Boutet

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Beautiful, precious, unique specks of icy poetry, perfect to romp around in  with childlike joy. Or miserable little tundras that cause mass chaos at the  grocery store, back up traffic for miles upon miles, and force you to waste  precious hours shoveling out your driveway. Take your pick.

But Up Close:

Science Musings That big one in the  center has acne.

Oh, bullshit; no way that’s real. That’s one of those construction-paper  deals that schoolchildren make when the teacher has a migraine or a hangover,  right? Nope, it’s very much an actual snowflake in all its microscopic glory.

But here’s the kicker: It doesn’t even look like a good snowflake. Seriously,  you’d think a real snowflake, even up close, would still look the friggin’ part.  Instead, it looks like something little Johnny crapped out in two minutes so he  could get back to eating the clay. We all know nature isn’t perfect, but we’re  shocked that something so beautiful and crystalline would actually garner us a  C-minus in art class.

U. S. Department of Agriculture “Now, Creation, you can do better than that. No recess for you  today.”

Read more:  http://www.cracked.com/article_20386_8-ordinary-things-that-look-insanely-cool-under-microscope.html#ixzz2uCVcQZui

#4.  Insect Anatomy

Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty  Images

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But Up Close:

Wikimedia Commons Dear lord,  someone squared a scorpion.

Let’s just say that if you weren’t running away from these unlikable pests  beforehand, you’re about to start real soon. Insect body parts, as seen through  a microscope, are pretty much the stuff of horror flicks. Take the tiny fruit  fly, for example. Annoying, but hardly menacing, right? But then you look at the  above close-up photo of their feet and they suddenly look like they can fuck up  you and everything you love with one well-timed swing.

The bugs that can hurt you are no less terrifying. Ticks spread their filthy  Lyme disease by stabbing you with their mouths. The part of a tick’s mouth used  to stab prey is called a hypostome, and it ain’t pretty.

MicroLab  Gallery “Oh yeah, like your tongues are so  fun to look at.”

That’s the black-eyed tick, not that it matters much. A tick is a tick, and  they all hate you. Now observe the mouth-knife of the deer tick:

University of Minnesota Easily the  most dangerous insect in any prison fight.

So yeah, ticks fucking stab you, in case you needed one more reason to  despise them. But at least their weapon looks cool. Here’s a mosquito’s stinger  up close:


Turns out the dreaded mosquito is content to kick our ass with a goddamn  Capri Sun drinking straw. So when you manage to destroy one with a well-timed  book smash, consider it a mercy kill.

#3.  Seawater

Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty  Images

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It’s water. Pretty much the entire planet is made out of it. It’s the reason  Earth isn’t just some barren rock dancing lonely around a gigantic space  furnace. It’s the No. 1 reason you’re alive today, unless you drown in it.

But Up Close:

It’s not so much the water itself that’s freaky; it’s the inhabitants. All  247 quadrillion of them (give or take).

N. Sullivan / NOAA / Department of Commerce So like the Bronx, but less salty.

These are diatoms, a catchall term for the various dead algae bits floating  around the ocean and, almost inevitably, down your throat. Yep, if you’ve ever  swallowed seawater, this was your dinner. And, to be fair, some of it looks  delicious, especially that doughnut-looking fellow slightly above center. It  looks like a chocolate-blueberry concoction that you could have for dinner while  convincing your sad ass that the blueberry flavoring counts as your fruit intake  for the day.

Unfortunately, the rest of it looks like old cigars and various types of  industrial waste.

#2.  Fly Ash

Sigma Sales Company

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Fly ash is one of those things you see all the time, but probably have no  idea what it does. It’s basically ground-up coal that we use to  reinforce concrete. So even though it just looks like a bunch of dirt, it’s  pretty much the only reason sidewalks, streets, and the foundation of your house  are still standing. So the next time you see a pile of ash just hanging around,  remember to thank it. Just don’t get too close, cuz it’s kind of incredibly radioactive.

But Up Close:

Wabeggs Did someone just shine a  halogen light in our eyes?

Fly ash, underneath it all, looks exactly like a dead planet. Its surface is  littered with craters and barren, rocky islands of varying shape and size, the  lack of atmosphere and sunlight result in a cold, all-black surface, and any  life that somehow manages to emerge is almost immediately extinguished. Either  that or it’s a whimsical bubble machine party … it depends on what kind of  imagination you have, we suppose.

#1.  Shark Skin

Albert  kok

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Sharks are fascinating creatures: They die if they ever stop moving, they  can smell one tiny drop of blood in a body of water the size of an Olympic pool,  and babies will eat each other in the womb until only one remains. But their  skin? It’s just dull gray flesh, so who cares, right? Skin has to be the one and  only uninteresting part of a shark.

But Up Close:

Nope. Their skin is extremely interesting. Namely because it’s made out of  teeth.

George  Lauder The only reason you rarely see sharks at  petting zoos.

Great holy fuck. This shouldn’t be part of an animal. This thing is literally  nothing but teeth. Its teeth are probably covered in tiny teeth.

Those small scales, by the way, are called denticles, and they help the shark  reduce drag while it swims, allowing it to move around the ocean and eat  everything as smoothly as possible.

Australian Museum If you zoom in on  these close enough, you probably find more teeth.

Read more:  http://www.cracked.com/article_20386_8-ordinary-things-that-look-insanely-cool-under-microscope_p2.html#ixzz2uCW0YXcw

1 Comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

One response to “8 Ordinary Things That Look Insanely Cool Under a Microscope

  1. Reblogged this on The Weird and the Wonderful: Reblogged and commented:
    I particularly like the phrase, Holy shit sharks are covered in tiny teeth 🙂


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