The Tiniest Sandcastles In the World: Etched On A Single Grain of Sand

Most sand castles require millions of grains of sand, but these microscopic masterpieces require only one. Artists Vik Muniz and Marcelo Coelho have found a way to etch awe-inspiring castles measuring less than half a millimeter in length onto a single grain of sand. A complete 180 from Muniz’ previous works that were massive drawings that required a birds eye view from a helicopter to realize, he wanted to make something that was “miniature and monumental.”

Harvard Scientist Grows Microscopic Flowers

Microscopic crystal flowers Wim I Noorduin 2

Inside a tiny beaker of water Harvard scientist Wim L. Noorduin has managed to coax chemicals into beautiful and delicate microscopic flowers. On a micron scale he and his colleagues have produced arrangements of crystals that resemble natural forms from roses to broad leaves… and the kicker? They self-assembled! That’s right, these aren’t just pretty pictures from an electron microscope, but a new look at how structures form chemically in nature.

Microscopic Paintings on the Tiniest Objects

11 Hasan Kale

Coffee beans, grape seeds, matchstick tips- it seems no surface is too tiny for Hasan Kale to transform into a work of art. The Turkish artist achieves a mind blowing amount of detail in his miniature paintings of his hometown of Istanbul, portraits, and Renaissance beauties. He uses the most peculiar objects such as nuts, seeds, single grains of rice, teeth and butterfly wings for his canvas yet still finds a way to make his subjects distinguishable in their nanoscale size.

Fast, Microscopic 3d Printing Is Here!

A new era of 3D printing technology is now upon us. Created by researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna), this high-precision printer is able to create microscopically small objects on a nanometer scale — at a speed orders of magnitude faster than similar devices. To be impressed with how accurate and quick this machine really is, you only need to see the short video below featuring a mere 4 minute creation time for a race car smaller than a grain of sand… in fact, the machine just set a new world record for speed.

Harmful Viruses Made of Beautiful Glass

When glass blower Luke Jerram saw visualizations of viruses and pathogens in the scientific world he noticed one big theme: color. Wondering what effect the artificial color in normal scientific drawings had on our interpretation of these invisibly small forms, he created his own exquisite versions out of his favorite material: blown glass. Covering such well known maladies as AIDS and Swine Flu, his works are both beautiful and disturbing, challenging observers to reinterpret their view of the tiny organisms. The pieces, each about 1,000,000 times the size of the actual pathogen, were designed with help from virologists from the University of Bristol using a combination of scientific photographs and models. See more of on this unique work at .

The Up Close World of Pollen

Who knew that pollen, that perpetrator of the allergy season, could be so beautiful when looked at close up. Some of these recolored scanning microscope images look like tiny hedgehogs, others alike pieces of delicious fruit and still others could be pieces of coral. Next time you sneeze, remember something beautiful did it…

Revealed: A First View Inside HIV

Peering into a mysterious and tiny world for the first time, a team from Visual Science has given us a new and revealing look inside HIV. Lead by Ivan Konstantinov, the group has built the most detailed 3D model of the virus to date. To create the image, the team consulted over 100 leading science journals and then reconstructed viral proteins from x-ray images. With this information in hand, their team of 3D graphics designers were able to create an accurate and detailed image in about 3 months.

Snowflakes Up Close: A Small, Fragile World

If you’re one of those people who likes to ponder things while looking out a frosty window on a cold winter day, these pictures will clear up one of those long standing wonders: each snowflake really IS unique. Some look like roman columns, others circuit boards or spaceships. Taken under high magnification using a microscope, these images bring a fragile and beautiful world into view.

They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it? – Jeanette Winterson