Beautiful Miniatures

I was just looking through Carl Zimmer’s Science Tattoo Emporium and saw a recent tattoo of a diatom, which made me want to share their gorgeousness with you all if you haven’t heard of or seen them before.

Diatoms are a type of phytoplankton. When I was doing phytolith research, we would frequently find diatoms as well, because there are several silicious diatoms; so they would survive the chemical treatments we applied to soil samples to remove other materials (phytoliths are silicious, microscopic plant remains). And while some phytoliths are amazingly beautiful, the diatoms always amazed me.

Here are some photos from the Bowling Green website:

And here are some pics from elsewhere:

They’re so amazing. thank goodness someone figured out how to take photos via microscopes, so the rest of us can enjoy them.

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