Under the Microscope: Can you guess what these 10 images are?

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Each of us has our own perspective of the world. But a microscope offers an in-depth look at things we pass by. And usually, we go through life focusing on the bigger picture. But if we want to understand life and all its intricacies, the bigger picture is not enough. And the microscope, one of man’s valuable inventions can help us see the environment and its organisms differently. But how did man invent the microscope?

History Of The Microscope

Early scientists like Claudius Ptolemy and the Romans paved the way for the invention of the microscope. Ptolemy came up with the basis for refraction using stick under water. Meanwhile, Romans invented glass during the 1st century A.D. They experimented with its various forms and shapes. That led to the discovery of the lens. By the end of the 13th century, people created eyeglasses using the lens. Then by 1600, man realized that they can transform lenses into optical instruments.

Eventually, Antony Van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope in the late 17th century. The Dutch scientist utilized his invention heavily for science. His instrument allowed him to see bacteria, yeast, blood cells and little organisms. The magnification method unveiled that organisms are composed of smaller components invisible to the naked eye.

Benefits Of Using The Microscope

The benefits of using the microscope are immeasurable. Doctors are empowered, able now to find the best cure for diseases. Louis Pasteur’s germ theory fully established the need to identify microbes or bacteria before treating an infectious illness. Meanwhile, forensic scientists also utilize microscopes for examining blood samples and materials that can be linked to criminals.

In the pursuit of higher learning, a microscope is also a reliable tool. Students use the microscope to view the variety of life. They look into the individual cells of organisms to learn about the differences of each life form. Whilst in engineering, material scientists ensure the safety of structures once they inspect the materials under the microscope.

The View Under The Microscope

Various electron microscopes were able to capture these ten extraordinary images. Take a crack at guessing what they are…


1 oat breakfast macro shot

  1. This common breakfast grain looks more like an alien landscape. The common oat, or Avena sativa, is rich in soluble fiber and proteins.


2 human nail macro shot

  1. The human nail bed looks similar to another planet when magnified 30 times. The grey nail plate is made of keratin.

3 owl butterfly egg macro

3.Beautifully stained glass pane? Not at all. This is the egg of a Caligo Memnon or owl butterfly.

Chicken's egg outer shell detail, SEM

  1. It may look spongy, but this surface is built to protect. The calcium shell of a chicken egg is porous to allow the exchange of gases between the embryo and the open air.

5 human eye macro shot

  1. This is the human eye. The dark blue shadow to the right is the pupil. Whilst the sponge-like, mauve tissue part is the iris. The folds, or ciliary processes, help nourish the eye, and the thin filaments support the lens of the eye.

6 polypropene plastic macro shot

  1. People use this polymer, called polypropene, in everything: candy containers to plastic furniture.

7 pollen macro shot

  1. As shown in the picture, pollen causes people to have allergies in the spring and summer. Each plant has its own type of pollen.

8 ball python scales macro

  1. The scales of a ball python are also made of keratin. Snakes rely on their scales to make slithering easier.

9 squid suckers macro shot

  1. It might look like something out of an old horror movie, but the suckers of the Loligo Pealei squid allow it to capture its prey.

Human tongue surface, SEM

  1. This colony of spikes, called filiform papillae, sense pressure to help you chew effectively. The round nodes, called fungiform papillae, contain taste buds.