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May 7, 1997
These microwildernesses can be awesomely beautiful. Just as painters and photographers have flocked to the wild in the name of art, so too have they now discovered the potential of photomicrography, or photography with an electron microscope. Dennis Kunkel of the University of Hawaii has put together a Web site of his stunningly beautiful, digitally colorized microphotography which shows just how rich and diverse the "fractal world of centimeters" that exists all around us really is. This site is a visual feast. Among the highlights: a graceful stalk of slime mold, a delicately rolled-up butterfly proboscis, the prickly quills of a cat flea, the hairy eyeballs of a jumping spider, and the intricate skeleton of a kind of algae. With tongue in cheek, Kunkel has posted "mug shots" and "rap sheets" of his twelve "most wanted" bugs, and he has also included on the site photomicrographs of various non-organic materials -- a quick visit to which will change forever the way you think of Velcro.
Copyright © 1997 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.