August 22, 2012 11:44 am
Once you’ve picked your jaw from the floor, here’s what you’re looking at: the final stop of this zoom, which spans multiple orders of magnitude, is a little bacterium. That bacterium is resting on a diatom, a class of algae that are known for their silica shells. The diatom is, in turn, sitting on an amphipod, a type of shell-less crustacean.
Reddit’s adamwong246 said it best, “There’s a bacterium on a diatom on an amphipod on a frog on a bump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea!”
The animated gif was made by James Tyrwhitt-Drake using a scanning electronic microscope at the University of Victoria’s Advanced Microscopy Facility. Tyrwhitt-Drake runs the blog Infinity Imagined.
To zoom out even further (or in even more), Cary Huang’s Scale of the Universe slides from the smallest conceivable sizes all the way out to the whole universe, encompassing myriad points of interest in between.
More from Smithsonian.com:
Sign up for our free email newsletter and receive the best stories from Smithsonian.com each week.