NATURAL SCIENCE

The Mystery Science Photo Quiz

Animal, vegetable or mineral, things get really strange from millimeters away. Can you guess what these pictures are close-up shots of?

Question 1

What is this? Click on the next slide to find out!

MIT

Herbal Tea

Oddly enough, it's herbal tea. Next time you drink herbal tea, think about this picture -- it's a computer reproduction that originated as a tiny piece of burdock, the herbal substance. Nanoburrs like this shows how protein fragments can be used for slow-releasing drug therapies. For patients with heart disease or in cases where a stent must be used to inject medicine, a nanoburr could be used as an alternative because the drug would attach to artery walls and do their handiwork over time. 

Wikipedia/Miya

Question 2

What is this? Click on the next slide to find out!

Manfred Kage/Peter Arnold

Honeybee

It's the eye of a honeybee, of course. Each of a honeybee's two compound eyes comprise a complex network of 6,000 hexagonal units for capturing light. The eyes are attuned to rapid movement-useful for keeping up with a speedy queen during her mating flight-and geometrical patterns. Bees tend to prefer radial, symmetrical arrangements typical of many flowers. 

Wikipedia/Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Question 3

What is this? Click on the next slide to find out!

Marna E. Ericson and Maria K. Hordinsky, Department of Dermatology, University of Minnesota

Human Hair

It's Human Hair! This photo of a 4-millimeter human scalp hair follicle came from a 44-year-old Caucasian male. It was sliced vertically into tiny, 200-micron thick sections. The sample was multi-stained with antibodies to visualize the nerves (in red), the sensory neuropeptide CGRP (in green), and vasculature (blue).

Wikipedia/Andrew Dexter

Question 4

What is this? Click on the next slide to find out!

Science Photo/Photo Researchers

Human Tongue

It's a human tongue, though up close it looks nothing like that fleshy pink thing in your mouth. A high-energy beam scanner, called a scanning electron micrograph, was used to capture this image, which shows the surface of a human tongue.

Wikipedia/ArnoldReinhold

Question 5

What is this? Click on the next slide to find out!

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Mars

It's the planet Mars -- betcha didn't see that coming. Mars gets more fascinating by the minute, thanks to new images that reveal the planet's varied surface, with bright layered deposits -- here, shown near a plateau in the Juventae chasma. Brown, purple, sandy regions appear across the entire 3/4 mile region, illuminated from the left of the image. 

Wikipedia/NASA

Question 6

What is this? Click on the next slide to find out!

Dr. Havi Sarfaty/Israel Veterinary Association/Nikon Small World

Fish

They're fish scales! Ordinary discus fish scales become beautiful, when magnified 20X and captured by Havi Sarfaty of the Israel Veterinary Association. This photo won sixth place in the 2009 Nikon Small World contest, an annual contest that celebrates the beauty of photomicrography -- images taken through the lens of a microscope. 

Wikipedia/Heptagon

Question 7

What is this? Click on the next side to find out!

Nikon Small World

Wildflowers

Its a wildflower, not an alien invader, silly. This extreme close-up of a wildflower took second place in the Nikon Small World competition. Magnified 150 times, the yellow flower looks like an alien antennae, but it's actually a cross-section of one blossom stem from a wildflower known as the sonchus asper. Gerd A. Guenther, an organic farmer from Düsseldorf in Germany, took the photo on his own farm.

Wikipedia/Mila Zinkova

The Mystery Science Photo Quiz

Animal, vegetable or mineral, things get really strange from millimeters away. Can you guess what these pictures are close-up shots of?

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