Algae Abstraction

By Selina Haefeli

Who would have thought that algae make pretty incredible abstract artists?

Most of us know algae as the greenish brown slime that covers the pool when it hasn’t been cleaned for a while. But hopefully this image will open your mind to the complex shapes and forms that various algae species come in.

There are flying saucers, Milky ways, worms and virus shaped freshwater algae in the photograph above, which was taken using confocal microscopy and zoomed in 115 times. What else can you see?

Algae were among the earliest life on Earth, along with bacteria and other prokaryotic (single celled) organisms. Scientists think there are more than one million different types of algae species and that all plants living today evolved from these simple, ancient forms of life.

Source: [Goran Ocklind/ Nikon Small World]

Did you know?

Algae produce up to 87 percent of the world’s oxygen.