Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Micro Monsters Found

They may look like monsters from a horror film, but these tiny creatures dwell in our homes, clothes and even our bodies. A new book, 'Micro Monsters', showcases some of the planet's most awful insects and microscopic beasts. British author and trained zoologist, Tom Jackson, spent three months accumulating the images in the book. Scientists coated the tiny creatures in gold, froze them in liquid nitrogen and fired a beam of electrons at the subjects from a scanning electron microscope to divulge the incredible detail.
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a single dust louse among skin scales in housedust

A brown ant biting a blade of grass.
"I wanted to get together all the most ghastly and beastly pictures I could," said 38 year-old Tom from Bristol. "This book shows children everything that's around them at home, the garden and the playground. “The pictures I'm most pleased with are the close-up portraits of insects that show the intricate details of their eyes, mandibles and even the hairs on their heads," said Tom

In scanning electron microscopy, a ray of electrons is fired at the subjects. Electrons have shorter wavelengths than lights waves so smaller object can be captured.
Micro Monsters is shortly to be launched in the UK by Amber Books.

Two water bears (or tardigrades, microscopic, water-dwelling creatures