Life Science Solutions

Discovery Blog

Spooky and Spine-Chilling: Our Most Popular Microscope Images for October 2021

By  -
Popular microscope images for October 2021

It seems our followers are fans of the supernatural and things that go bump in the night! In celebration of the season, we shared some spine-chilling images of weird, spooky, and sometimes terrifying specimens found under an Olympus microscope, and a number of them made it to the top this month!

Bulrush UV-induced fluorescenceWetland bulrush under a fluorescence microscope

While these microscopic skeleton-like figures look like something that haunt your dreams, they are actually harmless! These images are a UV-induced fluorescence of a 20-micron section of bulrush, a wetland grass-like plant found in swamps, ponds, and wet meadows.

Images courtesy of Karl Gaff. Captured using an Olympus BX51 microscope.


A strand of hair under a microscopeA close-up under the microscope of a strand of hair with a knot

Our next image this month may not be spooky, but it’s certainly hair-raising! Håkan Kvarnstrom examined his daughter's hair under his Olympus microscope, and the result is beautiful! The small knot he managed to secure on a single strand of hair perfectly captures the rainbow of colors from his polarized image.

Images courtesy of Håkan Kvarnström. Captured using polarized light with 20X and 50X objectives.


Unicellular algae under the microscope

Glaucophtye algae—a small group of freshwater unicellular algae—are unusual due to their chloroplasts. Known as muroplasts, cyanoplasts, or cyanelles, they are unlike chloroplasts in other organisms because they have a peptidoglycan layer, believed to be a relic of the endosymbiotic origin of plastids from cyanobacteria.

Image courtesy of Glenn McGregor.


Nine-day-old chicken embryo

This image may look like the silhoutte of an alien, but is actually a chicken embryo on the ninth embryonic day. Which came first, the chicken or our interest in researching their eggs?

Writings on embryonic development go back as far as Greek philosopher Aristotle, who noted the changes in the embryo as he opened eggs at various stages of incubation. By day 9, the chick will not yet have developed feathers, but the claws will begin to show.

Image courtesy of Eva Petrovova, 2019 Image of the Year Award Submission. Captured using an Olympus SZ61 microscope.

Our 2021 Image of the Year Competition is now accepting entries! Learn more at https://www.olympus-lifescience.com/ioty


Microscopic image of mare’s tail

In a less ghostly but equally pretty post, Karl Gaff again manages to capture the microscopic beauty of plant life. This unstained image shows a transverse slice through the stem of the aquatic plant, Hippuris vulgaris, more commonly known as mare’s tail.

Image courtesy of Karl Gaff. Captured using an Olympus BX51 microscope with an X Line objective.



We all love water bears, but their adorable appearance may be a facade. These cute little tardigrades are microscopic vampires! Their needle-like stylets in their mouths allow them to drink nutrients from both friend and foe.

Video courtesy of Hunter Hines. Captured with an Olympus BX53 microscope.

To see more images like these, be sure to follow us on Instagram at @olympuslifescience!

Interested in sharing your own images? Visit our image submission site or submit your image to the 2021 Image of the Year contest

Related Content

Spreading his Wings: IOTY 2020 Asia-Pacific Winner Shares the Beauty of the Microworld

Bugs, Brains, and Bacteria: Our Most Popular Microscope Images for September 2021

Embracing Social Media and Its Important Role in Science Outreach

Manager, Marketing Communications

Kerry Israel is the Manager of Marketing and Communications for Life Science in the Scientific Solutions Group at the Olympus Corporation of the Americas. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University, and over 15 years of experience in all aspects of marketing, from advertising and social media strategy to grassroots outreach.

Nov 12 2021
Sorry, this page is not available in your country
InSight Blog Sign-up
You will be unable to submit the form unless you turn your javascript on.

By clicking subscribe you are agreeing to our privacy policy which can be found here.

Sorry, this page is not
available in your country.