A Canadian artist and software engineer created the A Tiny World project, which shares videos and photos of various microscopic creatures.
The microscopic universe is much more interesting than you can imagine, and a Livestream featuring tardigrades on Twitch.tv has caught the attention of the internet.
The idea came from artist and software manager Julie Laurin, who went to the balcony of her home with a microscope to capture the tiny creatures that live in the dirt. “There are hundreds and hundreds of Tardigrades that live on my balcony and I think they thrive in this brownish-greenish film and dirt that has formed over the years due to improper draining,” she said on her Twitter.
Nicknamed “water bears”, tardigrades were discovered by biologists in the 18th century. Since then, they have surprised science with their resistance to the most extreme conditions: they manage to survive in dunes, oceans and even in the vacuum of space. Furthermore, they can withstand temperatures of up to 272°C.
All of these videos are part of the A Tiny Word project, which Laurin created to combine artistic creativity with scientific curiosity. As she does not have a background in biological sciences, the artist invites specialists to collaborate with her knowledge on the subject when it comes to identifying the microscopic beings.
In addition to videos, the project’s website includes a guide for beginners who also want to buy a microscope and a catalog of creatures that can easily be found in places such as lakes or mosses. “In sharing this journey with you, my hope is that perhaps you will be inspired to set up your own microscopes, or to look more closely at small objects and creatures around you,” says Laurin on the initiative’s official website.
Check out more videos captured by Julie Laurin below: