Alien-like Flowers Seen Under the Microscope

These images have been created using a colour scanning electron microscope (SEM) by the award-winning Eye of Science, comprised of snapper Oliver Meckes and biologist Nicole Ottawa. For a decade the pair, based in Reutlingen in the south of Germany, worked with an old SEM they saved from the scrapheap, but for the last five years they have used a £250,000 FEI Quanta Series Field Emission SEM. Oliver said: “Flowers are beautiful in ‘normal’ view, but when you look closer, some parts get very bizarre and unexpected structures appear – flowers within flowers, worlds within worlds”.

A Valerian flower as viewed under a coloured scanning electron microscope. (Photo by Oliver Meckes/Barcroft Media)

Hibiscus stamens. (Photo by Oliver Meckes/Barcroft Media)

Pollen grains (grey) on the stigma (yellow) of an Arnica flower. (Photo by Oliver Meckes/Barcroft Media)

The stigma (yellow) of an Arnica flower, the top part of the female reproductive structure (carpel), as seen under a coloured scanning electron microscope. (Photo by Oliver Meckes/Barcroft Media)

Marigold petal hairs from an almost never before seen viewpoint. (Photo by Oliver Meckes/Barcroft Media)

The anther of a flower of the small-leaved lime. (Photo by Oliver Meckes/Barcroft Media)

A Marigold petal and its pistil like you’ve never seen it before. (Photo by Oliver Meckes/Barcroft Media)

The floret of a Chamomile flower up close and personal. (Photo by Oliver Meckes/Barcroft Media)

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