Science Snapshot: Breaking the Mold

     Close up of slime mold spores

Close up of spores from a slime mold in the genus Lamproderma

Alison Pollack, courtesy of Nikon

Even taken separately, the words “slime” and “mold” rarely conjure up the word “gorgeous” but this photo proves that sometimes, in order to see an organism’s true beauty, you need to look really, really closely. Photographer Alison Pollack snapped this picture of fruiting bodies from a slime mold growing on leaves, according to her Instagram post. She explains that the fruiting bodies are less than a millimeter tall and she used a focus stacking technique to reveal all of the tiny details. Pollack’s image took 5th place in the 2022 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition.

Correction (November 4): An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the fruiting bodies. The Scientist regrets the error.

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