Insects, spiders and other tiny monsters that scurry across floors or fly through the air are frightening enough. Under an electron microscope, however, they balloon into terrifying yet beautiful spectacles.
For a few bucks, starting September 12, iPad owners can zoom in on such nightmarish electron-powered portraits using a paid application called “Mini-Monsters.”
Each of the app’s 567 images of more than 200 unique species is zoomable and comes equipped with a caption. The detailed information covers everything from the monsters’ eating habits to favorite hiding spots.
Science Photo Library, a science-centric stock imagery company that hosts some 300,000 images and 20,000 videos, says Mini Monsters will cost $2.99 in the U.S., £1.99 in the UK and €1.99 elsewhere in Europe.
“We supply these images mostly to publications and advertisers, but wanted to get them out to the public in another way,” said Gary Evans, who helped launch the app as the manager of scientific relations at Science Photo Library. “The first person I’m going to show this to is my grandson.”
Three sets of contributors (Steve Gschmeissner, Cheryl Power and Andrew Syred, and Oliver Meckes and Nicole Ottawa) created images for the app using their own scanning electron microscopes, which are hundreds of times more powerful than optical microscopes.
We preview some of the best mini monsters in this gallery.
Captions adapted from text provided by Science Photo Library
Six of Salticus scenicus's eight eyes are seen: one large pair at the front, and smaller eyes on the side. Below the eyes are the two large chelicerae which carry teeth for biting prey. Jumping spiders have acute vision which helps them stalk prey.
Image: Power and Syred/Science Photo Library