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Science

Microscopic images satisfy TikTok commenters' natural curiosity.

Ever wondered what an espresso looked like under a microscope? How about a pumpkin? Octopus sucker?

Thanks to pharm tech college student and TikTok star of science Justice Dodson, all of your micro-curiosities can be satisfied. And wow, it is crazy to look at our big, big world through this teeny tiny lens.

Dodson’s channel, where he takes requests for items to go under a microscope, is a unique blend of fascinating, educational and grossly pleasing. With more than a million followers, this kid gets a ton of requests. But here are some of the nanoscopic gems I found particularly interesting:

Corona virus

@justice.dodson

Reply to @user646472910474810 Corona or Corona? ##foryou##microscope##science##TargetHalloween##MakeItCinematic

♬ Pink Soldiers - 23

It’s probably no surprise that many, many, many people ask to see the coronavirus up close and personal. Although Dodson does a bit of a bait-and-switch here.

He starts the video by letting us know, “I have Corona, so I can finally show you what it looks like under a microscope”

… and then proceeds to pull out a Corona beer bottle.

This was still a teachable moment, because we learned that the virus is way too small and would need a much more powerful device to be visible. Something called an electron microscope. Sounds like something from a Marvel movie.

As one person commented, “I was excited, disappointed, and informed all in the span of 30 seconds,” and that accurately sums it all up.

Pepperoni

@justice.dodson

Reply to @that_trippy_chick22 Cow + Pig = Pepperoni ##foryou##microscope##velabco##wehavethemeats##CurameChoreo

♬ #3 - Aphex Twin

It looks like pimply skin, then a gaseous planet. Don’t watch before pizza.

Octopus sucker

@justice.dodson

Davy Jones vibes 🐙 ##foryou##microscope##velabco##ocotpus##NissanShowUp

♬ Davy Jones Theme (Pirates of the Caribbean) - Je Suis Parte

First off, an octopus is already fun to look at. But Dodson took a piece of an octopus arm (I’m guessing from a market?) and under the microscope it looks even more like an alien creature.

Bonus points for creativity, as he used the “Davy Jones Theme” from "Pirates of the Caribbean" for his audio. I giggled at that.

It’s also great to see that Dodson is inspiring other scientists-in-training, as many share their appreciation, knowledge and enthusiasm in the comments.

One person wrote, "hoping to be a medical lab scientist one day, love your videos."

Bug squishing

@justice.dodson

Reply to @defender2090 I found it like this all shriveled up :( ##foryou##microscope##velabco##123PandoraME##TakeTheDayOffChallenge

♬ The Banjo Beat, Pt. 1 - Ricky Desktop

People really, really, really like the squishing ones.

Halloween pumpkin

@justice.dodson

Reply to @user646472910474810 Happy Halloween! 🎃 ##foryou##microscope##pumpkin##velabco##science##PUBGMOBILE

♬ Halloween Theme - John Carpenter & Cody Carpenter & Daniel Davies

Holy moly, that crazy transformation from 100x to 400x. I will never think of jack-o-lanterns the same way again.

Blood + wine

@justice.dodson

Reply to @hnnh.cstr Red wine, extra red 🩸🔬 ##velabco##microscope##science##wine##JifRapChallenge

♬ Je te laisserai des mots - Patrick Watson

In a beautiful cascade, the red blood cells meet their demise, due to the alcohol.

So yeah, in case you were considering it, don’t inject red wine!

Dollar bill

@justice.dodson

Reply to @.seanm RIP George ##foryou##CowboyBebop##MunchiesWithTubi##microscope##velabco##science

♬ where is my mind - jewel :*

I was half hoping for some kind of hidden clue-like message that “National Treasure” always promised us. But still quite cool to see.

Especially toward the end where you see how money is a bunch of fibers seemingly sewn together. There's a metaphor for capitalism somewhere in there.

Mold … from a water bottle

@justice.dodson

##stitch with @noelmulk0 Do you have mold in your water bottle? 🔬🔬 ##foryou##microscope##velabco##mold##k18hairflip

♬ original sound - Justice Dodson

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Dodson's TikToks, it’s that nowhere is safe.

Water bear

@justice.dodson

Reply to @nikki_smiht LOOK AT THOSE LITTLE CLAWS 🥺 ##foryou##microscope##velabco##MyBrawlSuper##waterbear##tardigrade

♬ Elf - Main Theme - Geek Music

Found inside a little puddle on moss and dirt, and with a bonus tardigrade egg!

This is one of the cuter ones, most definitely.

Espresso cream

@justice.dodson

Reply to @user646472910474810 lil bubbles ##foryou##microscope##CustomersMostLoved##velabco##DoTheJuJu

♬ original sound - джузель

It basically looks like a bubble bath, making me love coffee even more.

Banana

@justice.dodson

Bananas making bananas 🍌 ##foryou##didyouknow##microscope##velabco##SaveIt4TheEndZone##banana##cells

♬ Eleanor Rigby - Cody Fry

Why no, Dodson, I did not know that banana cells look just like little bananas. But I certainly can’t un-know it moving forward.

Giphy

We all have a science nerd inside, an inner curiosity that wants to know how things work, both big and small.

That’s what makes TikTok truly amazing for its bite-sized glimpses into subjects we might not otherwise be aware of.

Trust me, I did not wake up thinking I’d go down a rabbit hole like this one, but I’m so glad I did. Thanks Justice Dodson for sharing your passion and for helping us see the world in a whole new way.

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

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