The MicroPopulous of Edinburgh

Microorganisms in a few micro litres of Edinburgh stream water revealed by the motion tracks that they make at 200-times magnification (below).  (apologies for the cracked iPhone screen)

 

35.68 second exposure

35.68 second exposure

I recently rain an Exploring The Invisible workshop with ASCUS at the Edinburgh International Science Festival 2017. As part of this we recorded the tracks made by microorganisms (200-times magnification) in a few scant micro litres of water collected from an Edinburgh stream.

The tracks remind me very much of the tracks made by atomic particle collisions, and radioactive decay, as recorded in cloud and bubble chambers, and whilst Edinburgh’s human inhabitants go about their daily lives, the city vibrates to this incalculable frenzy of invisible biological wavelengths and frequencies.

48.54 second exposure

48.54 second exposure

It’s easy for us to overlook this microscopic life because of it’s diminutive size and our unconscious macroscopic bias. Here though it’s not size that matters but numbers and activity, and thus in many ways the impact of this invisible world dwarfs the biology that we can see with our unaided eyes. We can choose ignore this domain of life,  but we will never extricate ourselves from it as its energies permeate through everything else that lives and even our cities as here.  As our activities change our planet, this vast realm of invisible life is responding and adapting, and will in turn influence dramatically the process of change in ways we are only just starting to understand.

54.40 second exposure.

54.40 second exposure

56.26 second exposure.

56.26 second exposure.

25.85 second exposure.

25.85 second exposure.

46.58 second exposure.

46.58 second exposure.

22.97 second exposure.

22.97 second exposure.

37.41 second exposure.

37.41 second exposure.

57.29 second exposure.

57.29 second exposure.

39.62 second exposure

39.62 second exposure.

91.69 second exposure.

91.69 second exposure

92.99 second exposure

92.99 second exposure

56.15 second exposure

56.15 second exposure

38.69 second exposure

38.69 second exposure

 

 

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