ARTS & CULTURE

Hypnotic Bacteria Cities Provide Lens Into Trippy, Hidden Universes (PHOTOS)

07/15/2013 08:29 am ET | Updated Aug 16, 2013

You heard it here first: petri dishes are the new canvases.

When Tel Aviv based physicist and biologist Eshel Ben-Jacob discovered two new strains of bacteria, paenibacillus dendritiformis and the paenibacillus vortex, he also discovered an untapped art form. The bacteria swim outward into spiraling, complex communities, creating hypnotic, color-filled cities that captivate the eye.

bacteria art

Ben-Jacob's images look more like tie-dyed galaxies than microcosmic forms. According to io9, "the bacteria in each colony can exceed the number of people on Earth, so they make a bacterial super-city." For his technicolored imagery, Ben-Jacob photographs the emerging micro-cities and later tints them to fully hyperbolize their many details.

Check out the microcosmic civilization you never knew existed in the slideshow below and let us know your thoughts. For a different take on bacteria art, check out this equally stimulating, though far more disturbing, series on iPhone bacteria art.

Bacteria As Art
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