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Tiny tears

Posted by: Jo Briton

Categories: Photography,

Thu, 27 Aug 2015

This is a fascinating photography series, which reveals what tears look like when placed under a microscope.

Proving that not all tears are alike, Maurice Mikkers showcases their beautiful varieties under a microscope. The Dutch photographer gathered his friends and spent an evening experimenting, asking them to come over and “pick a way they would like to cry.” Participants could choose from cutting onions, eating hot peppers, looking into a fan, or from emotion (like happiness and sadness). Mikkers then captured every shed tear with a micropipette and dispensed them on a slide. The results are a remarkable look at the scientific structure of crying.


There are three basic types of tears—basal, reflex, and psychic. Basal tears keep the eye lubricated, while reflex tears are triggered by irritants such as allergies. Psychic tears, which are perhaps the most well known, relate to profound emotion, like when you cry during a sad film. They’re all composed of ingredients like oils, antibodies, and enzymes that are suspended in salt water. – I’m learning so much today!


Mikkers’s photographs reveal a visual distinction between the types of tears. Cutting an onion yields a different result than what’s produced by laughter or grief - their crystallized arrangements vary in density and pattern.


They look like delicate snowflakes.

See and read more at Mikker’s website, see also his project on the Crystalline formations of hard drugs, which is extremely interesting.


Source: My Modern Met




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