Peering through a microscope for hours on end can do funny things to a scientist’s mind – just ask Shaahin Amini, a PhD student at the Bourns College of Engineering in California. After spending too much time staring at microscopic material, Amini began to see tiny giraffes.
The micro-giraffe above isn’t a miniature mammal, obviously, but a 0.05mm-high mixture of nickel, aluminium and carbon. Amini spotted the resemblance while studying how the ‘miracle material’ graphene can be grown from molten metals.
Noticing the giraffe-like features, Amini coloured parts of the image using Photoshop and then submitted his micro-masterpiece to the ‘Science as Art’ competition run by the Materials Research Society, which selected his artwork as one of the 50 finalists.
Not all scientists go gaga after long hours in a microscopy lab, but quite a few have managed to produce incredible images. For more finalists from the Science as Art competition, check out this gallery: