Monday, April 09, 2012

Plankton Chronicles

The word "plankton" literally means "wanderer", and these floating wanderers of the ocean have a strange and alien beauty that has fascinated generations of biologists.

The Plankton Chronicles project uses modern microscopy and videography to make this world accessible to the average armchair explorer. They've produced a series of videos highlighting different planktonic organisms, using a technique called dark field optics, where objects are made visible by the light that they scatter, appearing light against a dark background.

The project is a collaboration between the Tara Oceans Expedition and the Oceanographical Observatory at Villefranche-sur-Mer.

One of the episodes, on planktonic protists (of course!), is embedded below:

I came by the site by way of this TED Talk by Tierney Thys:

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