Did You See This?

Tiny Fireworks

Everything—even table salt—looks incredible under a microscope.

This video wraps up a year’s worth of eye-popping work from Beauty of Science, a team of scientists and artists in Hefei, China. Led by Yan Liang, the group produces high-quality videos, comics, and books to promote interest in STEM education. “Seasons in a Small World,” above, collects dazzling images from recent videos into four “seasons” based more on how they look than what they actually are. They unfold like the best movie Terrence Malick never made.

Many of the team’s videos use microscopy, high-resolution cameras, and timelapse to capture spectacular chemical-liquid interactions far too small for us to see. The video above, for example, opens with images of expanding table salt crystals. It’s from another installment, “Black (Lead) and White (Silver).” Other videos depict equally fascinating views of what heat and electricity can do.

All of the videos are hypnotizing in their revelatory, strange beauty.