School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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1998, April

April 1998 Mystery Image

April 1998 Mystery Image
Photo by C.J. Kazilek

This is a scanning laser confocal image of handmade silk paper. The colors are a result of two different lasers exciting different fibers. The different fibers emit two different wavelengths (color) of light. If you look carefully you will see green specks. Those are particles from the "sizing" that is added to paper to keep inks from bleeding when you write on them.


Congratulations to Tiffany from Desert Vista for guessing the image. Also credit to all the other students from Desert Vista with all their answers.

For those of you that are curious, here are some numbers from our list of guesses.

  • 20% guessed that the image was something to do with cloth.
  • 13% guessed that it was some type of paper.
  • 9% guessed that the image was either bacteria or fungus.
  • 4% guessed that it was either grass or twigs.
  • 4% guessed that it was some kind of skin.
  • 4% guessed that it was part of a plant.

Some of the creative single answers are listed below.

  • Silly string.
  • Deflated balloons
  • Wart's on a witch's nose.
  • Velcro.
  • Protons and electrons moving at certain speeds.
  • Spaghetti.
  • Magnified picture of tapeworms.
  • Strands of rope from a murder scene.
ant, photo by Alex Wild

It's like having your own microscope! Visit our Zoom Gallery to explore and have fun zooming in and moving around each image.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

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ant, photo by Alex Wild

It's like having your own microscope! Visit our Zoom Gallery to explore and have fun zooming in and moving around each image.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.