School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow upshow/hide menu

Ask A Biologist graphic

1999, Summer

Summer 1999 Mystery Image

Summer 1999 Mystery Image
Image by William Sharp

We hope everyone had a great summer. The guesses we received this summer were quite interesting. No one identified the image, but several folks got very close. From the categories of animal, mineral, vegetable (plant), if you guessed that it was some part of plant then you were correct. This is a microscopic view of the surface of a tomato plant leaf. The microscope used was a scanning electron microscope.


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

  • 46% guessed that it was part of a plant.
  • 23% guessed that it was mold or fungus.
  • 2% guessed that it was part of an animal or an animal.

Some of the creative single answers are listed below.

  • The black stuff on a rotten tomato.
  • Lichen growing on a rock.
  • Dog or Flee hair.
  • Spore sac of of a spore farming fungus.
  • Gelatinous receptacles of enzymatic fluid that will digest an invertebrate caught on this surface of a carnivorous plant like a sundew.
  • This image looks like a coconut tree with no leaves, or the back of a porcupine at 1000x larger than the eye could see.

For our September Mystery image we challenge all you creative scientific folks to send us your best guess.

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.

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow up  Learn More

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.