40 Amazing Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) Images

Everyday we see the beauty of world with our own eyes and get surprised if we concentrate even a little bit more on ordinary things. Nature has created micro things along with macro ones. And we can also enjoy the beauty of our world by seeing these micro beauties through the science of microscope photography. There are talented people around us who are doing this fabulous job of discovering and capturing the surprisingly beautiful and minuscule things with their powerful lens cameras. I have collected incredible collection of Scanning Electron Microscopy Pictures that I like to share with all of you. Explore the beauty of world and look at these breathtaking SEM images.

Loperamide crystals


Annie Cavanagh and David McCarthy

“This false-coloured scanning electron micrograph shows loperamide crystals. Loperamide, an antimotility drug used to treat diarrhoea, works by slowing down the movement of the intestine and reducing the speed at which the contents of the gut pass through. Food remains in the intestines for longer and water can be more effectively absorbed back into the body. This results in firmer stools that are passed less often. The crystal group measures approximately 250 microns across.”

Split End of a Human Hair


Credit Liz Hirst

“Colour-enhanced scanning electron micro-graph of the split end of a human hair showing the outer cuticle layer surrounding the inner cortical layer.”

Red Blood Cells


Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images

Red Blood Cells: Magnified over 11,000 times


(CDC/Janice Carr)

Chicken embryo vascular system


wellcome images , Vincent Pasque, University of Cambridge

“This fluorescence micrograph shows the vascular system of a developing chicken embryo (Gallus gallus), two days after fertilisation. Injecting fluorescent dextran revealed the entire vasculature used by the embryo to feed itself from the rich underlying yolk inside the egg. At this stage of development, the embryo and its surrounding vasculature are a little smaller than a 5p coin.”

Pubic louse


Head of Pubic Louse


Claws of Pubic Louse


David Gregory & Debbie Marshall, Wellcome Images

Sperm on the surface of a human egg


Yorgos Nikas, Wellcome Images

“Numerous sperm trying to to fertilise a human egg. They are trying to find their way through the zona pellucida, the membrane that surrounds and protects the egg.”

Human Sperm Fertilizing a Human Egg


“The sperm has fused to the egg cell membrane (oolemma) prior to becoming incorporated almost completely into the egg. The zona pellucida has been removed in this preparation. The surface of the egg is covered with dense microvilli. Once the sperm has fused to the egg cell membrane the “zona reaction” takes place which prevents other sperm from entering the egg.”

Electric Guitar String 80x


Scott Frankowski, UW Oshkosh

Moth fly (Psychodidae)


wellcome images , Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen

Fly’s Eyes



Monarch Butterfly Wing



Caffeine Crystals


Annie Cavanagh and David McCarthy

“This false-coloured scanning electron micrograph shows caffeine crystals. Caffeine is a bitter, crystalline xanthine alkaloid that acts as a stimulant drug. In plants, caffeine functions as a defence mechanism. Found in varying quantities in the seeds, leaves and fruit of some plants, caffeine acts as a natural pesticide that paralyses and kills certain insects feeding on the plant. The main crystals of caffeine were 400-500 microns long; however, this crystal group formed on the end of the larger crystal and measures around 40 microns in length.”

Surface of tongue


David Gregory & Debbie Marshall, Wellcome Images

“Scanning electron micrograph of the surface of the tongue, computer-coloured red/pink.”



David Gregory & Debbie Marshall, Wellcome Images

“Low power scanning electron microscope image of tooth surface, computer-coloured yellow on blue background.”

Shark Skin


“An electron micrograph reveals sharkskin’s secret to speed: tooth-like scales called dermal denticles. Water “races through the microgrooves without tumbling,” says shark researcher George Burgess, reducing friction. “It’s like a fast-moving river current versus the gurgling turbulence of a shallow stream.” The scales also discourage barnacles and algae from glomming on – an inspiration for synthetic coatings that may soon be applied to Navy ship hulls to reduce such biofouling.”

Stinging hairs on a nettle leaf


David Liz Hirst, Wellcome Images

“The large stinging hairs are hollow tubes with walls of silica making them into tiny glass needles. The bulb at the base of each hair contains the stinging liquid that includes formic acid, histamine, acetylcholine and 5- hydroxytryptamine (serotonin). The tips of the glassy hairs are very easily broken when brushed, leaving a sharp point, which easily pierces the skin to deliver the sting.”

Close-up of midge eye


David Gregory & Debbie Marshall, Wellcome Images 


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