What Does Grass Look Like Under A Microscope – Does the microscopic image show a “smiling face” on a blade of grass? Sorry for giving up that smile.
This is a real image of a cross-section of a blade of grass under a microscope. Of course, no part of the leaf is “smiling” in any literal sense, but the circular features known as “vascular bundles” resemble “smiling faces” when viewed from above.
What Does Grass Look Like Under A Microscope
The image, which appears to show a group of tiny “smiley” faces peering out at the viewer under a microscope, has been circulating online for years.
Extraordinary Microscopic Photographs That Peer Beneath The Surface
In a meme that has been circulating on social media since May 2021, the image is accompanied by the caption: “This is what a blade of grass looks like under a microscope. The next time you go outside, know that a blade of grass is glad to see you.”
Although we have not found the original source of the image above, we have found other microscopic images of grass with similar characteristics.
Discussion of the finished image ended in 2015 on the question and answer site StackExchange, where a user with an anonymous image pointed to a similar image on a science photo website that read:
Leaf of marram grass. Light micrograph of a cross-section of a closed (unopened) leaf of marram grass, Ammophila arenaria. The deeply hollowed leaf is folded into folds (seen here) and hardens as it matures so that the folds do not meet in the middle. Barriers are water and salt resistant and prevent excessive evaporation. Inside each folder appear circular vascular sacs that serve to transport food and water through the leaf. The upper rows keep animals from eating the leaves. Marram grass is important to coastal ecology as it is one of the most common grass species in the UK for sand dune stabilization. Magnification: x22 at a thickness of 35 mm.
This Is A Cross Section Of Grass Under A Microscope. It Looks Like It Has Smiley Faces.
Maria Morrow, assistant professor of plant science and environment at the College of the Redwoods, explained that the “smiley faces” are actually bundles of veins common in plants called monocots, which are plants with only one leaf, such as grass.
So, while the image above shows a cross-section of a real leaf under a microscope, it’s safe to say that the image in no way shows a leaf that is “smiling” or “pleased to see you.” Actually, describing these traits as emoticons is a subjective challenge. Looking at the image featured in Morrow’s article, you could argue that the leaf is calling out to you:
In other words, a “smiling face” is simply an illusion created by looking at a piece of a round sheet of vascular tissue from above through a microscope lens.
Bethany Palma is a reporter from the Los Angeles area who began her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government and national politics. Write … read more
What Does Grass Look Like Under A Microscope? (with Pictures!)
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