What You Don't See: The Secret Life of Sand

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You've probably been to the beach before... but I bet you've never seen sand quite like this. Dr. Gary Greenberg, a noted scientist and artist, has produced several collections of microscopic photography. His latest collection, "Sand Grains," takes you on a tour of the world's beaches through microscopic photos of their sand. The photos are a fascinating testament to how beautiful and intricate the tiny grains escaping between your toes can be.

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The technique Dr. Greenberg uses is pretty complex: he uses a specific microscope he developed himself, taking many pictures at up to 250 times magnification, and then working with software to finalize each piece of art. These pieces can be seen on prints as well as in a book by Dr. Greenberg called A Grain of Sand, Nature's Secret Wonder.

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He's also taken photos of moon dust, flowers, food, and even the human body, which are all thought provoking and mysterious as well since your brain knows what it's looking at, but your imagination and spirit go place they haven't before. One of my favorite pieces that has me meditating without realizing it is a photo of the human retina (seen at left).

I have to tell you that I have a personal love for Dr. Greenberg's art, not only because it is amazing, but also because I have a personal love for the man. In fact, I've known him for several years now, as he the father of one of my good friends... which has lead to various sessions spent exploring different, much uglier subjects, like nails and fabric, through his super-duper-mega high definition microscope!

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In fact, he sent me a shot of an exhibit at the Science Museum in Minnesota, which shows you the prints on a wall. I would personally love to make one of them into a giant mural covering one wall of my living room.

They're not quite wall-sized, but you can order up to a 20" by 20" print of any of Dr. Greenberg's photos, either from his site or from his book, through his website.

(Image credits: Sand Grains; Dr. Greenberg; Dr. Greenberg)