Thursday, July 9, 2015

BEAUTY: Photography--Maurice Mikkers

Dutch photographer Maurice Mikkers set out on a whim to collect the tears of his friends in order to photograph them under a microscope. Tears are made up of saline (salt water) mixed with oils, enzymes, and antibodies. But the array of the crystallization is fascinating. To see if the crystallized structure differs from the origin of the tear, Mikkers had volunteers choose three different methods. You can see the results below.

Basal tears are tears that serve to lubricate the eye. These were produced by looking into a fan for a few minutes to dry the eye. The structure of the second one is quite dense.

Reflex tears are produced when an irritant is introduced. The volunteers that made these tears chopped white onions and ate chili pepppers!

And finally, something we share with elephants, psychic tears are shed as an accompaniment to strong emotional reactions such as sadness or extreme joy. They do appear to me to be a bit different from the other two...more dense... but what does it mean? Mikkers intends to continue the project, and perhaps a scientist or two will weigh in with some meaning...meanwhile, they are fascinating to see and contemplate.

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