Microscopic sand grains

All photos: Gary Greenberg

A new perspective on dirt

Sand can appear pretty unremarkable to the human eye, but magnify it by several hundred times and suddenly the unique colors, textures and shapes are brought to light.

Photographer and scientist Dr. Gary Greenberg uses microscopes to unearth these beautifully bizarre surfaces and landscapes using grains of sand sampled from across the globe.

In these meticulously crafted images, viewers discover that this infinitesimal world is filled with remnants of long-dead sea life, including shell fragments, sponge spicules, sea urchin spines and much more.

"When we walk along the beach, we are strolling atop millions of years of biological and geological history," Greenberg says.

For more gorgeous microphotography by Greenberg, be sure to check out his art book, "A Grain of Sand: Nature's Secret Wonder."

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Microscopic sand grains
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Microscopic sand grains
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Microscopic sand grains
 
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Microscopic sand grains
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Microscopic sand grains
 
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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.