Dr.Oeggerli’s Beautiful Little Monsters

Some people find Dr. Martin Oeggerli’s monsters a little frightening. I see beauty in them, perfectly shaped by evolution. I also see a hint of Charles Darwin and Albrecht Dürer: the scientist and the artist. Mites don’t have a particularly nice reputation, but how well do we really know them? Oeggerli wants to help us to see past our preconceptions and beyond the limits of our own eyes. With a scanning electron microscope (SEM), he explores the microcosmos—the tiny, unseen world that’s smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. His work (reminds) me of Dürer’s rhinoceros. This strange creature, unknown to Europe in 1515, captured the imagination of the entire continent partly because the artist’s famous etching made it visible. Whatever his work of artistic interpretation lacked in accuracy, it made up for with its sheer beauty, its strangeness, and its power to inspire the imagination. Dürer was an artist drawn toward science, or at least animated by its principal ingredient: curiosity. Oeggerli is a man of science drawn toward artistic interpretation: Art multiplies science for him.

Continue reading,  text written by Todd James and published by National Geographic, 22 Jan. 2015.

«Many people have already commented very favourably on your beautiful images in the National Geographic article! I have been proud to tell them that Dave and I were involved in the creation of Mighty Mites by providing specimens and information. Thanks very much.»
Heather Proctor, PhD
Prof. at University of Alberta, Canada


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