What Is It? #15

Last week, we asked you what this was a picture of:

No-one actually supplied the correct answer, although Johan Strandberg did post a link to a websearch he had done to find the answer, complaining that it was too easy to find. Which kind of defeats the point. We may be geniuses here at the MSS, but regularly defeating search engines is beyond our capabilities! It’s always possible to search quickly for the answer, but we want you to use your own knowledge to get the answer, not steal Google’s. So I propose a second rule to the What Is It? competitions, beyond the one in the title itself: no search engines. Dissenters will be poked aggressively in the shoulder with a disapproving finger.

For those who didn’t follow the link, the image is of an influenza virus, taken via a TEM (Transmission Electron Microscope). Special mention should go to Alex, who suggested Cowpea Mosaic Virus. Hopefully none of you out there are currently suffering the results of infection by this beautiful blue and yellow bastard (the flu virus that is, not Alex). If so, you now know the face of your enemy.

So, well done to, er, TinEye.com, apparently! Lets move on from flu and search engines and have a look at the next What Is It? picture. Put your thinking caps on, lean into your screen and tell us what it is you are looking at in the picture below:


  1. #1 by w_nightshade on June 14, 2010 - 09:13

    Looks like a cancer cell/tumour – or perhaps I’m just morbid.

  2. #2 by Jo on June 14, 2010 - 15:30

    Looks like a curled-up caterpillar to me!

  3. #3 by Jo on June 14, 2010 - 15:32

    As you can tell, I’m not a scientist…

  4. #4 by Tom W on June 14, 2010 - 17:34

    Is it phagocytosis?

  5. #5 by Nigel on June 16, 2010 - 07:55

    Looks like a Van Gogh reject or better still a capilary of red blood cells perhaps?

  6. #6 by Michael Gray on June 16, 2010 - 11:56

    A micrograph.
    Of cells.
    In false colour.
    Message ends.
    Have to make a bid in a lost property auction.
    Damn! Nearly bagged me the head of a Romulan.
    I’ll get reamed for this.

  7. #7 by Dessimat0r on June 17, 2010 - 18:01

    Is it breast tissue?

  8. #8 by jon d on June 18, 2010 - 04:13

    the lightshow at a hawkwing gig?

  9. #9 by Paul Smout on June 24, 2010 - 19:28

    It reminds me of some very dodgy calamari I once had.

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