(ORDO NEWS) — Just as the flakes of a snowflake have different shapes under a microscope, human tears have a completely different appearance, due to the different emotions under the influence of which they appeared.
Scientists have found that each tear has a different viscosity and composition, but all tears contain biochemical substances such as oils, antibodies, enzymes, etc., which are found in salt water. How is the composition of these substances reflected in the pattern of tear crystals? The Dutch photographer Maurice Mickers is trying to find the answer to this question.
Collecting tears and representing unique beauty on a micro level is what Mick does. Until 2007 he worked as an analyst in a pharmaceutical laboratory and then studied interactive media design at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. Combining art and science, he uses photomicrographs to present images under a microscope as a series of beautiful stories.
In 2014, Maurice accidentally hit his foot on a table leg and the pain in his toe made him cry. He doesn’t know where he got the idea to look at these tears under a microscope. He used an eyedropper to collect a large tear that had rolled down his cheek due to the intense pain. Under the microscope, he observed the formation of crystals of this tear.
Since then, Meekers has not only studied his own tears under a microscope, but has collected the tears of countless people. Friends who cried because their parents were seriously ill, sisters who were humiliated by their bosses at work, and other people who are ready to contribute.
This is not a scientific study and unlike the medical experiments he has done before, but an exploratory journey full of imagination and inspiration.
“I was so busy researching the crystallization of prescription drugs, food, etc. that I had no idea that tears could be so beautiful,” Meekers says.
“With that in mind, I hope to start writing a book,” he continues. Meekers studied under the microscope the differences between several types of tears and concluded that the focus should be on the stories behind the tears. Meekers said:
“Usually people are not used to crying in public and don’t want others to see their tears, but with the Imaginarium of Tears photography project, we can open up to the outside world.”
Science currently believes that there are three types of tears. The first type of tears occurs when we look directly at a fan for 60 seconds without blinking.
In this case, tears automatically flow out, which is the main type of tears. The next type is the tears shed while cutting onions and stimulated by smoke. These are tears of a conditioned reflex. And the third type is tears shed because of such emotions as excitement, sadness and happiness.
Mick was pleasantly surprised to find that under a powerful microscope, tears can be seen to take on different shapes as they crystallize, and different types of tears can be distinguished.
“Every tear has water, lipids, glucose, urea, sodium, potassium, oil, salt, minerals,” he said, “because each of us is unique and different from the others, doing different things. This also makes each tear unique.” .
Since March 2015, he has been inviting new friends to join the project to “make them cry” one by one.
The hardest part was getting people to cry on the spot, which took longer than expected. The process of crystallization of tears takes from 5 to 30 minutes. In the same year, he published a series of photographs with microscopic images called “Tears and Microimages” on Facebook.
Carlene shed tears of sadness as the film brought back sad memories
The first tears Mick collected were his own tears of pain
Anna’s tears of sadness shed by her when she was going through life’s difficulties
“Just as it’s worth sharing ideas, I believe it’s worth shedding tears,” he said.
In 2017, Mick successfully developed a tear collection package in the hope that more people would be able to collect tears and submit them to a database for inductive analysis of similarities and differences. He also set out to study the “fractals” of tears and find a way to interpret the information received.
Are tears and drops of water really lifeless?
“I am fascinated by the microscopic world of tears because there is a very deep connection between tears and their unique stories,” says the photographer. “By sharing our tears, we can discover microscopic worlds and understand each other more deeply.”
He also said:
“The unique landscape in the microscopic world of tears amazes me every time. This is a new experience. I want to dive deeper into this topic, learn more and understand where the future will take me.”
Mick is not alone in his fascination with microscopic tears. Rose-Lynn Fisher, a photographer from Los Angeles, USA, lost a loved one in 2008 and became depressed. She often cried. And a strange thought came to her mind: what will happen if you photograph tears under a microscope? Will the tears be different every time?
She photographed the tears under a microscope in a crystalline state after the water had evaporated from them. It looked like the effect of erosion on Earth over millions of years. This excited her so much that she took 100 photographs of tear samples and published a photo album, Topography of Tears.
The study by Maurice Meekers and Rose-Lynn Fisher also reminds people of the late Dr. Emoto Katsuya. He collected water samples under various conditions, placed them in a refrigerator at a temperature of minus 5 degrees, and then, using a powerful microscope, took pictures at the moment when the water was about to melt.
The work “Water knows the answer”, which includes 122 photographs, shows the influence of human thoughts, music and other factors on the manifestation of water crystals. This work makes people wonder: do inorganic substances really have no soul?
In the East, more than 2,500 years ago, Buddha Shakyamuni said: “There are three thousand great worlds in one grain of sand.” It seems that not only in one grain of sand there are three thousand worlds, but in every teardrop and drop of water there are endless secrets.
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