UPDATE: Answer in comment #35.
No prize offered, and no Google Image-ing!
Butterfly or moth scales?
Butterfly not moth…
That was my first thought too.
Batman’s discarded suit silhouettes?
I was going to say butterfly wing.
@Ant, how do you get your computer to make that symbol?
I was using my iPad mini at the time; press & hold the “&” key to get the alternative-character pop-up — just “§” in this case.
The “§” I just typed (now on my iMac) is the key to the left of the “1” key.
On Windows PCs, you should be able to use [Alt]+0167 (with NumLk on if necessary; ie, hold down [Alt] as you type the numbers on the alternative numeric keypad).
On another mobile OS, who knows… ?
Hmm… I’m on a PC, and the [alt] combo isn’t working. Do you know the name of the symbol? Maybe I could look it up, then. Thanks!
All you ever wanted to know about U+00A7 Section Sign
Thank you, Michael. I found that page, once I knew the symbol’s name, and it was interesting.
Ah, that suggests a simpler answer here; just type “&38;sect;” — §
But that just comes out &38;sect; rather than the double-s…
Oh… that’s confusing… I meant, type “§”
Hmm… WordPress is not being consistent about treating HTML entities!
Oh, heck… ampersand-s-e-c-t-semicolon
(I wish WEIT had a preview function!)
Like this? §
Ant, it worked!!! It actually worked!!! Thank you!
Holding down “alt” while typing “21″. results in the section symbol “§” on newer Windows PCs.
Mine’s running Vista. [alt]21 didn’t work, either. I’ll try googling “section symbol.” Thank you.
I use Windows Character Map, which has a huge selection of useful characters* for any occasion. I can’t remember where I first found it, as I now keep it on my lower taskbar ready for use. I’ve also copied and pasted frequently used characters into a notepad that I keep handy.
Update: click on the “help” button top right in Windows Explorer, and enter “character map” in the search box (or enter “character map” in the “start”, “search” box), then click on “character map”.
*Trying hard here to be a useful character myself .
And, most useful you are, too! Thank you, Haggis.
Funny thing: Character map allows me to find, copy and paste the symbol, but it also provides the same directions Ant did, using [alt]+0167, and that still doesn’t work. Maybe I can learn how to make a macro for a shortcut.
Are you typing the numbers using the numeric keys across the top of the keyboard? That won’t work.
You have to use the separate numeric keypad at the right of the keyboard, or, if you don’t have that, set NumLk ([Fn]+[ScrLk] on my ThinkPad) and use the “virtual” keypad (789/UIO/JKL/M – the letter keys should have the corresponding numbers on them). (You also have to toggle NumLk off to type normally afterwards! 6therw5se 5t 3662s 352e th5s.)
Windows Character Map : Start > Run… > “charmap” > OK
PS. Isn’t it so much easier in Apple OSs?!
PPS. charmap.exe is in C:\WINDOWS\system32 in Windows XP. YMMV. Good luck if you have Windows 8.
Glad to be of some assistance. I had not noticed the alt+0167 instruction, so I tried it just now, and guess what, it doesn’t work. However,I can’t find a NumLock key on this laptop, nor can I remember where the alternative numeric keys are (but see here for a diagram http://fsymbols.com/keyboard/windows/alt-codes/laptop/). I’ve also tried using Fn+Alt and the alternative numeric keys, but to no avail.
Wow. That works inside an email but not here on the webpage. Interesting…
Oops. Last comment was in response to Ant’s instruction to use number lock. As for Apple, I’ll get back there, eventually, but it’s going to be awhile. Apple was my first, though: LC III followed by MacBook, in early to mid 1990s.
Same on Linux, use Gnome Character Map which probably comes with most distros. I assume there will be a KDE equivalent for those using the other common desktop.
I keep looking for that “21″ key.
It’s just above the “any” key.
So it does! Thanks.
Ditto on butterfly or moth scales. Note that the number of “prongs” on a scale (if a scale) appears to range from three to five; makes me wonder why.
Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain?
Bit of a long shot that, I admit.
I love Fawlty Towers too !
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, perhaps?
Perhaps they are seeds with elongated wing-like seed coats.
Looks like scales. Butterfly or moth wicg scales perhaps?
Unless it’s a very small dog fish which has “pointy” scales like that.
*wing* not wicg.
There was a program on on the BBC a wee while back, about Miniature Britain. One of the many images they showed was moth scales.
They were very similar to the image above. An excellent program – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pc1c1.
Butterfly scales. Aren’t they marvelous.
A pile of ballerina stockings at rhe after party.
A cut-a-way of my bacon and cheese omelette?
cool psychedelic scuba diving fins.
Could it be magnified scales on a snake, lizard or similar ?
It is beautiful.
Little wigs that butterflies wear when they go to the ball.
They appear to be multicellular, hence bigger than people are thinking. I go with plant bracts.
Butterfly or other insect scales. One of the remarkable features of the patterning of insect scales is their ultrastructural photonic artistry. Of course butterflies and day-flying moths (e.g. Urania spp.) are famous for their iridescent brilliance, but see the photonic crystals of beetles, as indicated here: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2010/JM/b913217a
That’s behind a ₤36 paywall for the underprivileged among us.
A worthwhile alternative (clocking in at £15) is “Seven Deadly Colours: The Genius of Nature’s Palette and How it Eluded Darwin” Andrew Parker (Author)
A good couple of evenings reading about the fancy tricks that are used to give colour to the natural world.
(ISBNs are for the paperback version, from the tax-dodging online bookshop who are so annoyingly convenient)
They look like microscopic, multicellular scales, but I cannot tell whether they are plant-sourced or insect/animal. I wanted to guess some sort of fruitfly, but I’ve seen their vascularized, membranous wings, so that’s not it.
Is this some sort of plant?
“What is this?”
Multicolored pixels on a computer screen.
I can see you’re a literalist. Reminds me of a scene in the movie ‘Wilt’ where a detective says “What’s this?” and thrusts a diagram that looks irresistibly like a naked woman in a pool of blood at Wilt (Griff Rhys-Jones) and he replies sarcastically “It’s a Rorshach ink-blot test”.
A symbol of man’s inhumanity to man. That’s what all art comes down to.
I was going to say dragonfly wing scales but then I saw “no prize” and I pouted. Can’t you at least give away vain titles? Like “Lord of the Moth” or something…
I take back my previous answer: knowing JAC, this is a cat enjoying gourmet food while wearing cowboy boots (and thinking about the subject of free will).
An extreme close-up of the leather in JAC’s latest pair of boots?
Gills, is my guess. But I wouldn’t like to say whose.
Eggs of some kind? Shark eggs?
From his garage, presumably.
No, if that were the case they’d be invisible.
They are rendered visible under magic light.
Oh, forgot about that.
Why do I feel an urge to watch Pete’s Dragon now?
So what the hell is it? Are you going to tell us??
Looks like scales on some type of follicle. I’d guess it’s off an insect, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it.
Yes, I am going to tell you, but wanted people to see it first! OY!
From ZME Science via reader ant:
These are the wing scales of the butterfly Prola Beauty (Panacea prola). The picture was taken by Charles Krebs, presented at the Olympus BioScapes 2012 Life Science Photo Awards.
Its what’s inside a christian jebus meat biscuit?
Butterfly scales. I did not look at #35.
I’ve viewed them unde a microscope many times.
Just winding you up .
I’m guessing a group of individual organisms of some kind because there is a great variety among them.
As a hobbyist microphotographer, I recognized the artist even if I didn’t identify the subject. Mr. Krebs’ work is also prominent in the Nikon Small World competition, and is always worth a look.
It would make a nice linoleum pattern.
It’s an ant.
More accurately, it’s from an Ant.
Goddam it I actually knew this! Sometimes living in Australia is not so great!! Sigh.
No worries! You knew it! That’s the important thing. I sure didn’t know it.
Mobile users can’t find “#35″. There’s nothing to indicate that comment. And scrolling around on a smart phone it’s not easy to find things.
Can you link to the comment in the OP instead?
Some number of angels dancing on the head of a pin.
“Bondi Beach Boogie Board beginners” class, 20 seconds after the shark bell went off.
[...] Coyne posts zoomed-in photos that amaze him (in this case, of butterfly scales and sunset moth wings, [...]
Notify me of follow-up comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Join 18,468 other followers
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.