Weird Tennis And Golf Shaped Pollen

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The ball-shaped pollen that brings misery to allergy sufferers

By Daily Mail
Last updated at 2:21 PM on 31st May 2010

They may look like a bizarre pair of tennis balls, but these pink orbs can make Wimbledon hell for allergy sufferers.

That is because this stunning 3D picture actually shows flower pollen that has been magnified a million times.

The Passion flower (Passiflora caerulea) pollen look like strange spongy tennis balls

It was captured by retired scientific photographer Steve Gschmeissner, who gathered the passion flower pollen near his home in Bedford. He described the intricate structures as ‘mesmerising.’

The 61-year-old used a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) which is far more powerful than regular light microscopes that can only magnify by up to 1,000 times.

The SEM builds up extreme close-ups of anything that can fit inside the 4ft high device by bombarding it with electrons.

The technique is popular with scientists and artists, such as the American photographer David Scharf.

His close-up image of Japanese knotweed revealed pollen grains that look like puckered golf balls.

This is not a golf ball but the pollen from the Japanese knotweed that is choking British riverbanks

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Originally posted 2010-10-30 08:00:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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