We're hitting the afternoon hard here on Jezebel, and what better way to deal with the "after lunch blahs" than to check out something really cool? There isn't one! Check out this flower. You are never going to guess what it's made of. Not in a million years.

Well, okay, you could have guessed if you work with microscopes often, but when I first saw it I thought it was frosting and ham (the best and most delicious combination) and wondered how I could make one of my own. Turns out I can't, because it requires a lot of equipment and know-how. Here's an explanation of how this was made:

These "flowers" were created by mixing barium chloride (BaCl2)and sodium silicate (\of the general formula: Na2(SiO2)n), also known as waterglass, in a beaker of water. The resulting reaction combines with carbon dioxide in the air to create crystals made of barium carbonate in the water.

Noorduin found that as the crystals self-assembled, he could control their shape, size and direction of growth by altering the temperature, the amount of carbon dioxide allowed into the reaction and the acidity of the water.

Increasing the carbon dioxide levels creates the broad, flat leaves of those mineral flowers, for example.

I don't know what any of that means — because I cut chemistry in high school to chill in the school library and download grainy images of naked dudes — but it's very impressive and something that makes me wish I had paid more attention during classes.


If you're wondering, the flower's colors have been photoshopped. According to one redditor, electron microscopes can't produce colors, but it wouldn't matter anyway, because the substances used in the photo aren't actually red or green. Still really, really cool. Unless you hate flowers. (Which I understand some people do, but not these Russian ladies.)

Image via Imgur