human tissue under microscope

Human Tissue Under A Microscope

I bought a new microscope with planachromatic objectives. They have a superior image quality to non-plan objectives. With the crisp and clear images I can get from my new microscope, I decided to make a post with images and videos of human cells and tissue.

Sperm Under A Microscope

This is the most interesting and fascinating thing I’ve looked at under a microscope!

When I first tried this experiment, I hadn’t focused correctly on my slide of semen. I think was focused on the outside of the coverslip or something like that. I was panning around looking for something. I went up to the 100x objective, but I couldn’t find anything.

At first I thought that maybe the spermatozoa were too small to see with a microscope. But then I adjusted the focus the right way, and suddenly an eyeful of spermatozoa burst into view! Holy mackerel, was it exciting! Those are my little swimmers there!

I felt a little guilty. I mean, they were all going to die. Oh well, I’ve killed a heck of a lot more than that over the years.

sperm under microscope 40x
Human sperm under a microscope at 40xobjective magnification.

What you are seeing is a bunch of spermatozoa in various stages of development. Some are fully mature. Others still in undeveloped stages. Those little round things you see occasionally are white blood cells.

One spermatozoon carries the male half of the genes to the female ovum. If it’s fast and lucky, it forms a gamete with the ovum, and becomes a human embryo.

The female ovum only carries X chromosomes. If the sperm cell carries an X chromosome, the embryo becomes an XX female. If it carries a Y chromosome, it becomes an XY male.

sperm under microscope 100x
Human sperm under a microscope at 100x objective magnification.

Blood Under A Microscope

One of the most interesting things to look at are red blood cells under a microscope. When I first looked at my red blood cells under a microscope, I noticed that they stacked together quite a lot. They looked like stacks of coins.

I looked it up, and it turns out it’s a phenomenon called roleaux. If it happens too much, then you have a problem which can cause lack of oxygen to be transported to the cells in your body. Roleaux can occur from various infections and cancer. I think it can occur from B12 shortage or absorption issues. It occurs if you get dehydrated. It occurs when you get a common infection such as a cold.

Rouleaux stacking of red blood cells
Rouleaux is the phenomenon of red blood cells stacking like stacks of coins.

Seeing my cells stacked like that, I cut down on coffee and increased my intake of water. Now when I look at my blood, the blood cells aren’t stacking as much

To look at your blood under a microscope, add a small drop of blood to an even smaller drop of water on a slide, and place the coverslip over the slide. The result should be a very pale looking mix of blood and water. If you don’t add water, the result will just be a wall of red.

Blood smear on microscope slide
A blood smear on a microscope slide

At 100x magnification (10x objective), it starts to look interesting. You can see individual red blood cells with gaps of water between them.

Blood magnified 100x under a microscope
Blood under a microscope magnified 100x. Picture taken by holding a camera a short distance from the eyepiece.

At 40x objective magnification, you can make out the donut shaped red blood cells clearly.

Red blood cells magnified 40x
Red blood cells magnified with a 40x microscope objective. A microscope camera further magnifies it about 20x.

At 100x objective magnification viewed with oil immersion, you can see each red blood cell clearly. You can see them bumping around as they flow. They are moving because they’re in a water medium, and slight vibrations on the desk move the water slightly. Also the water is evaporating, which causes flow in the water.

Red blood cells against air bubble
Red blood cells at 100x objective magnification getting trapped against the edge of an air bubble.

Human Hair Under A Microscope

human hair under microscope at 100x magnification
A human hair magnified 100x under a microscope. The incisions are where I tried to cut it, to expose a cross-section. It didn’t work.

I tried using my USB microscope to take a cross section of a human hair to look at. I’ve never seen anyone do that. It would be unique. Unfortunately, a hair is impossibly small to work with. So I just looked at it from the outside. You’ll see my images are of a couple of sliced up hairs. That was my failed attempt at getting a cross section. You try it. It’s bloody difficult!

human hair under microscope at 100x magnification
A human hair magnified 400x under a microscope.
human hair under microscope at 100x magnification
A human hair magnified 1000x under a microscope. An exposed cross-section would have been interesting to see at this magnification.

Human Tongue Under A Microscope

human tongue under microscope at 10x magnification
Human tongue cells and papillae under a microscope at 10x objective magnification.

I scraped my tongue to collect some human tongue cells. I scraped some papillae from the back of my tongue and smeared the cells onto a slide. It was much more interesting than I thought it would be. Believe it or not, it was nearly as exciting as my sperm. You’ll see why.

The smear was yellow and gross. The papillae themselves were huge. You can see how big they are in the pictures below.

human tongue cells look like fossils
Who knew that tongue papillae magnified at 40x objective magnification would look like fossils in stone?
human tongue cell magnified at 100x
At 100x objective magnification, a tongue cell looks like an insects leg.

Now it gets interesting. When I increased the magnification, to my astonishment I saw little critters living in my spit! Look at them swimming around.

Man, I need to brush more! Those little jerky worms are bacteria living the good life in my mouth. There’s a whole ecosystem on the back of my tongue! This is why I get gingivitis. I need to put an end to their fun.

Human Eye Under A Microscope

eye under microscope
A part of my eye viewed with a USB microscope.

I placed my handheld USB microscope against my eye, and took some pictures. I was only able to get low magnification with it. I don’t know why. I just wasn’t able to focus at high magnification. Anyway, the pictures are quite interesting. I quite like how the eyelashes look under a microscope.

eye pupil under microscope
A clearer look at my pupil with a USB microscope.
eyelashes under microscope
My eyelashes under a microscope. My eyes are bloodshot from too much computer use.
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Bikash chandra biswas
Bikash chandra biswas

Hello Peter,
May I know which microscope do you prefer?