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This came across my Facebook this evening from a photomicrography group I belong to. Mixed diatoms from the Gulf of Thailand at 20x magnification.

Diatoms, if high school biology seems a long, long time ago, are microalgae that live mostly in water. Actually, these are dead diatom skeletons, which are made of silicon. Diatoms make 20% of the world’s oxygen and comprise almost half the organic stuff in the ocean. Also, they’re purty.

I have now done everything I intend to do in aid of that Christmas thing — which mostly involved tidying the kitchen this evening. Tomorrow, I have an hour’s work, an hour’s coffee with my colleagues and then I’m off until January 3.

But I’ll be here if you’re looking for me.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 20, 2018, 9:28 pm

Squinting at it, that’s not a very nice picture of diatoms. I was trying to get too many in at once. And they’re prettier in color.

Go look at some other pictures.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: December 20, 2018, 11:51 pm

How come the left isnt shouting Save the Diatoms! if they are so important?

Anyway, I remember them from Dexter.

Comment from BJM
Time: December 21, 2018, 2:52 am

Y’all listening to Christmas carols? KCC is fabulous, of course, but this is guaranteed to give you chills.

BTW- Steam’s Winter Sale is ON like…well you know.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 21, 2018, 8:30 am

Eleven items on my wishlist are on sale. I can’t decide if I’ll even get off the couch for a mere 50% off.

Dexter, as in the serial killer series, Ric Fan? Because one of the cool things about diatoms is that they’ve solved murder cases. If you drown to death there will be diatoms in your lungs and those will tell investigators where you went down.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: December 21, 2018, 1:24 pm

tell them where… are you telling me they have samples from every grotty little place in the world where there are diatoms?

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: December 21, 2018, 8:46 pm

Diatomaceous earth is used in swimming pool filters. Or at least the ones I learned to take care of in Southern CA in the Seventies.

Comment from BJM
Time: December 23, 2018, 2:00 am

@Steve…I use food grade DE in the veggie garden to kill creepy crawlies and ants…works like charm with layered, deep mulch no dig gardening.

Comment from Timothy J. mcCorkle
Time: December 24, 2018, 4:13 pm

silica not silicon, Have a merry christmas!

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: December 24, 2018, 4:21 pm

Diatomaceous Earth – sounds like a late 60’s rock band.

Comment from Steve
Time: December 31, 2018, 3:23 am

Back in college I had a prof in my phycology class (phycology is a real thing. You can look it up). And he brought in some wonderful Victorian era microscope slides. All diatoms and scales off of butterfly wings. Miniature art forms is what they were. You can still find them for sale from time to time….

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