Vivid Symmetrical Shapes of Algae Revealed in Stunning Photo
A composite image showing a collection of single-cell fresh water algae, desmids. Dr. Igor Siwanowicz, Howard Hughes Medical Instituteā€™s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Virginia, created the composite image, which placed third in the 2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition.
Credit: Dr. Igor Siwanowicz, Third Place, 2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging CompetitionĀ® | www.olympusbioscapes.com

This amazing image isn't a new type of flower. It's a composite showing a collection of single-cell freshwater green algae called desmids. Dr. Igor Siwanowicz, Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Farm Research Campus in Virginia, created the composite image, which placed third in the 2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition.

Desmids exhibit a vast diversity of sizes from 10 microns or smaller to 0.3 mm. The red in the image comes from the innate fluorescence — the process by which light of a certain wavelength is absorbed by a substance and emitted, usually at a different wavelength — of chlorophyll. By stacking several desmids together, Siwanowicz was able to create the flowerlike appearance. 

Follow LiveScience @livescience, Facebook & Google+.