When you look around you, what do you see? The world is filled with all sorts of things to look at. Trees, birds, people, cars… the list goes on and on.

If you look up at the night sky, you may see the moon, stars and even distant planets. Some of these objects may be millions of miles away. Isn’t it amazing what you can see with your eyes?

Would you believe, though, that there are all sorts of things close by that you can’t see? It’s true! Things like germs, bacteria… even dust mites… are all around us and invisible to the naked eye.

We call these types of things “microscopic objects” because we need a microscope to see them. Our eyes have limits, so we can’t see extremely small objects without help. Certain tools, like magnifying glasses, microscopes and telescopes, magnify objects so we can see them.

“Magnification” means making something appear bigger without actually changing its physical size. Magnifying tools use a special lens (or a combination of lenses) to bend light at an angle to increase the size of the image that is sent to the eye. As the image sent to the eye by way of the lens increases, you see an object more easily, even though its physical size has not changed.

Experts believe that the naked eye — a normal eye with regular vision and unaided by any other tools — can see objects as small as about 0.1 millimeters. To put this in perspective, the tiniest things a human being can usually see with the naked eye are things like human hair (with the naked eye and under a microscope) and lice (with the naked eye and under a microscope).

With the help of powerful microscopes, though, humans are able to see incredibly small things impossible to see with the naked eye. Until recently, standard microscopes would allow you to see things as small as one micrometer, which is equal to 0.001 mm.

A new invention — the “microsphere nanoscope” — combines a standard microscope with a complex device (called a “transparent microsphere”) to allow you to see things up to 20 times smaller! Researchers believe this powerful new tool could allow them to see inside human cells and even examine live viruses in detail for the first time ever.

In the future, scientists believe they’ll be able to develop this tool to see even smaller things. Many researchers believe there is no theoretical limit on how small an object they’ll one day be able to see. Scientists are excited about the research possibilities this new tool will open up in the future.


96 Join the Discussion

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (29 votes, avg. 3.52 out of 5)
  1. Hey, this is Ryan from Mrs. Caplin’s class, and I thought this wonder was awesome! The artist in the video who makes microscopic work, I have heard of him, and his art is really amazing! Go, Wonderopolis!

    • Gooooooo, Ryan! What an awesome comment! Thank you for sharing what you knew about the artist in the video for this Wonder! :-)

    • It makes us super happy to hear that, Hailey! We really like it when our Wonder Friends share that they love learning in Wonderopolis…we think that’s just WONDERful! :-)

  2. I CAN SING MY A,B,C’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,G,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Dear Wonderopolis,

    That is so cool that there is a telescope combined with a microscope to make a microscope so strong it can see 0.001 mm. I heard that if we killed all germs that earth would be a conundrum! I know that people can see 0.1 mm but is there a person who can see 0.01? They probably have good vision!

    Team Wilch 9 :D :):D

    • We agree with you about that, Team Wilch 9! That person would have INCREDIBLE vision! We’re not sure if there are people who can really see things that small with their regular vision, though. It’s FUN to WONDER about that! :-)

  4. HeY wONdErOpOlIs!!! :P

    I think its cool that germs, bacteria, and dust mites are microscopic. Germs are persnickity. I wonder what else is also microscopic? I didn’t know that humans can see objects as small as 0.1 millimeters. I also didn’t know that standard microscopes can allow you to see things as small as one micrometer, which is equal to 0.001 mm. I like this wonder!


    • HeLlO, TeAm ClArK 13! < << It was fun to type your name the same way you typed ours! Thanks so much for letting us know the cool things you learned by exploring this Wonder. We like that you used the word, “persnickety” to describe germs. That’s a GREAT word! :-)

  5. Szia Wonderopolis!
    That artist in the video is soo cool. I saw in a magazine that he once made Minnie Mouse in a the eye of a needle.
    I didn`t know we could see 0.1 millimeters. Right now in math, we are learning about units of metric measurement! Is it possible for someone to see more than 0.1 mm? What if everyone was blind? That is sure to be a conundrum! Wonderopolis wouldn`t exist (well, probably not). Everything looks sooo much more interesting close up.
    Thanks for making my eyes (and brain) work hard to WONDER about miniscule objects! :)
    Team Clark #2 :)

    • Your comment on this Wonder of the Day® is SUPER COOL, Team Clark #2! Here are some of the reasons why:

      1. You taught us how to say “hello” in Hungarian!
      2. You used AWESOME words like conundrum and miniscule!
      3. You shared some AMAZING facts that you learned today!
      4. You WONDERed even more about seeing small things after you explored this Wonder!

      We think you, your eyes AND your WONDERful Wonder brain ROCK! :-)

  6. Hi,

    I never knew there was a microscope that can look at things that small! What causes lice? How do germs look different in microscope-in other words, how can scientists tell which is which? Who invented the microscope, because it has been really helpful. I have a microscope myself. I look through it and see really cool details. I never knew that bacteria and germs were actually insects. I never knew that the naked eye can see things as small as 0.1 millimeters! I learned a lot in this topic-just like the morse code I can speak in morse code now!!!

    Thanks for making me wonder,
    Team Clark 19 :D

    • It ROCKS that you learned a lot by visiting this Wonder of the Day® about microscopes, Team Clark 19, and we are SUPER excited that you can speak in Morse Code now, too! Way to go! :-)

      We really like all the WONDERing you did about the things you discovered in this Wonder! Here is a SUPER COOL activity that helps you see the scale and size of small and even microscopic items from a coffee bean all the way down to a carbon atom. It’s really awesome to see how the different objects relate to each other in size (like which is bigger and smaller by comparison). Use the slide bar at the bottom of the activity to “scroll” through and see all the interesting objects! http://sciencenetlinks.com/tools/cell-size-and-scale/. :-)

  7. Hi

    I thought it was super cool that there is even something that can see 0.001 millimeters!!! I never really thought that things the size of germs were actually that small! I’m pretty sure that there has to be a certain amount of lenses in a telescope so that it magnifies the right distance. In class we were talking about microbes and how a lot of them are very helpful. I think after talking about it in class I have a different perspective about it.

    Thank you,
    Team Clark#5

    • Thanks for sharing that you guys were talking about microbes in class, Team Clark #5, and THANKS for checking out this Wonder of the Day®! Discussing things and listening to what other people have to say about a subject helps us see different points of view! It helps us WONDER more, too! :-)

  8. Hello,
    It was cool to find out that the naked eye can’t see germs, bacteria, and dust mites. I also found out the naked eye can see things as small as 0.1 mm small. I wonder how much a microscope can zoom in? Not being able to see germs seems like a conundrum. GO, WONDEROPOLIS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Team Clark # 22.

    • Well, we say, “GOOOOO, Team Clark #22!” Thanks for this great comment about microscopes! We’ve been WONDERing about germs, too, and we think it’s probably a good thing that we can’t see them without a microscope. Because germs are all around us, it might be a little overwhelming to see them everywhere we look! :-)

  9. Hello!

    Today’s wonder was really interesting. I always thought that microbes and germs were plain bad, but then after reading this I realized that they can be good at times and not just a conundrum.
    Studies show that if you don’t have enough bacteria it’s unhealthy for your body.

    I have always wonder what causes lice? I have never had lice and I don’t want to ever have it but I want to know how you get it and how to prevent it.

    I thought it was awesome that scientists invented a microscope that can see things 20 times smaller! You would be able to see things you would never be able to see with your naked eye.

    By reading this I got a knew perspective about germs. I realized that they are helpful, and sometimes not as harmful as they seem. I wonder if people who don’t like germs know that they can actually help you?

    Thanks for making me wonder,

    Team Clark 20

  10. Hello Wonderopolis!
    I never knew that you can see dust mites, bacteria, and germs with your naked eye. I think it is really cool that microscopes sometimes have many lenses to magnify such small things! Do you know what is the smallest thing ever? Those pictures that you can click on are so persnickety.

    Thanks for making me wonder!
    -Team Clark 10 :)

    • Happy Thursday, Team Clark 10! We’re glad you’re WONDERing about magnification and seeing super small things! We shared this activity link with one of your “Team” classmates earlier, but we think you will really enjoy it, too! Use the slide bar at the bottom of the activity to help you navigate through from the largest item in the activity (a coffee bean) all the way down to the smallest (an atom)! http://sciencenetlinks.com/tools/cell-size-and-scale/. :-)

  11. Hi This was a very good wonder.I learned a lot. Germs are microscopic. There are germs like dust mites and lice. The conundrum is that lots of people think that microbes or germs are bad, but they can be good to you. Scientists use these microscopes to see the little germs. Do you think there are things smaller than the little germs? I also learned that scientists think they will be able to make a better tool to see small things.
    Thank you for the wonder. Bye.

    • WOW! You and your classmates are really WONDERing about germs and microscopes after exploring this Wonder together, Team Clark 21! We think that ROCKS! We’re pretty sure there are even smaller things than germs, like viruses, molecules and atoms. We’re not sure how powerful a microscope would need to be to see that small, but it’s sure fun to WONDER about! :-)

  12. Hi Wonderopolis,

    We are learning about microbes in our class. I thought I could make a connection with this Wonder. I also still Wonder why can’t see more than a object about 0.1 millimeters why can’t we see smaller? I also Wonder how we see a bit more {we learned about it but I want to learn more}, and how do we submit a idea for the next wonder.

    Thanks for making me Wonder!!! | |

    From Team Clark 1 \:::::::/

    • That’s some AWESOME WONDERing, Team Clark 1! We’re not sure why humans can’t see any smaller than that. Maybe someday, we will have special microscopic glasses that will help us see super small things without having to use an expensive microscope…wouldn’t that be WONDERful?

      We’re glad you want to submit an idea for a future Wonder! LOTS of the ideas for our WONDERful Wonders of the Day® come from the amazing Wonder brains of folks just like YOU! By clicking on the “nominate” link that’s found at the top of every page in Wonderoplis and answering a few easy questions, you can let us know what cool things YOU are WONDERing about, too! :-)

  13. Hello,
    It is so cool that in the future, scientists believe they’ll be able to develop this tool to see even smaller things. It would need a pretty good lens. I wonder what that tool will be called? I wonder how many microscopic things there are? I wonder a lot of things:]. Without microbes each and every one of our days would be a big conundrum. It is so cool that things like germs, bacteria… even dust mites… are all around us and invisible to the naked eye.
    thanks for s t r e c h i n g my vocabulary with the new words!!

    • It’s super neat the way you spelled out “s t r e c h i n g,” Team Clark 7! It’s lots of FUN to WONDER what it would be like to see germs and bacteria up close, isn’t it? By the way, we think it’s AWESOME that you like to WONDER about a lot of things…Wonderopolis is a GREAT place to do that! :-)

  14. HeY wOnDeRoPoLiS!!

    Todays wonder was awesome with a capital A! I loved learning about it. The reason is, is because at school we were learning bout microbes! I was thinking there would maybe more thinking on microbes, but it a OK anyway!
    I think that its interesting how a naked eye is just a plain eye, with no glasses or contacts!
    I don’t mean to be persnickety but with all these germs they are getting out of hand!!
    I think that the microsphere nanoscope will be really cool, just think of the cool microscopic things will we be able to see!
    Well in school you already know that we are learning about microbes, is there any wonder that is about any type of microbes?

    Team Clark #9 SIGNING OFF!

  15. Hi Wonderopolis,

    I cannot believe how small humans can actually see! We can see things that are 0.1 mm small! I can’t believe how much microscopes can magnify microscopic things. They can magnify things that are 0.001 mm small! What is the most powerful microscope? I always alleged that microbes were super small like a 100th or 1000th of a millimeter. I was right!

    Thanks for making me wonder!
    Team Clark#15

    • We’re glad you like to WONDER, Team Clark #15! The microsphere nanoscope mentioned in this Wonder could probably be considered the most powerful microscope. Can you imagine being able to see inside a human cell? It kind of makes our Wonder minds spin a bit to think of seeing things that small! :-)

  16. Hi!

    This wonder was very very interesting. I never knew that a normal eye can see things as small as 0.1 millimeters. I also never knew that with a microscope you can see things the size of 0.001! I wonder how many germs are in the world.

    • Thanks for letting us know you thought this Wonder was interesting, Team Clark #11! We’re super happy to hear that! We bet there are WAY too many germs in the world to even try to count! Think of all the people in the world, and all the places germs could be found. It’s mind-boggling, isn’t it? :-)

  17. Dear wonderoppolis

    I had fun learning about microbes. I didn’t know you had to see dust mites under a microscope. I never knew there could be good bacteria.
    I wonder how many bacteria haven’t been found yet? If we didn’t have microbes it would be a big conundrum.

    Thanks for making me wonder

    Team Clark 18

    • It’s super neat to WONDER about all the undiscovered things out there in the world, Team Clark #18! Not just bacteria, but plants, animals…we bet there are LOTS of new species just waiting to be found! Thanks for making US WONDER today, too! :-)

  18. Hi Wonderopilis, :D
    At school we are learning about microbes. I think they are like germs and bacteria. I did not know that if you look at lice with a naked eye that you could not really see it. I think that it is cool how some people are trying to make a microsphere to make you see 20 times smaller. Wow that is so super cool. I don’t mean to be persnickety what is the differences between a microsphere and a microscope. I wondered if you could (or have done) a wonder on if dogs really do eat your homework and what (or where) the saying came from.

    Thanks for making me wonder
    -Team Clark #8
    :) :D :)

  19. Hi
    I really like the wonder of the day. I really do wonder if this type of magnifing glass will work to see small things that we can’t see with our normal eye.It sounds pretty cool.I really want one now.
    Sincerely , team clark 17

    • We’re glad you want your own microscope to see super small things now, Team Clark 17! We also appreciate you letting us know you liked this Wonder…have a GREAT rest of the day! :-)

  20. HI

    I think this wonder was very cool! I liked watching the video. I think that the idea of the microsphere nanoscope is very cool. It would be cool if people had microscopic vision. How many germs have scientists found? It would be a conundrum if the germs all died out.


    • We think having microscopic vision would be COOl, too, Team Wilch 22! It’s FUN to WONDER about how many germs scientists have found. We’re not sure, but we bet it’s a LOT! Thanks for WONDERing with us in Wonderopolis today! :-)

  21. Hi Wonderopolis,

    I think it’s amazing that we can see up to 0.1 millimeters small! The new invention: Micropshere Nanoscope seems so cool! It can see up to 20 times smaller, and may even be able to see inside human cells and live viruses! The pictures were very interesting and the video was so cool. When you look inside a telescope you can see stars and maybe even the planets. People always cause such a conundrum over germs but they can actually be good for us. I WONDER what it would be like to be in the perspective of a germ or bacteria? I was also WONDERing do you know how many germs there are on us?

    Thanks for making me WONDER,
    Team Wilch 19

    • We really appreciate that you WONDER what life might be like as germs or bacteria, Team Wilch 19! That’s a really cool way to think about learning something new! Thank you for sharing some of the great things you discovered today, and thank you for helping US WONDER about microscopic objects, too! :-)

  22. Hi Wonderopolis!
    I like this wonder.I was thinking: If your angle on something through a microscope changes,does the lens change the size?Also, I find it interesting that with certain microscopes, humans can see 1:1,000 of a centimeter!I now know that lice looks like brown/black spots on your head. Gross!

    I don’t allege people with bad eyesight saying they got it from their family.

    Team Wilch 11

    • Hello, Team Wilch 11! Thanks for sharing that you liked this Wonder of the Day®! We’re not sure if changing the angle of a lens changes the amount of magnification, but we’re sure it affects the viewing of an object in some way. It’s something we’ll both have to WONDER about even more! We thought it was interesting to see the pictures of lice, too. It’s cool to think that we can see individual lice with our naked eyes! :-)

  23. hey wonderopolis

    I enjoyed this wonder very much. It was so cool how the artist made almost microscopic object on a needle. It is amazing how they invented a microsphere nanoscope that can see .001 of a milimeter. I wonder if they can see the inside of a strand of hair that would cause all of the scientists to have a pandemonium.


    • We like how you are WONDERing what it might be like to see inside a strand of hair, Team Wilch 7! We WONDER if we would have the patience to create needle art, too…it is so small and AWESOME! Thanks for sharing some of the cool facts you learned by exploring this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  24. We have been learning about microbes/germs in our language arts class. I learned that every disease starts out with 1 tiny microbe. Franklin D Roosevelt had a crippling disease called polio and he was trying to hide for his 4 terms he served and the last term his wife was doing most of the work!!

    :) :) :) :) :)

    • WOW! Thanks for teaching us something new today, Team Wilch 21! It was interesting to learn about President Roosevelt! We’re glad you stopped by this Wonder of the Day® today! :-)

  25. Dear Wonderopolis,
    I can’t believe that germs and bacteria are so small!
    I wish that I could see germs on me so then I can wash by hands and then I won’t have any on me! I think that it is so cool to look at planets and stars through a telescope. Also I think that it is cool when you see all of the different kinds of lens for binoculars, glasses, and telescopes. I never new that there was such thing as a naked eye. I think it is so cool that people can actually see microscopic things!
    I think that it is cool that people can make microscopic things, like little people on a needle, I think that is amazing!
    Do you know anyone who has a naked eye? If you do, THat would just be Pandemonium!

  26. Hello Wonderopolis!

    I’m really interested in magnification! It’s really cool to know that bacteria and even dust mites are microscopic. Microsphere nanoscopes seem really cool. I can’t believe that they see up too 20 times smaller than a normal microscope. How many microscopes are made each day? Some people allege other people of bad eyesight even though they can’t tell. But that’s never happened to me!

    Thanks Wonderopolis
    from:Team Wilch 12

  27. Hi Wonderopolis,

    I enjoyed this Wonder. I can’t believe the things that the microsphere nanoscope can do, that is amazing technology. I never knew there was an art called needle art, that is amazing. Do you know how they do needle art, because I really want to know. That is a conundrum to me, but maybe not to other people. I wish that a naked eye could see germs, that would be so cool.

    Thanks for making me Wonder.

    • We think we should do a future Wonder on needle art, what do you think, Team Wilch 13? We don’t know a lot more about it than what was shown in the video for this Wonder, and, like you, we think it would be FUN to learn more! Thanks for giving us a GREAT idea for a future Wonder…YOU ROCK! :-)

  28. Hi Wonderopolis!

    I enjoyed learning about microscopic. I learned that we can’t see germ, bacteria,and dust mites. I also learned about a new invention microsphere nanoscope which combines a microscope with a special device that allow you to see things up to 20 times smaller. I have a conundrum. What if there is a germ or bacteria that is too small for microscope or microsphere nanoscope?

    Thanks for making me wonder
    Team Wilch 15

    • We agree about the microsphere nanoscope, Team Wilch 15! It sounds WONDERful! We WONDER what awesome things we will be able to see in the future! We know that scientists can see LOTS of germs and bacteria with the help of electron microscopes and other high-powered magnification devices. We will have to WONDER more about whether there is something too small to see! :-)

  29. Hi Wonderopolis!!

    Bacteria and germs are so small! It’s amazing how we can see things millions of miles away! It’s weird how we can’t see things right on our faces is though, like bacteria and germs.

    I learned that we can see 0.1 millimeters away! I have also learned that the “microsphere nanoscope” combines a standard microscope with a complex device ( called the a transparent microsphere ) to allow you to see things 20 times smaller!

    I have a conundrum of a question, what is the smallest germ in the world?

    Thanks! Team Wilch18

    • That’s a GREAT question, Team Wilch 18! We would like to find that out, too! We guess we will BOTH have to do a bit more WONDERing about it! Thank you for sharing some of the cool facts you learned by checking out this Wonder of the Day®. We appreciate your comment! :-)

  30. Hi Wonderopolis,
    That was an interesting wonder I can’t believe you can see so many different things under a microscope like germs and bacteria it is also cool how they invented a microsphere nanascope.
    I wonder if this conundrum will be solved.
    I also think that it is cool the smallest is an atom.

    • Thanks for leaving us this SUPER comment, Team Wilch 3! We’ve been enjoying reading the great stuff you and your “Team” classmates have learned about germs, bacteria, microscopes and magnification! Way to go! :-)

  31. Hello Wonderopolis! This wonder is awesome. Sometimes people allege that you have very bad sight. It’s amazing how close the microsphere nanoscope can allow you to see 20 times closer! I wonder how much time it took to be able to get that amount of magnification!
    When you are making a microscope do you put oil on the lens to make the magnification? I read an article that there are these new glasses that you can withdraw or add oil into the lens so they can help you see depending on your eye problems. Thanks,
    Team Wilch8

    • Those “oil” glasses sound so COOL, Team Wilch 8! Do you remember where you read the article? We would like to learn more about it! Thanks for letting us know you thought this Wonder was awesome. We think YOU are awesome for saying that! :-)

  32. HI WoNdErOpOlIs!!:)

    I never knew that you couldn’t see dust mites, bacteria, and germs with the naked eye. I also didn’t know that they called them microscopic objects. Do you know how many kinds of bacteria there are? Here is something that some people do, they have a pandemonium which is a wild uproar. That was a cool wonder to wonder about.

    Thanks for making me wonder!

    :) :) :) :)

    • Hi there, Team Wilch 2! Thanks for sharing the meaning of the word “pandemonium!” We have seen that word a LOT in comments from “Team” Wonder Friends! We appreciate you letting us know some of the awesome things you learned by visiting this Wonder of the Day®, too! Keep up the AWESOME WONDERing! :-)

  33. When I first thought about germs and I thought that they hurt you like bacteria. Not help you, since I learned that awesome fact I have been WONDERing how many are in your body ? How do they enter your body? and how they reproduce so fast ? Has there ever been a person who could see .001 . I also learned but not here that Franklin D. Roosevelt had a crippling disease it must have been a big conundrum for him and his wife and during his last term his wife did most the work.
    :) -Team Wilch 5

  34. Hi,Wonderopolis!
    I found out that the naked eye can’t see germs, bacteria, and dust mites. I also learned that microscopes would allow you to see things as small as one micrometer, which is equal to 0.001mm. I wonder what causes lice. I wish I could see germs, not being able to see germs seems like a conundrum!
    Thank you I learned many things about microscopic!

  35. Hello Wonderopolis
    Wow I really liked today’s Wonder. It would be really cool to see microscopic things. I learned lots of things about this wonder. I really like how we have telescopes to see small things so that we can learn new things ourselves. Since we don’t see germs it is such a conundrum. I really enjoyed today’s wonder learning new things.
    THANKS for making me wonder .

    • We’re glad this Wonder helped you WONDER even more about microscopic things, Team Wilch 23! That makes us super happy to hear! Thank you for letting us know you liked learning in Wonderopolis today! :-)


    I liked this WONDER! I had learned many things, somethings I had already known and some were very new. Such as:

    -Things like germs, bacteria and dust mites are all around us and invisible to the naked eye.

    -A new invention — the “microsphere nanoscope” — combines a standard microscope with a complex device, called a “transparent microsphere,” to allow you to see things up to 20 times smaller.

    -Magnifying tools use a special lens to bend light at an angle to increase the size of the image that is sent to the eye. But is that also called refraction, the same thing as what a convex lens does, or just how the human eyes can see?

    As I was reading I had wanted to know that “if we get rid of all the microbes in the world, then how will that effect our world, would that make a big conundrum?

    Thanks for making me Wonder,

    • We really enjoyed hearing all the AWESOME things you learned by exploring this Wonder of the Day® with your classmates, Team Clark 23! Those facts were SUPER interesting! We also like your question about getting rid of microbes. It’s cool to WONDER how that would affect our world if it happened! :-)

  37. Hello Wonderopolis,

    I learned that the average human eye can only see objects as small as 0.1 mm. I think that that is a conundrum, because now I can imagine all the things we can’t see. In Science we learned that microscopes have convex lenses. I WONDER if we can make something, like contact lenses so we could see smaller things all the time.

    • That’s some really great WONDERing about lenses, Team Wilch #1! Thanks for sharing what you learned in science…it added something GREAT to this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  38. Hi Wonderopolis,
    I love exploring here because you guys always have the coolest topics. I showed my family the video and they felt bad for the artist because he did all that work and you probably can’t even see it very well because it is almost microscopic. I think that it is so amazing that people have figure out how to use magnification to see things as small as a germ. I learned that before we could see things that were one micrometer, which is equal to 0.001 mm.
    But now the “microsphere nanoscope” allows you to see things up to 20 times smaller! I also learned the we might be able to see inside human cells and look at live viruses too! When was the first telescope invented?
    I think that sometimes I’m not grateful enough that I have a healthy and working body and mind but stuff like this just makes me feel so happy that germs aren’t making me sick (at the moment). Being sick is a huge conundrum and when I’m healthy I don’t think about it a lot so I get careless-and then sick again!

    Team Wilch #14

    • First of all, we’re super sorry you’re feeling “under the weather,” Team Wilch #14! We hope you feel better VERY soon!

      Secondly, THANK YOU for sharing this Wonder of the Day® with your family…that ROCKS! We really enjoy hearing when our Wonder Friends (like YOU) and their families learn together in Wonderopolis at home!

      Thirdly, WOW! You learned a LOT of cool, interesting facts about magnification, telescopes and germs! Thank you for sharing them with us today! :-)

  39. Wonderopolis is awesome to visit because you always make it fun with new wonders every day!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Your comment made our day today, Madison! Thank you for the super nice things you said! We’re glad you like learning in Wonderopolis and that you think it’s FUN to hang out here! :-)

  40. Hey, I am Catherine, but they call me cat. I love this. I love it because it is so cool and super awesomeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    • We think your comment is super awesome, Cat! Thank you for sharing it with us today and also for letting us know a little bit about yourself! Have a GREAT day! :-)

    • We really like all those SUPER smiley faces, Christina! Thank you for visiting Wonderopolis today and letting us know you enjoyed this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  41. Why so many Team Clarks and Team Wilch’s? Anyway, I always thought the tiniest thing that you could see was an ant. Was I right? (Not counting microscopic) I wonder how big an ant can get and if it gets to be an inch big (Scary), would the textures look even cooler? Or just plain black? Hm, I WONDER! Anyway, I think you guys are plain great. I love this site and at my school in my class in the morning we always go on Wonderopolis. We think you’re awesome!
    Sincerely, Jordan

    • What a WONDERful comment you left for us on this Wonder, Jordan! We really enjoyed hearing all the cool things you WONDER about! An ant can be super small, but it is not the smallest thing we can see without the use of a microscope. There are even smaller things, like the thickness of a single strand of hair, or a tiny louse. Thanks for being such an AWESOME Wonder Friend…we appreciate how your Wonder brain works! :-)

    • Hello, Miguel! Thanks so much for sharing your comment with us today! We encourage you to explore all the links inside this Wonder to learn even more about super small things (even some things that get cultured in Petri Dishes in laboratories)! Have a GREAT rest of the week! :-)

  42. I swear I have microscopic vision, I can see beyond from what other people see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • That’s pretty impressive, Eric A! We bet you can see super tiny things that many of us cannot! It sounds like your a living microscope! How cool! :)

    • We’re so glad we could help with your homework, Christine! While Willy Wonka was not an actual design inspiration for the Wonderopolis logo, there are commonalities between the two. The Wonderopolis logo was developed to appeal to our natural sense of curiosity. The playful nature of the logo is energetic and engaging–encouraging people to explore and delight in Wonder and learning! Thanks for asking about it! We hope you have a WONDERful day! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What is the smallest thing you can see?
  • What are microscopic objects?
  • How does magnification work?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

How good is your vision? Although there’s no substitute for an official eye test by an optometrist, you can get an idea of how well you see by taking this online eye exam.

Once you’ve finished your eye exam, check out the links below to see some really cool microscopic images of all sorts of impossible-to-see objects:


Still Wondering

Check out Science NetLinks’ Magnify It! lesson to learn more about the limits to what the eye can see and how a magnifying glass can extend those limits.


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