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If you shrink yourself down to microscopic size, you're suddenly living in a completely alien world. Whatever you're picturing, perhaps based on your experience from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, is way, way off.

At that scale, everything is unimaginable horror. WARNING: THESE PHOTOS ARE UNSETTLING AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED.

12A Maggot

At normal size ...

Before we show you the close-up, let's ease you into it with a regular picture. Maggots are already kind of gross.

They're vile little creatures, born into corpses and garbage, and they feed on things that we would rather see buried. But otherwise they're just kind of little squirming lumps. The poor thing looks kind of helpless.

But close up ...

What the hell, nature? No, that's not some high school kid's papier-mache project for biology class. That's a bluebottle fly maggot under an electron microscope.

We're not looking to offend members of any one religion, but we think all of them can agree that this proves God is freaking insane. Why does it have googly eyes? And novelty wax vampire teeth?

11Water Flea

At normal size ...

You can't see them.

You find them in freshwater, so if you went swimming in a pond and a bit of water went into your mouth, maybe you swallowed one.

But close up ...

Is ... is that its eyes? Do they blink and spin around? That fake-as-hell image won the 2009 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition and no, "digital imaging" doesn't mean a computer-generated image. These are photographs, and this one was taken by Dr. Jan Michels, a zoologist in Germany who then immediately went insane.

Man, screw that thing. We bet you think you're pretty terrifying, glowing-eye Abyss alien water flea, but you still have that "duuuh" slackjaw thing going on. If you were here right now, we would say it to your stupid flea face, too. And you would cry nine streams of glowing, neon tears that we would then collect in a tiny little bucket to sell to ravers. And you'd be all "duuuuuh."


At normal size ...

You don't need a picture. There's an ant within 20 feet of you right now. For every one human being on Earth, there are almost 2 million ants.

... Or 10 quadrillion (10,000,000,000,000,000) total. Ever wonder what expression they have on their little faces?

But close up ...

Whoa, that thing is pissed off. That's a bullet ant. Let's try another one ...

We don't know what species that one is, but if we had to guess, it is a species bent on exacting violent revenge upon every child who ever experimented with a magnifying glass on a hot summer day. If Neo were an ant, this is the guy he would have to fight at the end of the movie.

9Regular Flea

At normal size ...

These you can see, though you could pretty much mistake one for a speck of dust or a bit of black pepper, until you see it jump off your dog.

But close up ...

Oh, bullshit. That has to be CGI. But if so it's fooled everyone -- it's a colored scanning electron micrograph by Steve Gschmeissner.

It's ... kind of beautiful. Look at that long, flowing hair. Those gigantic eyebrows. The shapely upper torso. Her perfectly sculpted jaw line. Wait a second ...

8Chicken Embryo

At normal size ...

But close up ...

Yes, that's real. These are all real. That's an entry in Nikon's photomicroscopy contest, taken by Tomas Pais de Azevedo of Lisbon, Portugal, and it won first place in the "GET THAT SHIT OUT OF HERE, TOMAS. JESUS" category.

How did he get that thing to look right at the camera? And directly into our souls? No, don't look at it any longer than you already have. We're terribly sorry we showed you that. Now it knows all of the horrifying things that you've done in your life, and it will hold it over you until centuries past your exit from the mortal plane.

7Watersnipe Fly Larva

At normal size ...

The watersnipe (Atherix ibis) fly lives and lays its eggs around rivers and streams, and again, you'd never spot one of its larva right until it floated into your ear.

But close up ...

That's Fabrice Parais's entry into the 2009 Nikon Small World Photo Micrography Competition. On one hand, that thing looks pretty cheerful. On the other, it's the reason we've been grinding for the last 40 levels to max out our fireball spells and beef up the hit points on our tank. Meanwhile, it's just sitting there, waiting patiently for the next group of adventurers to ignorantly stumble into its intricate maze of tunnels baited with chests full of equipment and gold.

Oh, also -- that's its ass.


At normal size ...

Tiny, adorable, harmless, often seen sipping sugar water from feeders with their tiny little tongue. Ahhh.

But close up ...

AAAAAHHHH! That's an extreme closeup of the bird's horrifying monster tongue. That's another one from Steve Gschmeissner, who gave us the CGI-looking flea earlier.

In the deepest, darkest recesses of Stephen King's mind -- the part he keeps hidden from the rest of the world for fear that we'll glimpse his true demonic anti-soul -- there does not live a creature as horrifying as the common hummingbird tongue. Thanks for showing us that, Mr. Gschmeissner.

5The Bearded Weevil

At normal size ...

There's probably a weevil in there, eating a leaf or something. You've probably stepped on one before.

But close up ...

OK, "bearded weevil" is a grotesque understatement. That has to be one of the most luxurious beards in the animal kingdom. But stick it on that horrifying insect and it just looks like a bad disguise. No, I will not sit on your lap, Bearded Weevil.

This pic came from the Nikon Small World competition and was taken by Alex Vanegas who hopefully immediately realized how much the creature looked like it was stolen from the set of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

4Pubic Lice

At normal size ...

Pubic lice are sexually transmitted. You might have them on your junk right now. They're pretty small.

But close up ...

Look at that fatass. That electron scan of a pubic louse is from David Gregory and Debbie Marshall and there are many, many more at that link.

This thing looks like rejected concept art for Jabba the Hutt. It's the porky insect that the pretty blue flea we saw earlier would never be caught dead talking to.

3Tardigrade, aka "Water Bear"

At normal size ...

They're too tiny to see, and they live in moss and other wet places.

But close up ...

That's an alien. That is a straight-up rubber alien costume from a shitty Syfy original. Unfortunately, multiple photos exist of the Tardigrade. (Trivia: At some schools, this is the only grade below "F.")

Though we should feel bad for making fun of its name -- this is the only known creature in existence that can live for 10 days in the total vacuum of space, and can live for a full decade without water. And can survive in temperatures as cold as one degree above absolute zero. Or at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, it appears to have a camera mounted in the middle of its face.

All right, no more insects. They're just too terrifying.

2Your Tooth

At normal size ...

Your tongue is touching one right now.

But close up ...

Holy crap. Is it ... about to fall apart or something? This electron scan also came from David Gregory and Debbie Marshall, who did the pubic louse earlier.

Look, scientists, there is just some shit you don't show the public. We pay you good grant money so that we never have to see what you see. That thing is in our mouth. Pictures like this will push a normal person into germaphobia. And a germaphobe into suicide by fire.

OK, no more pictures from the human body. We can't take it.

1Jimmy Dean Sausage

At normal size ...

Wait, what? It's delicious sausage. Look, we know raw sausage isn't pleasant to look at, but-

But close up ...

Fuck you! Whose idea was this?

You can blame photographer and vegetarian Mike Adams for showing us our food in the grossest way possible via simple macrophotography. There's a whole bunch of these at that link. Go ahead and click it. We're certainly not showing you any more.

OK, maybe one more:

Inside of an Oscar Mayer wiener.

You're welcome.

For more images too unrealistic to be true, check out our images you won't believe aren't photoshopped series and The True Stories Behind 5 Famous WTF Images.

And stop by Linkstorm to see how the Internet looks under a microscope.

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Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infograpic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!

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