Little pieces of art floating blissfully in the sea - Diatoms and Radiolarians

These are amazing. Symmetry abounds.


Diatoms are photosynthetic plankton (microscopic algae) ubiquitous in oceans and freshwater systems. They are a major source of nutrients for marine organisms as well as a major producer of oxygen. They have been dubbed the “lungs of the ocean,” producing about 20 % of the oxygen we breathe–as much as all the rainforests combined. Their ornately-patterned silica cell walls are a source of inspiration for nanotechnologists, who dream of replicating similar structures for the semi-conductor industry. But despite their beauty, usefulness, and environmental importance, their basic biology is still poorly understood.....the rest of the article from CNRS


Radiolaria are holoplanktonic protozoa widely distributed in the oceans. They occur throughout the water column from near surface to hundreds of meters depth. As with many planktonic organisms, their abundance in a geographical region is related to quality of the water mass, including such variables as temperature, salinity, productivity, and available nutrients.More of the article from radiolaria.org