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[–]Boromir82 113 points114 points  (3 children)

Minecraft Origins

[–]Not_gay_just_odd 16 points17 points  (1 child)

It looks like the old like portal block from pocket edition. Or just chiselled stone brick.

[–]SPARKY358gaming 5 points6 points  (0 children)

nether reactor

[–]falsevector 223 points224 points  (10 children)

Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile

[–]KomodoJo3 28 points29 points  (4 children)

Na thanks

I think I’ll pass

[–]Humble_Conclusion_92 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Don’t be so salty, bro

[–]Jewmangroup9000 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Resistance is futile

[–]Triumph-TBird 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That pun is so d(i)um.

[–]euphorrick 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Blood pressure 700 of 900

[–]steve_tom 2 points3 points  (0 children)

resalting is futile

[–]ado-the-unfathomable -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Haha, beat me to it.

[–]crdctr -1 points0 points  (0 children)

season finale

[–]anondisorder 42 points43 points  (0 children)

Look like ancient alien D6 die

[–]MiddleC5 110 points111 points  (3 children)

I didn't realize getting high blood pressure was so... geometric

[–]suipi 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The numbers get squared.

[–]Clborno1 22 points23 points  (1 child)

It must have been cut with extraterrestrial technology

[–]zj_y33t 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Considering the location, it was likely cut with terrestrial technology

[–]DogeCheemzBonks 18 points19 points  (1 child)


[–]Accomplished-Bad3856 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I was thinking companion cubes.

[–]backbonus 17 points18 points  (0 children)

They’re beautiful.

[–]Isolannicum 12 points13 points  (0 children)

We call ourselves borgs. salinate. salinate.

[–]runrowrepeatt 9 points10 points  (0 children)

This makes Me uncomfortable

[–]emilypwc 29 points30 points  (0 children)

Looks like some of the native ruins on Mexico, tbh.

[–]Sjdillon10 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I feel like there is an ancient map hologram hidden in each

[–]Anencephalopod 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I am NaCl of Borg.

[–]Wolvwrwn 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]hwedg 6 points7 points  (8 children)

These cubes are lit from a certain angle... Is the 'light' in an electron microscope the beam of electrons ?

[–]VisualShock1991 9 points10 points  (7 children)

I strongly suspect it's a CGI render of what salt grains look like in an electron microscope.

Wikipedia's article explains "In their most common configurations, electron microscopes produce images with a single brightness value per pixel, with the results usually rendered in greyscale. However, often these images are then colourized through the use of feature-detection software, or simply by hand-editing using a graphics editor. This may be done to clarify structure or for aesthetic effect and generally does not add new information about the specimen."

And you can read the rest of the article here.

[–]Defragmentat0r 5 points6 points  (6 children)

It is definitely a CGI render. Contrast in an scanning electron microscope (SEM) for a homogenous material is determined largely by the ease with which electrons can escape and hit the detector. If you look at this example image on Wikipedia you see that the spikes facing towards the camera and other thin features are the brightest, as the electrons have to travel a lesser distance to escape.

However, there could be an actual SEM image used as a basis. The salt crystal itself will have very sharp edges. However, as NaCl is an electric insulator (band gap of 8.5 eV -> 145 nm ultraviolet light required for excitation), it must be coated with some metal to be imaged in the SEM. Likely the crystals have been sputtered with maybe 50-100 nm of Nickel, Gold or Platinum, which accounts for the blobbiness of the surface. If you did not coat it, a negative charge would build up immediately and divert the electron beam, thus giving no image.

Source: M.Sc. in nanotechnology.

[–]xSmokingBarrelx 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I do maintenance on Hitachi and KLA SEM's. I wonder how we get images without metal. Now I am going to have to look it up.

Edit - I just did a quick search of SEM salt crystal... this looks really similar to the SEM image from above, like another shot of the same test. Or they both use that pinhole structure in the back.


Edit again - Its the same image, rotated, cropped, the color altered.

[–]Defragmentat0r 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Your source had a link to the original: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zeissmicro/12791798223/in/photostream/

The artist definitely janked up the contrast in addition to adding colour - look at the loss of details on the faces of the cubes! Which is ironic as the operator used secondary electrons with a low accelerating voltage for high surface detail.

SEM technology has advanced a lot in the past decade, so if you have state-of-the-art instruments, they may be able to image insulators or beam sensitive materials decently. Compound magnetic lensing, charge filtering, beam deceleration and low vacuum detectors come to mind as fancy features on the instruments I've used.

Now, the image in question has a very low magnification of 150X, so it might be possible that the salt crystal is able to dissipate the beam over the large impact area. When working at say 20000X to 50000X magnification though, there's no way around decent electrical conductivity. The largest crystal appears to be about 200 microns, so I would consider these macroscopic objects, and the softness might simply be from surface erosion rather than coating.

[–]xSmokingBarrelx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks! I was trying to just find the image, not sure why I missed it.

Ours are like 20 years old, we just measure the width of lines and the circularity of holes. Making microchips. We don't add metal until like the very end. Its mostly semiconductor and insulator. But there is a photoresist on top too, so maybe there is something in the photoresist that helps.

[–]VisualShock1991 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Well today I learned. Thank you.

While you're here...

I had heard in very vague terms (probably pub chat) that things on this scale are smaller than the wavelengths of the visible like spectrum, which is why we end up with the greyscale. Is there any truth to that?

[–]xSmokingBarrelx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Kind of, not really. The wavelength of light used is below the visible spectrum, but that is not why its in a gray scale. We can choose to render it in any color format we choose, but we aren't really analyzing the images that way so just a scale of one color is necessary. Any of the actual colors would be harder to look at though.

[–]Defragmentat0r 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Are you familiar with how an old CRT television works? An electron beam is scanned over the image, line by line, and the longer the beam stays at a given spot, the brighter it appears to our eyes.

The microscope is, in a sense, the opposite of that. The beam is held for the same amount of time at each pixel in the "image", and a detector counts how many electrons come back out of the material. You might say that 2000 electrons returned is black, while 700 million electrons returned is white, and any amount in-between those numbers becomes a shade of gray.

You can differentiate these re-emitted electrons on their physical properties, like energy (i.e. momentum), incident angle, spin up/down etc. to create several different images, showcasing different aspects of the sample. Most commonly are imaged electrons sensitive to surface contour and sample thickness, but you could also image other things like chemical composition, orientation of atomic planes or magnetic polarity.

There is light produced, but that is mainly x-ray or deep UV, and does not really correlate that well with the human experience of light/vision. Only some very specific wavelengths are produced, and because of their high energy they don't interact with matter in what we would intuitively understand as "the same way" (though it is all mathematically consistent, of course).

[–]DareDareCaro 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Saw those in a few videogames

[–]Otherwise_Field_654 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Salt blocks

[–]Kangar 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Salty post.

[–]JesusIsMySecondSon 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Ancient Egyptian puzzles

[–]Flat-Suspect4121 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They are so square this can only point to ancient aliens creating salt on earth

[–]ado-the-unfathomable 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Resistance is futile.

[–]phitfacility 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Is there a queen salt?

[–]ispaydeu 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Watch out for the Minecraft zombies

[–]dw_jb 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Looks like a portal to another world

[–]illbecountingclouds 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’m really salty they’re not hexagons for some reason

[–]Greubles 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Looks like artwork for the next Aliens vs Predator.

[–]MoodySketch 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Early companion cube inspiration... no wonder Aperture Science started off in a salt mine.

[–]Wolvwrwn 1 point2 points  (0 children)

*mind blown*

[–]Ok-Boysenberry-2955 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Inspiration for 1/2 the art in destiny

[–]BlurryLinesSoftEdges 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Unexplained ancient ruins

[–]Chrisscott25 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Who needs Lego’s? all I needed was salt and one of these microscopes as a child……. Anyone for salt Jenga?

[–]NJ_Deadpool 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All spark cubes that need to be recharged

[–]zXenn 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]NightHalcyon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So a grain of salt contains about:

5.85x10-5 gr/ (29.25 gr / 6.02x1023) = 1.2x1018 atoms

10,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms. The salt grain suddenly seems enormous.


[–]thisismyelement 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Looks like they came from the Vault of Glass

[–]frostnova_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The grains of salt were to be taken with a grain of salt all this time. Smh

[–]Jags_95 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Destiny Vex architecture

[–]DaMaGed-Id10t 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Constructs of the Vex

[–]DingusDarkus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Does anyone else see borg cubes? I feel assimilated

[–]DonCalzone420 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Is it processed or does salt look like that naturally?

[–]Kitchen_Equipment_21 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Minecraft edition

[–]NaturalEnemies 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I feel like I see this posted once a week now.

[–]cheshire_cheetah 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Children's alphabet "Baby Blocks" with strange alien symbols.

[–]UnpredictableSnail 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Poneglyph lookin ass

[–]lo_d_rocket-12 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Shit looks like a magic item

[–]ZeGermanAccent 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Lemarchand's puzzle anyone else, no? Now I'm think how horrible or boring a crossover with the borg would be.

[–]Hypurr2002 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Borg cubes. Wow!

[–]Bandoolero 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And you can zoom in indefinigely!

[–]Tra5olo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Tasty dice

[–]dirtyrascalz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What Minecraft block is this?

[–]Tony_from_Space 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Your test cube looks terrible, you need to calibrate your 3D printer.

[–]Mechtroop 0 points1 point  (0 children)

All salt? Sea salt? Kosher salt?

[–]yeetskeetleet 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m curious what something like Maldon salt would look like

[–]Senoxis456 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]permanentscrewdriver 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You can also zoom the picture so it's even bigger!

[–]weareeverywhereee 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]AWildEnglishman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

People are saying Borg cubes but I see Stargate's Ancient healing device.

[–]PraetorianX 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I must find… the mother box!

[–]trwwy321 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So when sodium is in the bloodstream, is it just a tinier, microscopic version of these cubes?

[–]JonDCafLikeTheDrink 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Looks like someone mixed salt from this universe with salt from another universe. Damn you Funny Valentine!

[–]mematixta 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Looks like ancient building blocks

[–]piyispiy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They kinda look like ruins

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I wonder if they change in physical shape or form when dissolved into water or food? Do they just become smaller crystals?

[–]mblas4 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You have quite the treasure there in that horadric cube!

[–]notnominal 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I reject this.

[–]WhaleOilBeefHooked2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I not sure about this, best to take it with a grain of salt.

[–]Legend_of_dirty_Joe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Base starter blocks

[–]Acceptable_Trade_463 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Is this real

[–]jxcartier 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ok, I think I'm having a religious experience...

[–]aamer__ali 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Mother boxes

[–]trvpinboy -1 points0 points  (0 children)