Seeing tears under microscope is surreal and shocking!

Tears, scientifically are secreted by our eyes in order to lubricate them and also to clean them. Tears also flow from our eyes when we feel strong emotions such as sorrow, elation, awe or pleasure. Normally people cry when they are filled with emotions or feel pain. Small babies cry in order to signal hunger or when they poop, in order to get cleaned.

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But one artist by the name of Rose-Lynn Fisher got the idea to see and observe tears under microscope. “The Project began in a period of personal change, loss, and copious tears. One day I wondered if my tears of grief would look any different from my tears of happiness.” Fisher writes on her website.

Here are some of the observations made by Fisher and shared on her website.

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1 The idea behind the project

Rose-Lynn Fisher got the idea to start the project named as “Topography of Tears” after the end of her much acclaimed 2010 project, in which she magnified the structure of a honeybee using electron microscope.

This new project deals with her new muse: dried human tears. “I started the project about five years ago, during a period of copious tears, amid lots of change and loss—so I had a surplus of raw material,” Fisher says.

Fisher took one of her own tears and observed it under the microscope. What she saw was amazing and led her to think, how would different kind of tears look under a microscope and following are some of her observation of different types of tears under microscope.

The idea behind the project

Image Source: www.newyorker.com

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2 Onion Tears

This is how a tear from cutting an onion looks like under microscope. For Fisher, what began with a single tear, started a multi-year photography project where fisher collected more than 100 samples of tears from herself and other volunteers which included a new born baby.

Onion Tears

Image Source: www.smithsonianmag.co

3 Tears of ending and beginning

Tears are basically of 3 types, based on their origins and science. Tears of grief and joy are triggered by extreme emotion and are known as psychic tears. Basal tears are tears of extremely small size and are released continuously (often on average 0.75 to 1.1 grams in 24-hour period).

While the third kind of tears are reflex tears which are released when the eyes are irritated by something like onion, dust or vapours.

Tears of ending and beginning

Image Source: www.smithsonianmag.com

4 Tears of release

When Fisher observed that tears from different categories, she observed that different categories of tears also have distinctly different molecular structure as well. Emotional tears were found to have more of a protein based structure, with something known as leucine encephalin, a pain killing hormone, released along with the tear from the body.

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Also since the tears’ structure seen under the microscope are salted crystallised structure, they display various shapes and formations. “There are so many variables—there’s the chemistry, the viscosity, the setting, the evaporation rate and the settings of the microscope,” Fisher says.

Tears of release

Image Source: www.newyorker.com

5 Basal Tears

Fisher says that these tears are more like the aerial views of emotional terrain. “It’s amazing to me how the patterns of nature seem so similar, regardless of scale,” she says. “You can look at patterns of erosion that are etched into earth over thousands of years, and somehow they look very similar to the branched crystalline patterns of a dried tear that took less than a moment to form.”

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According to Fisher, tears are the medium of most primal language on Earth in moments such as death, hunger or complex moments such as a rite of passage.

Fisher’s experiment of observing tears under microscope certainly shows how extraordinarily amazing those droplets look under different circumstances!

Basal Tears

Image Source: www.blogspot.com

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