Image-wise: Chalk, extremely close-up

Chalk under a microscope looks pretty beautiful. Who knew? Robert Krulwich recently spent a lot of time thinking about chalk on his NPR blog, Krulwich Wonders. He breaks it down:

Chalk is composed of extremely small white globules. They look, up close, like snowballs made from brittle paper plates. Those plates, it turns out, are part of ancient skeletons that once belonged to roundish little critters that lived and floated in the sea, captured a little sunshine and carbon, then died and sank to the bottom.

Image: PLOS Biology via Wikipedia

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