Some people have said: “tears are like blood without red blood cells” and they’re not as far from the truth as you might suspect. That’s because blood and tears both contain antibodies, similar trace elements, and other components. Let’s have a look under the microscope!
Items You Will Need:
- uHandy Microscope: Hi-Mag Lens set: Hi-Mag Lens, Light Stage, Circular Glass Slide
Drip a few tears onto the Circular Glass Side. Wait approximately 30 minutes to allow it to dry, then we will be able to use the Hi-Mag Lens to take a look!
If crying on command isn’t a natural talent you can try rubbing the tear glands on the side of your eyes near your nose with clean fingers. (Please clean your hands thoroughly before touching.)
Tips for Making Crystalline Samples
Allowing the tears to dry might be frustrating so there is an urge to dry the tears by blowing on them or using heat, however when tears dry quickly the crystals are often fragmented and broken. So for the most complete crystalline structures we recommend leaving the Circular Glass Slide in a cool dry place and waiting.
Below are images of different crystalline structures we’ve observed under the uHandy Microscope.
Doesn’t this look like a snowflake?
Doesn’t this look like frost on a window?
And doesn’t this look like ice on a lake?
Blood contains different elements such as red and white blood cells, enzymes, and coenzymes as well as nutrients and antibodies. Tears are secreted by the lacrimal glands, also known as tear glands, and much of their composition comes from blood. So tears and blood are actually very similar!
Tears are 98.2% water which comes from the blood in the body and has a small amount of salt, protein, lipids, and mucins. So although tears taste salty there’s much more to them than salt and water.
There are three types of tears:
1. Basal Tears: When the eyes become dry the body produces tears for lubrication, for example, how eyes will tear up from a dry gust of wind from a fan.
2. Reflex Tears: These tears result from irritant substances, such as onion vapors or smoke which trigger the eyes to tear up in attempts to flush these irritants out.
3. Emotional Tears: These tears are a reaction to strong emotions, for example, emotional stress, hurt, or even extreme joy.
Due to differing trigger factors the composition of tears vary and therefore the crystalline structure also varies, which is why we can differentiate between different types of tears. Let’s take a look!
If you find crystalized tears as beautiful and fascinating as we do, we recommend you look up Maurice Mikkers, a Dutch photographer. He has an extensive online album where he has collected, crystallized, and photographed tears from many individuals. So if you’re curious, check out his tear collection at his website 《Imaginarium Of Tears》.