Taken using an FEI Quanta SEM, this image is amazingly zoomed in 525 times. The real width of the field in the image is 568Î¼m, or 568/1000 of a millimeter. It's far larger than an atom, but still among the smallest living things.
The worm, as scary as it looks, is something most people will never actually get to see (or have to worry about, for that matter). Hydrothermal worms are deep sea creatures, almost as small as bacterium, and are largely found near hydrothermal vents in the ocean.
As much as I know I'll never run into a hydrothermal worm in my life, from this day on I'll forever be afraid of them crawling in my ears at night and eating my brain. "Ha -- they can't eat something that isn't there!" *eyeroll* Sticks and stones may break my bones, BUT I'VE GOT A LEAD PIPE WITH YOUR NAME ON IT, BUTTNUT! "My name's not Buttn--" *THWANK*
Hydrothermal Worm Viewed Under An Electron Microscope [huffingtonpost]
Thanks to Vance, who had this to say about his tip: "If small things are this scary, we should stop developing a Big Ray. We can all live with small peens if it means keeping monsters small." Haha, "all live with small peens..." Whoa whoa whoa -- don't drag me into this, I'm huge!