Matthew Gaydos of Journey to the Microcosmos examined the amazing microscopic world that lives inside a rain puddle using footage shot by James Weiss. Gaydos also looked at the earliest examination of puddles in the 17th Century by Antony van Leeuwenhoek, the father of microbiology.
But James is not the first microscopist to peer into a puddle. In fact, if we look at the writings of one of the original masters of microscopes, we can transport ourselves in time and space to the microcosmos of a 17th century Dutch puddle. I’m of course talking about Antony van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch microscopist whose many letters to the Royal Society of London contain our earliest descriptions of microorganisms, or as he called them “little animalcules”.
He also notes that what van Leeuwenhoek saw was what we see today, showing how advanced the Dutch microbiologist was and mixing history with the modern world. Just add water.
Puddles are more than just reminders of history though. They are their own little worlds, placing demands on the organisms living inside of them. …In between rains, the organisms must find a way to cope with their dry environment. And when the world around them becomes wet again, the organisms thrive.