One of our fascinating subjects for CotS #63.5 -- a By-the-Wind Sailor, Velella velella. Creative Commons Notafly. Click image for license and original.
Microbial hand grenades? Mutant pumpkin seeds? Actually, it's far, far stranger than that. Scanning electron microscopy of myxospores of a Myxidium sp.
UPDATE: After being accidentally closed all launch day, comments are now open! Please feel free to introduce yourself, suggest an organism or topic for a post, or say hi below.
In early 1997, while still a freshman in college pondering whether to study biology or archaeology, I opened up my copy of Discover Magazine to find an article that startled and captivated me.
Image: The starfish-shaped EZ-open structure of mimivirus, above, and the gray DNA-containing nucleocapsid inside, below. The nucleocapsid has plenty of room to breathe and a concave depression, not unlike the dimple on the Death Star, that always faces the "starfish".
In the world of biology, there is plant, there is animal, and there is plant-animal. Specifically, moss–animals, the bryozoans. [Public Domain Haeckel illustration—click to see large] I mention this because someone in Virginia recently had a run-in with these creatures that was startling enough to result in a press release.