Presenting the ultimate “What in the world?” challenge

When she was a child, Caren Alpert writes (in one of the more charming artist statements we’ve read this year), “my parents subscribed to 3-2-1 Contact magazine for my sister and me.” Today, we’re happy to report that Alpert’s put her scientific training to good use.

In “Terra Cibus,” the Bay Area photographer zooms in on everyday objects—salt grains, kiwi seeds, fortune cookies, Life Savers, sun-dried tomatoes—in ways that make them look utterly foreign and intriguing. You can block out the captions and turn the whole series into a perfectly rendered insta-challenge. Or turn the individual images into wallpaper or screen savers. Either way, you’ll never look at a blueberry, or an Oreo cookie, in quite the same way again.

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Presenting the ultimate “What in the world?” challenge