The Unknown World

The Unknown World

2005, Nature  -   45 Comments
Ratings: 6.56/10 from 32 users.

The Unknown WorldPhotographer Lennart Nilsson has built a career out of taking pictures of things most folks never see.

Using special microscopic lens technology, Nilsson is able to magnify the smallest creatures until they take on the appearance of mammoth monsters, and this documentary gives him a chance to bring his photographs to life.

The Unknown World is centered around film footage shot by Nilsson of insects, allowing viewers to see the bugs in a whole new perspective as ladybugs chase aphids, larvae take on a piece of clothing, and silverfish make their way through a home.

They're hiding in your closet. They're lurking in your bed. They're all over you--snacking on your skin, burrowing through your scalp, munching on your mascara.

They're the creepy crawlers of the unknown world, and now - thanks to micro-photographer Lennart Nilsson, who brought us The Miracle of Life - you can (shudder) catch these critters in the act, magnified to monster size.

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45 Comments / User Reviews

  1. tod phill mc tod

    hmmmm google maps

  2. Clebson

    What a wonderful documentary! The images are great, and the details taken with the camera are near to incredible!

  3. skitzchik

    @water and light=life
    just a quick remark, if you actually read his comment you would note that several time he said he is not picking at his religious beliefs he is simply trying to get a better understanding of them, and also i am not trying to pick at you or anything but its "why do you". Also if he does not believe life was given from god there are many other explanations, why do you choose to speak down to someone because they believe in something else, evolution is one thing that has been scientifically proven yet you still believe in god. You are more insulting towards everyone who chooses not to believe your own beliefs. I say that everyone should just learn that everyone is Entitled to believe in whatever the h*ll they want to believe in, And no one has the right to insult them for them. If they find closure and understanding in something whether it we came from god or we came from a giant spaghetti man, who gives a crap, its what each individual chooses to have beliefs on.

  4. mohamadaboebeed

    google maps

    1. Your mom

      google maps.....

  5. water and light=life

    ez2b12 y dya feel the need to pick at charles beliefs. if u do not believe life was given from god then u must believe we came from star dust. where i might ask did the star come from? another star? wher did tha star come from? elements? where did they come from? ther is no such thing as nothing. we did not come from nothing. ive researched for years where we came from. im not really a religious person but after 10 years of searching for all possibilities i think believing god created us makes much more sense than the big bang nonsense. the big bang never happened. the cosmos is much to divine. and the scattered stars and planets and galaxies are not placed in the cosmos randomly enough. u pick at next mans beliefs. i would be interested to hear yours.

    1. Mantid

      After ten years, believing an imaginary entity created us makes the most sense. You must have been in a coma.

    2. Darwin_Engine

      With all respect;
      I agreed as per Human Mind with current sources you can't figure out you are coming from Nothing. I would suggest to search again deeply; definitely you will find answer. Well I can give you answer but I would love if you find your self.
      & Hey God made this, god made that.. Did God made universe from nothing or has special periodic table or was it there before he arrange them as you are saying; why he placed galaxies; stars; you; insects; bacteria or List is so infinite. I would say the day when every one ask or reason themselves honestly, that day will be greatest day of Mankind.

      Darwin Engine

    3. shig

      where did god come from? did he come from nothing? Why can't you see that your argument has the same exact hole in it that his does. If you say that god just always was, then why can't you conclude the same for the universe? You should analyze your own beliefs the same way you analyze ours.

  6. 420 Vision

    All things great and small, do any of them really matter at all ?

  7. blackev

    Wow!, fascinating.
    And they said Entertaining and Educational don't mix

    And just as fantastic as the documentary has been the comments.


  8. ez2b12

    @ Hans H. Krarup

    Thanks for the complement friend, that was nice. I do hope Charles will indulge my curiosity, I am being very serious. I have always enjoyed studying the human mind, and this one is a veritable plethora of strange paradoxes and extremes. That's not an insult Charles but a compliment. I would much rather meet someone like you than I would the average bland person, like myself. It takes all types as they say, but I find your particular mind set disturbingly provocative. Sometimes it makes me mad enough to bite the head off a nail, but even then I must admit I am perplexingly interested it the mental construct that is Charles B. Thanks again Hans. Send me an email Charles, pleasssse.

    @ Achem

    That's a great story about Charles, fits him perfectly. The thing that is so interesting is that I am positive that he didn't feel smug or think he was being obtuse when he said that. You got love him, and hate him- know what I mean? Don't ever leave us Charles the tdf world would be a duller place for it. Now I am off to beg for hand outs dressed as a German bar maid, its Halloween you know. Man, these lederhosen go great with my heels.

  9. Hans H. Krarup


    Hans H. Krarup
    Hi friend - thx for your (last) comment in this thread, i.e. your reply to Charles: It expressed exactly what I felt like commenting, only I could never have put it so crystal clear, in really humourous way, and still serious! Hope you'll get a reply in the same spirit...

  10. Achems Razor


    I first met Charles some years back on this site, when he informed everybody that he had a genius IQ, took the tests on the net. of course, he did say that with sincerity I might add.

    But then he did say after, he did have a learning disability when younger, So right from the start, he usually speaks in paradoxes. You know, almost like when the religee's speak in tongues,(LOL)

    Not trying to slight you Charles, just relaying the facts.

  11. ez2b12

    @ Charles

    Are you a real person man, this is a serious question. You are putting us on, are you not? I am not trying to be mean or anything but, you never cease to amaze and simultaneously confuse me. This is the criteria by which your god will accept creatures with out a sense of self, if they are cute they live for eternity in bliss and if they are ugly they burn in h*ll fire forever and ever? Yet you also claim he made all these creatures, by use of magic or miracle no less. How do you wrap your mind around something like that Charles? I am serious, how in the world could that feel right to you? Do you honestly not see the mountains of great evidence to the contrary? Or feel the pull of common sense on your sleeve begging to differ?

    You can be honest with us, no one that matters is listening. I really am in awe of such beliefs and how someone could truly hold them to be fact. If you have doubts your god would already know all about them, no? So it will not offend him if you express them. PLEEEEEASE tell me, tell me, tell me. I am dying to get in your head sometime man. I would never use your name or anything but it would make such a good case study for psycology and human development class. Would you consider just filling out a questionaire? It wouldn't take you long and I would not put your name on it or anything.

    What denomination are you affiliated with? When did you recieve the calling to preach? How old where you when you realized God was real to you? Do you ever have doubts or get confused? Could you lay out for me your take on salvation, what it means, how it is obtained? I will even give you an email you could reply to so we do not tie up Vlatko's site and no one else will start judging or argueing with you. Here it is, ez2b12 at centurylink dot net. You of course may choose to decline, I will not get angry. But I swear I am not trying to poke at your beliefs or you, I just want to understand.

  12. Achems Razor

    @Charles B:

    The way you talk you figure you will be alive, when you die, that is a paradox!

  13. Charles B.

    Mr. Razor: Well, it's hard to define, but I just think all the little "imperfections" like shedding dead skin cells, etc. won't happen in Heaven and therefore things like flies, fleas, ticks, dust mites, etc. I just can't see a place for in Heaven. Birds, horses and cute things, ok! But yucky things . . . I doubt it.

    No, I don't think we'll sleep in Heaven. No time to waste sleeping when you have an endless eternity to learn about God's ways and exploring the whole universe! Well, we'll see I suppose one way or the other eventually, won't we?

    I think I'd be enormously dissappointed if I died and nothing happened whatsoever. Wouldn't you?

  14. princeton

    @ ez
    yeah.. its tough to tell where exactly the line is when it comes to that kinda thing. i agree with you, and truth is, I had a lot of faith in the product i pushed, and owned one myself, so it was easy to get others to see the pluses without lying but i do admit there is some level of manipulation..

    @ documentary

    didn't really gross me out as much as I thought it would. I especially liked the bit about the macrophages or big eaters.. makes me feel good to know there is an army of bacterium and microscopic organisms putting their life on the line for me ya' know. and it was great to actually see them in action.. too bad they eat themselves to death.
    didn't need to see the stag beetle sperm tho.. coulda done without that.
    Life is simply amazing.. and I am glad to be a part of it, not at the level we watched, but at the level we are at with the wetware upstairs we possess.. wonderful to be a human ya' know!

  15. TheQueenOfCheese

    I've known about this for years but it was nice to see them again.
    It's funny anyone should be surprised by their existance, although I've always found their numbers overwhelming. Life on our planet clings to every possible source of energy, nothing is ever wasted. It's only logical for skin to be food for something, like blood is, like our intestines are filled with bacteria without which we wouldn't even be able to survive:)

    No matter how much manipulation was involved in your sales... Those kirby's sure get rid of stains:)

  16. IrishKev

    @ eZ
    Yep, thats what I always thought. I knew I wasn't that out of touch. About the bugs thing, if it wasn't for all those hungry little varmints we'd be wading around knee deep in detritus and dead bodies. they all have their niches and maybe they dont think we're so good looking (even if we do taste ok).

  17. Achems Razor

    @Charles B:

    Sometimes you make me laugh! No dust mites in heaven?? Didn't your god make everything? why wouldn't the dust mites make it into your heaven?
    Or are going to say again that the dust mites are the devil/demons work?

    If they are not the devils work, can guarantee your mattresses will be proliferated, would they have mattress stores in your heaven? discount stores maybe? what do use for money there? or would you sleep on the clouds?
    Or would you even have to sleep at all. No break from all the harp playing, EH?

  18. Charles B.

    Razor: a mattress doubling it's weight in mite c@#$ and dead skin? I find that hard to believe, and I'm an easy sell on most "nature" factoids. But if by chance it is sadly true, then the good news is that there will be no dust mites in Heaven! :-)

  19. ez2b12

    @ Princeton

    Yeah, I could see it being a fine pitch for some one selling cleaning products, vacuums, etc. but not mattresses. Ive always found that if you are selling something you want to create the state of mind a person is in when using the product. No one wants to think of nasty mites and dead skin when trying to go to sleep. People like to think about the difference they are making when cleaning though, so mites and dead skin would be a good pitch.

    I restore old cars and motorcycles and sell them. If you want to sell a bike its best to make them think about the freedom of the open road, wind in their hair- never mind the fact that they will have a helmet on and the open road is far from free with law man joe out kidnapping folks. People are generally more logical and sensible when buying a car, in my experience. With these guys I talk gas mileage and resell. Of course if its something like a Austin Healy sprite, its back to the motorcycle pitch.

    I love the psychology of sells and advertisement, though I do not like feeling like I have manipulated people. I ALWAYS tell the truth, but I must admit some manipulation takes place. That bothers me some what, I prize honesty and integrity of character above all else. I do enjoy making the money though, I can't lie about that. Our society just doesn't provide a easy path to scrupulous persons. Besides I put real sweat and tears into every car or bike I restore- Geez, listen to me trying to rationalize my own questionable behavior.

    @ Avidseeker

    Too much information mate.

  20. avidseeker

    goodbye oral sex!

  21. ian eastwood

    made me itch

  22. princeton

    @ achems Razor @ ez

    lol.. yes, very true..
    back in my Kirby selling days, those facts always clinched the deal.. especially when people seen the blown up picture of dust mites and the mattress test!

    every mattress is very very nasty. (unless brand new, but just give it a couple of weeks)

  23. Achems Razor


    True stuff, a typical used mattress can have up to 200,000 to 12,000,000 mites inside of it, feeding on the 6 to 10 grams of dead skin "one" person sheds each week. Each dust mite produces 12-30 waste pellets every day, female mites lay 30-40 baby mites every three weeks.

    The average person is carrying approx. 2 pounds of dead skin at one time.

    Then to make matters worse, if you have pets, lot of dust from the pet dander, and last but not least, insects, yes they make dust, excrement etc: why, bugs even fart, 5 % of the worlds methane is from bugs farting. (LOL)

  24. ez2b12

    @ McGarvey

    Got to go with Achem on this one mate, I learned this stuff in biology not from commercials. Not that it would be below them, advertising knows no shame. But generally they don't want to mention this type of gross stuff in the same breath as their products. They usually want to talk about the space age springs, or coils as they say, and back issues. Never heard one of them claim I should buy their product because my old matress is full of the creepy crawlers, doesn't set the right frame of mind.

  25. Achems Razor


    Your right it is not 80%, more like 90 to 95% of dust is human skin!

    Perpetrated by the bedding industry, Ha,Ha, thats funny, show me just one instance that the bedding industry said that anywhere!!
    I'm waiting!

  26. McGarvey

    @ IrishKev

    Human immunodeficiency virus = HIV This is the virus.
    AIDS = Acquired Immuno Deficiancy Syndrome, HIV,as far as science currently knows, can cause AIDS, but AIDS itself is not a virus.

    @ Achems

    Mate, thought you'd known better - that's an old myth perpetrated by the bedding industry - Oh, and 80% of dust is not human skin - another lie spread by people trying to sell us stuff!!!

  27. toodance

    @Achems Razor
    more AAACK!!
    thanks alot. now I have to figure out how to pay for the counseling bills, lol.

  28. ez2b12

    I don't know who the lady is in the freeze frame for this documentary but, she can share my bed bugs anytime. Hubba hubba.

  29. Achems Razor

    They claim that a mattress will double its weight in ten years with dust mites, dead skin and all our other little friends, no matter how many times you wash the sheets or yourself.

    Sweet dreams!

  30. toodance

    Made it to the hungry hippo dust mite. Fur beetles did me in. AAACK!!

  31. ez2b12

    @ IrishKev

    Well its really a question of semantics. The HIV virus is supposed to cause the AIDsyndrome. Hence the syndrome is not the actual virus, to us lay folk its all the same though. You get HIV you get AIDS, most of the time. AIDS is not what kills you though, just like falling doesn't its actually that jolting stop at the end that gets you. Anyway the lowering of your immune system leaves you vurnerable to all kinds of stuff and unable to fight them off- you die from a cold or the flu or maybe pnuemonia.

    I'm no doctor mind you this is just what we were taught in the eighties at school. After the documenatry called House Of Numbers though I do not know what to believe anymore. You should check it out, if you think you are confused now- whew!

  32. IrishKev

    A.I.D.S. not a virus? Thats news to me. Has science moved on so much since I worked in the immuno-flourescence lab. Can anybody enlighten me?

  33. Bazza


    Thanks for that mate :)

  34. BoB

    a bit like life in the under under growth
    very nice doc

  35. SimonTheSorcerer

    Yeah its not its punishment by God to gays :D
    No but actually Acquired Immune Defiency Syndrome it is a syndrome but the HIV cells have properties of a virus so he was right

  36. Scott

    @ Bazza

    AIDS is not a virus.

  37. Bazza

    Cool. I liked the part about the Immune System. I did not know about that the AIDS virus worked by attacking the thing thats prevents it. Sounds like it was man made... Far to much of a coincidence for me to believe.

  38. SimonTheSorcerer

    Hmmm I have watch this after the comments I feel compelled to. souds cool

  39. doc-fan

    I can't live like this!!! I feel surrounded by a bacteria!

  40. Samusakis

    If I had to put my thoughts and emotions into one sentance which would summarise this documentary, then I'd say:

    Damn nature, YOU SCARRY!!!

  41. Lost Ramblin

    remember this from middle school biology class - traumatized for years

    great doc