Microscopic comic strip etched onto a human hair

What may be the world's smallest comic strip, "Juana Knits the Planet," can't be read without the aid of a microscope.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

Microscopic comic panel
One microscopic panel of the strip. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Artist Berkeley Breathed, known for "Bloom County," once railed against the shrinking-comics phenomenon, a trend that found newspapers minimizing the size of comic strips, making them harder to read, and taking away much of their visual impact. He probably never quite imagined a comic strip would be shrunk down to fit on a single human hair, and that it would be a good thing.

Claudia Puhlfürst created the strip, called "Juana Knits the Planet," a series of panels showing a woman building creations like a tree and music starting from a ball of yarn. It was etched onto the hair using a focused ion beam, described as being similar to a fine laser beam. The result was captured in a video presentation.

The video is a sort of trailer for the Exceptional Hardware Software Meeting, a conference dedicated to open-source and DIY projects, taking place in Hamburg, Germany, in late June.

This isn't the first time we've seen super-tiny creations thanks to the focused ion beam tech. Previously, we've had the joy of viewing a sandcastle etched onto a grain of sand and a miniscule snowman with an etched face. It just goes to show that sometimes smaller is better.

(Via Boing Boing)