This is an eight-inch sea animal, scanned on a flatbed scanner. You can get some pretty amazing things when you use a decent scanner at a high resolution—it’s like contact printing on film, but you don’t have to go through the development.
What you see is the skeleton of the animal, which is made out of silicon. Though it’s incredibly delicate-looking, it’s actually unbelievably strong. A lot of laboratories and engineers now are looking at structures similar to this in nature and trying to emulate them to construct similar materials.
Photographically this is the easiest picture I’ve ever made. I put the skeleton on a scanner and then put a black velvet cloth over it, rather than closing the lid. Then I scanned it for 600 dpi.