Watch a single cell become a complete organism in six pulsing minutes of timelapse

Native to central and southern Europe, the amphibious alpine newt breeds in shallow water, where its larvae are born, hatch and feed on plankton, before sprouting legs and moving to land. This timelapse video from the Dutch director Jan van IJken tracks the development of a single-celled zygote into the hatched larva of an alpine newt. Captured in stunning detail at microscopic scales, Becoming is a remarkable look at the process of cell division and differentiation, whence all animals – from newts to humans – come. For more awe-inspiring biology from van IJken, watch The Art of Flying.

Filmmaker, producer and editor: Jan van IJken

View at aeon.co

Support Aeon

‘I am a friend of Aeon because I value freedom ... freely provided, intelligently presented information liberates us all.’

Roland M, USA, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Make a donation

Idea/Values and beliefs

Find something morally sickening? Take a ginger pill

Jessica Tracy

Essay/Philosophy of religion

Perennial philosophy

Aldous Huxley argued that all religions in the world were underpinned by universal beliefs and experiences. Was he right?

Jules Evans

Video/Astronomy

Watch the rare, awesome spectacle as Mercury passes between the Earth and Sun

1 minutes

Idea/Psychiatry and psychotherapy

A psychiatric diagnosis can be more than an unkind ‘label’

Huw Green

Essay/History of science

Naming the Universe

How the quick thinking of internationally minded astronomers avoided stamping the solar system with petty European rivalries

Stephen Case

Video/History of ideas

What can the Romantics teach us about confronting modern problems?

20 minutes