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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Small brains en masse

10 minutes

The inadvertent art of tiny bodies – stunning, hidden patterns of animal movement

A mesmerising confluence of biology, aesthetics and filmmaking, the ingenious nature photography of Dennis Hlynsky, professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, condenses frames of footage to reveal marvellous patterns in the activities of small creatures. The occasionally eerie effect shows the appearance of intricate trails in the wakes of insects and birds. Works of art in their own right, the clips also double as small-scale investigations into animal movement patterns and flock behaviour.

Director: Dennis Hlynsky

Website: Imagine Science Films

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

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

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/History of Science
Against citizen science

It might style itself as a grassroots movement but citizen science is little more than a cheap land-grab by big business

Philip Mirowski

Essay/History of Science
Science is broken

Perverse incentives and the misuse of quantitative metrics have undermined the integrity of scientific research

Siddhartha Roy & Marc A Edwards