This six-minute time-lapse video “tracks the development of a single-celled zygote into the hatched larva of an alpine newt.” The video comes from Dutch director Jan van IJken, and we came across it at Geekologie.
The amphibious animal, which is indigenous to central and southern Europe, “breeds in shallow water, where its larvae are born, hatch and feed on plankton, before sprouting legs and moving to land.” This short shows shows in stunning detail on a microscopic scale “the process of cell division and differentiation, whence all animals – from newts to humans – come.”
The power of life makes it possible for this one little cell to grow into a fully realized creature right before our eyes.
This is so genuinely incredible that there’s something almost spiritual about this video. It’s peaceful, yet powerful, mystic, yet tangible. And even though you literally watch this baby newt develop in front of your eyes, when you get to the end it seems impossible that it was once a single cell, let alone that all of life on this beautiful planet once was.
You almost need to watch this film backwards to truly appreciate what has happened. Fortunately it’s easier to summarize the miracle witnessed here: “Life finds a way.”
Featured Image: Aeon Video