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Friday, May 26, 2006

Leeuwenhoek Sees Animalcules


On this day in 1676, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek applied his hobby of making microscopes from his own handmade lenses to observe some water running off a roof during a heavy rainstorm.

He finds that it contains, in his words, "very little animalcules." The life he has found in the runoff water is not present in pure rainwater. This was a fundamental discovery, for it showed that the bacteria and one-celled animals did not fall from the sky. Link