To see more of Sally’s photos and videos, follow @pondlife_pondlife on Instagram.
Her videos look like lava lamps. Her stills look like abstract art. But the stunning subjects Sally Warring (@pondlife_pondlife) captures are residents of New York City’s pond waters. Hooking up her smartphone to a microscope, Sally, who’s a Ph.D. candidate at New York University, documents microorganisms that she’s collected in water samples from Central Park and other urban bodies of water at 100 or higher magnitude. Sally’s Pondlife project aims to educate nonscientists about single cellular life, and she captions her samples in layman’s terms, while slipping in details, like the difference between green algae and cyanobacteria: “Green algae … has a distinctive cell wall, and inside each cell there’s a whole bunch of stuff. Little round balls they look like to me,” she writes. Sally hopes to show people that these organisms have behaviors that we usually associate with more complex life forms, like animals and plants. “We’re living amongst them, and they’re living amongst us,” she says.