One of the most interesting parts about looking under a microscope is not knowing what is going to be under the coverslip. Here are some other life forms and interesting things we have been able to experience during microscopic exams:
Algae often give off an unmistakable, bright green pigment under the microscope. It can be seen in a variety of shapes and sizes. Algae can also be uni- or multi-cellular in nature.
Fungi tend to be filamentous in wastewater systems and are seen in a variety of sizes.
Spirochetes are often found in wastewater systems that take in leachate and have a septic environment. They are long, thin wavy organisms that appear to “dance” under the microscope.
Picture 1 is the carcass of a Tardigrade. Picture 2 is the carcass of a water mite. A dead rotifer (Picture 3) will leave behind their mastax. A mastax is a jaw-like structure made from hard proteins.
To protect themselves from less than ideal environments, protozoans have the ability to cast a cyst. Picture 1 shows the formation of a cyst. Picture 2 shows several completed cysts.