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This video was recorded on March 22nd 2023.

To get your very own Microcosmos Microscope go here:

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Hosted by Hank Green:

Music by Andrew Huang:

Journey to the Microcosmos is a Complexly production.
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I'm Hank Green, the guy whose voice you hear in a lot of Microcosmos videos. This is my face and this is my office.

And I'm here to unbox the base model of the Microcosmos Microscope. When I first started getting interested in microscopy, it was very intimidating for me to try and figure out what microscope to get. And so I'm really happy that we at Journey To The Microcosmos are able to provide the thing that we think is the best thing to get you started.

And I'm going to put it on the desk here. You'll see it. There it is.

This is what it will arrive looking like. The first thing you will find when you open it up is the manual. We built this manual up from scratch so you would understand all the different parts of your microscope, how to use it, doing your first samples, getting ready.

There's also a QR code that links to a bunch of video tutorials that we have. And this also is available as a PDF and all updated versions will be available at and then there's probably a bunch of ways to do this. But oh yeah, it's upside down now, then turn it right back right side up.

Oh yeah, Look at that baby. “Enjoy the journey and share what you find.” We do very much want to see your videos that you take with this. I don't care if it's just some diatom slowly gliding across the frame. I want to see what you find.

We also have a submission form on the website where you can actually submit your footage to potentially be used in a Microcosmos video. We want to do like clips of what y'all make. Then this will slide off if you give it enough reason to.

So we have the head. Pull out the power cord here. There's this which is our phone mount, which is a new version of the phone mount.

A little bit of microscope oil for the thousand times objective and then our microscope itself. This is just a blue light filter. Shoved in there will also be your cover.

You want to cover your microscope when you're not using it. So dust doesn't get on the lenses and stuff. Hey!

Hello! The best part of buying something is taking off all the little things off of it. So you've got little tissue paper covering up the light source down there.

Little tissue paper in this space for safety and then a little tissue paper on the... it’s the stage, is what that's called. Twist this little guy. Then you can pop this off.

And then slide this in here and then twist it back in so it doesn’t fall out. Doo doot. Take out these little guys, don’t need those because your eyepieces go in there.

Now remember eyepieces are always loose, so do not turn your microscope upside down. The eyepiece will come out and fall onto the ground and little switch. Light is on.

I'm seeing a bunch of magnified nothing now this is just magnified light. So there's a bunch of ways to control your microscope. You've got the amount of light that's coming out of the light source and that's adjustable here.

These here are your focus knobs. The big one is, you know, big focus. The small one is more fine focus.

There's this little thing that actually collects the light and focuses it on to the slide that's called the condenser. And you can move it up and down. And that affects how the light hits the slide.

And there's also a diaphragm on the condenser, a little wiggly piece of metal that will bring the light sort of more into a point which can affect how it looks. Basically, if you play around with it, you'll start to see what I mean. And then on this side, this actually moves the stage around so that you can look around the slide or follow any critters that are running around.

And that is the thing you'll get better at fastest is what I've found is like when I first started, I was like, everything's backwards and it's so confusing. And then after using it for a little while, I got very good at it like not as good as James, but good. This is our phone mount that will come with a separate little instruction manual.

There's also instructions in the guide for how to use the phone mount. Now, as you put your eyes on a microscope, you'll see that there's a pretty small point of light as you approach it, and it's easier with your own head to get your eyes in the exact same space because you've been moving your head around for your whole life. It's take some time after you clamped this on here to get the it right lens of your camera focused on the right point of light.

So it's a little fiddly, but you fiddle around for a while and then you're able to do it. And I actually find that it can be more comfortable to be using the phone mount for long periods of time, because I'm just looking at the screen rather than sort of hunching into the microscope. So now we're going to use the microscope as intended.

I’m going to set up my camera to be in here, and we have our prepared anatomy slides, which are also available at and the box is so cool. So this goes on here, clamps on. So we're lining up the mount with right kind of flush with the eyepiece.

You can see that right here, basically on the same plane as the eyepiece. And then I'm going to get this boy in here, which is going to take a while because I've got a big phone. Now with my phone, because I've got a big phone.

I have to clamp low down so that I can actually get the lens up to where the hole is and slide that on there. Now, first I got to set to my make sure I'm set to my double lens, my two x, I use ProCam to, to do this because otherwise Apple will mess with you because it's trying to fix everything. All right, now I've got my sort of little circle right in the middle and I'm going to try and clamp it there it is.

Beautiful. And then I'm going to zoom in and then I don't know what this is going to be some loose connective tissue. My favorite kind of connective tissue.

I'm seeing some pink. Let's try and focus. Focus, focus.

A Oh, gross. This isn't this isn't the sexiest of objects to observe. Ciliated epithelium.

Great. I actually do want to see some ciliated epithelium now that I'm thinking about it. Some beautiful cells here to work with.

See all those nuclei in there? So this is all stained, so it looks extra good. Now, we also have plan objectives available.

So slightly higher quality lenses which you can get a set of all four to replace all the ones you have if you have the base model and want to upgrade. We also have the 20 X and the 60 X available separately if you just want to get those one, one or both of those on their own. I've just put in a lymph node.

Oh yeah. Hello. My gosh.

Boy, I tell you what, I know nothing about histology. This is not my area of expertise now, also on the bottom of our microscope, there is a filter tray. You can put that blue eyed filter that comes with the microscope or we have a set of various filters that do various things and Rheinberg filters that will change the color of an image.

So without the filter and then we're going to slide the filter in place and see what happens. You see there you get like a dark field effect, which on anatomy slide is not like the greatest thing because it's been dyed for like the specific purpose, but with your microbes at your pond locally looks fantastic. Now, the thing to note is when we're saying like 40 X or 20 x or 60 x, when it comes to the objectives, that's going to be multiplied by ten because each one of these eyepieces also is a ten x, So a 40 x is actually 400 times magnification because it's got the 40 times the ten of the eyepieces.

There's a fair bit to know about microscopy, but I'll tell you what, as soon as you start to do it, it becomes you have all of this incentive to learn and and then suddenly wake up one day and you know, the difference between a dinoflagellate and a rotifer, which if you watch this show, you're probably already there. See, it's time to take the next step and start on your own journey into the microcosmos with this beautiful object that I love having it in my office, but this one's not for me, it's for you. We're going to pack it back up.

I'm going to sign the instruction manual for you. This is the base model. You can also get an upgraded version that has the plan objectives, which are higher quality optics already installed on the microscope.

That is also available at As I always say at the end of these episodes. Thank you for coming on this journey with us.

I really am grateful. It's a very enriching part of my life to be a part of this channel and also to have a deeper relationship with that part of our world that is so invisible to us but is always out there. And I hope very much that we can continue inviting people into that world through our videos, but also through this microscope.

And if you capture something that you would like to share with us, we again have that form on From all of us here at Journey to the Microcosmos, including Matt sitting right there filming me in my office. Thank you so much for your support and your interest in this bizarre world that we all get to inhabit.