Micro or Macro Quiz: Can You Tell If It’s Big or Small?

Multi-colored geometric shapes

This quiz from Smithsonian Magazine challenges you to test your sense of scale by choosing whether these images are microscopic or gigantic.

Don’t guess wrong because you mixed up the terms: Micro photographs are close up images of teeny-tiny objects, sometimes so small you need a microscope to see them. Macro photographs are of bigger subjects, anything from the selfie you just posted on Facebook to a picture taken from space. Now, try your skills with these two pictures:

Micro or Macro?

Multi-colored geometric shapes

Micro or Macro?

Colorful stripes


1. Micro: The wing of a green darner dragonfly, as photographed by Paul Kelly through a scanning electron microscope.
2. Macro: A satellite image of North Africa downloaded from the Global Land Cover Facility and processed by Stephen Young.

Think you’re good at this? Check out more pictures by heading over to Smithsonian Magazine to see if your “micro or macro” skills are up to the whole challenge.

Leora Rosenberg

By Leora Rosenberg

Leora writes about the environment, science, and the intersection between technology and art. She attends New York University and has previously written for the Wildlife Conservation Society's website, The Huffington Post's Compylr blog, and NYU's Washington Square News. Her mom uses Twitter incorrectly.

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