A fantastical world of potential giant viruses lurks beneath the soil

Haircut. Gorgon. Turtle. These all describe shapes of newfound viruslike particles

A collection of three microscopic images of potential giant viruses.

In the loamy soil of Harvard Forest in Massachusetts, scientists have uncovered a new world of potential giant viruses (some pictured in these microscope images), many in unusual shapes.

M.G. Fischer, U. Mersdorf and J.L. Blanchard/bioRxiv.org 2023

Giant viruses may try out all sorts of funky lewks.

New images reveal the varied — and sometimes whimsical — shapes of hundreds of potential soil-dwelling giant viruses.