Through a Geek Lens: Not Your Typical Christmas Tree!

Electronics Experiments GeekMom Technology
Xmas 2009 by Tesla Down Under

When thinking about Christmas, most of us think of lovely evergreens filled with ornaments collected throughout the years. However, sometimes some of the most beautiful “trees” aren’t trees at all.

Fungal Christmas Tree, JCVI Weblog

Fungus and bacteria are beautiful, even if they are a little gross. The “tree” topper is Talaromyces stipitatus, the “tree” is Aspergillus nidulans, the ornaments are Penicillium marneffei and the “tree” trunk is Aspergillus terreus. From the artful science minds at the JCVI Weblog.

Xmas 2007 by Tesla from Down Under

Amateur scientist Peter Terren, above, creates spectacular light shows in his western Australia backyard for fun as part of his creation, Tesla From Down Under. Using tesla coils, 500,000 volts of power, a 90+ second camera exposure, a few color filters and a massive amount of planning, Terren is able to create the two electrifying Christmas trees seen above.

Christmas Tree Cluster (Cone Nebula) Composite image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope

NGC 2264 is better known as the Christmas Tree Cluster by astronomers. The image above is a composite image from multiple instruments on the Spitzer Space Telescope. The nebula earned its nickname because of the cone shaped clouds that are lit from brighter stars above that look like snow falling on a tree.

Christmas Tree Worm Photo by Nick Hobgood                        Smithsonian Ocean Portal

The Christmas tree worm (Spirobranchus giganteus) is a type of polychaete, a group of segmented worms mostly found in the ocean. This type of worm is a tube builder and is easily recognized by its two tree-like appendages. The ornate plumage acts to catch bits of food, transport it to the stomach and also as the worms form of basic respiration. The Christmas tree worm is normally found on coral reefs.

“Magic crystal tree — sick science!” by Steve Spangler, via

Growing crystals at home is long favorite science project. Steve Spangler figured out a way to turn this childhood chemistry experiment into a Christmas favorite by using a cardboard christmas tree as the base form. Maybe next year instead of the traditional advent wreath, grow crystals as a family instead!

No matter how traditional the Christmas tree is that you use to celebrate, be sure to enjoy the season and have a most happy New Year!

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