I am a computer scientist looking to simulate a world wherein a public user can arbitrarily change size to explore the unexpected complexity of every-day objects on these various scales. The coding is not an issue, but the world requires data regarding what traversable objects would be useful to explore on a smaller scale, equivalent to enlarging every-day objects. The small scale regards a selected virtual user height between 1 centimeter and 1/10 of a centimeter tall, which distinguishes "small" from "microscopic."

Objects that are useful to for the general public to explore should have a structure observably different at this smaller but non-microscopic scale to the extent that observations show it no longer resembles the object at the original scale to a human observer. This rules out objects that are visually monotonous like simple liquids like olive oil and solids like glass which are recognizable at this small scale and the original scale. However, a special exception will be made for crystalline structures to include objects such as granules of sugar which have a drastically greater detail observed from at this scale.

As a standard, you can use objects that have a natural roughness of P40 or lower, otherwise translated as an average particle diameter of 425 micrometers or greater that can be traversed by a human at that scale.

An answer to this question is finite and observable. As stated, it only requires a statement of any objects meeting this criteria greater than 1 object.


closed as off-topic by Vincent, Aify, adaliabooks, StephenG, L.Dutch Jun 25 '18 at 3:20

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  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – Vincent, Aify, adaliabooks, StephenG, L.Dutch
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding, PixelLove3D! Please take our tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. You may also find Worldbuilding Meta and The Sandbox (both of which require 5 rep to post on) useful. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – FoxElemental Jun 24 '18 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ To quote from L.Dutch on your previous question: You have probably misunderstood the nature of this site: this is not a forum to discuss about options, this a place where to precise problems we strive to provide precise solutions, which can be objectively measured. Your question makes perfectly sense for a forum where an endless thread can start, it is simply misplaced here. $\endgroup$ – Aify Jun 24 '18 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ Hi. Your comments were deleted because you were being rude to other community members. We have a be nice policy that means that people cannot be disparaging towards other users of the site. Please adhere to it; folks are only trying to help and give you some friendly advice. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jun 24 '18 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ I'd suggest you investigate fractal surfaces and/or microscopy. However I'd also suggest you mind your manners on SE generally and read the WB site policies for what are suitable questions. You have simply not asked a question that would be considered on-topic. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Jun 24 '18 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ A reminder for all VTCers: your Mods have spoken as regards what is on-topic here in SE.WB --- questions regarding real world stuff are on-topic. Objects with observable roughness are "real world stuff". $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jun 25 '18 at 0:08


Just about any kind of textile fabric will look very different when seen at normal viewing distance compared to a close-up at 1 mm distance.

Rayon close-up    Rayon close-up

Two close-up pictures of rayon fabrics; photographs by user Digitalgadget~commonswiki, available on Wikimedia; released in the public domain by the author.


When the user is 1 mm tall the grooves of a tire pattern will look like a massive labyrinth:

Tire pattern

Close-up of the pattern on a wheelbarrow tire. Photograph by TheOminousDonut, available on Wikimedia under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.


Ordinary table sugar reveals its crystalline nature when seen up close:

Sugar crystals

Close-up of sugar crystals. Photograph by Thomas Wydra, released in the public domain by the author; available on Wikimedia.


You should probably explore natural rather than artificial objects, in particular anything known to have fractal properties.

Ferns, Ammonite shells, leaves and peacock feathers all spring to mind as good possibilities but if you search for fractal objects you should find many more. One property of a fractal is that you can keep finding further detail as you zoom in. In mathematical fractals that continues indefinitely, obviously in real life the fractals break down eventually though.

  • $\begingroup$ Fractal objects are a good general suggestion for other things, but specifically I am looking for objects, not organisms. You might also note that "fractal" objects are by definition self similar on multiple scales. $\endgroup$ – PixelLove3D Jun 24 '18 at 21:23
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    $\begingroup$ @PixelLove3D Is there a difference? A peacock feather is not living any more - neither is an ammomite shell. If you specifically want artificial objects then you should probably look at electronics, integrated circuits or things like watches with a lot of moving parts inside. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Jun 24 '18 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ You are suggesting biotic things like Romanesco broccoli, which is still recognize as Romanesco broccoli when viewed under a magnifying glass due to its self similar shape. The purpose is to gather data on the objects with distinguishable detail that could not be discerned to the naked eye, only up close at this scale smaller scale. $\endgroup$ – PixelLove3D Jun 24 '18 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ I should also point out "natural" objects are too vague. Feathers are not traversable, ammonite shells are self similar and recognizable at this smaller scale, but thank you for your suggestions. I think a fair compromise to guide you more along the criteria, take the stem of an apple. It has a surprising topology, it is not self similar though traversable at a small scale. If you were to stand on the top of it at only 1/10 - 1 centimeter tall, its surface would seem alien. $\endgroup$ – PixelLove3D Jun 24 '18 at 21:52

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