It was a rainy night. My glasses were speckled with fresh water droplets. I looked at a distant street light and I was surprised to see cells - a single cell was zoomed in to the level where I could see the nucleus in the center, some squiggly organelles outside the nucleus and an irregular cell membrane around it.
Changing the angle at which I was looking at the light allowed me to see a different cell. It also worked when I looked at other light sources.
How was this amount of zoom created by the water droplets on the concave lens of my glasses?
This may be relevant although the level of magnification I experienced is much greater but that might have to do with the nature of my convex lens, which is for correcting 3.75 degrees of myopia.
I can successfully replicate the experiment and I made the following observations:
- I was able to see dynamic structures that resembled cells, typical things that one would observe under a microscope. Placing a water droplet elsewhere on the lens of my glasses allowed me to see different cells.
- It is not possible to take a picture of this phenomenon. Probably the cells are in my eye.
- It works best when the water is in the form of small droplets
- It helps to close the eye which is not observing the droplet
- It does not work well indoors. I believe this is because an indoor light illuminates the whole room while an outdoor light source is surrounded by darkness.
- The distance to the light source did not seem to matter much. It worked for a street light beside me and another across the road.
- It works if the droplet is on the inside or outside of the glasses' lens.
In addition, I invited a friend who also wears myopic glasses to try the experiment. My friend was able to observe the cells when they put on my glasses, however neither of us was able to observe them when we performed the experiment with their glasses. This makes me wonder if for example the anti-glare coating I have on my glasses or something else peculiar to my glasses plays a role too.