Nature repeats itself on a small scale - These mesas and plateaus are only about 500 nanometers high… if you stacked 2,000 of them on top of each other, they’d just be a millimeter high.

How did this happen? The entire landscape is made of laser material, which I was etching away with high-energy plasma.  I had protected just a few areas from the plasma by covering them (near the middle of the picture, you can see the long horizontal wall I was trying to make).  Unfortunately, when I was putting this sample in the etcher, some oil got onto the surface, and must have spread itself in tiny rivers and droplets, protecting each of those areas from the plasma as well.  The result?  This tiny and strangely naturalistic landscape.

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