Articles/Science/Microscopy/Things To Look At With A Microscope

BloodBlood contains a number of interesting things, including the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It can be obtained via a fresh wound or by using a sterilized needle or lancet on a finger.
HairsHairs are easily obtained and there are several varieties on the human body. Try examining a hair that has been freshly cleaned and then compare it to hair that hasn't been cleaned in 24 hours or more. Compare hair from the scalp to whiskers.
Cheek CellsBy scraping a toothpick along the inside of your cheek you can collect some cells. Staining may be necessary to get a good visual.
Oral PlaqueScrape some plaque from your teeth and dilute it with some water. Plaque contains a good deal of bacteria, but staining may be necessary to see them. To encourage plaque production, eat some candy or other sugary foods.
Pond WaterAny pond or water that has been standing for several days is bound to contain some creatures. Protozoans are a common find, as well as aquatic insect larvae and algae.
SaltDissolve some salt in water and then allow the water to evaporate, leaving behind the pure salt crystals.
FibersExamine various fibers (natural and synthetic). Good examples are cotton, nylon, and silk.
MoldGrow some mold on bread by moistening it and placing it in a plastic bag in the dark for a few days. Put a drop of water on a slide and drop some mold into it..
Dust MitesPlace a drop of water on a slide and then drop some dust into it. Dust mites are found all over the house, but thrive particularly well in your sleeping area.
Butterfly ScalesTake a small sample of the powder from a dead butterfly's wings.
Fish ScalesRemove scales from a dead fish found at the supermarket.
NewspaperTake a scrap of newspaper or magazine and zoom in on the ink to see what it looks like.
Onion SkinCut up an onion and remove a thin layer of moist skin between the onion layers. When dyed, it is easy to see the structures within the cells.
Home-Brewed ProtozoansPlace some hay, rice grains, or wheat grains in water and let it sit out, uncovered, for a number of days. When it becomes odorific, take a sample of the water and it should be filled with protozoans.
Sperm CellsWell, this one is a bit awkward to discuss, but sperm can be viewed with 400 or higher magnification and are quite active.
Insect PartsFind dead insects and examine their legs, antennae, wings, and any other appendages.
Bacteria in MilkMilk goes bad over time due to bacteria that multiply in the container and consume the milk. Old milk is filled with bacteria that will show up under a microscope, although they may need to be stained.
Marine Aquarium SamplesMarine aquariums (and the ocean) contain many microscopic organisms. Try getting samples from the water and also try examining some of the sand and algae growing on rocks. Also try getting a sample at night, when many nocturnal organisms are active in the water. There are also wide varieties of algae that you can examine.
SoilPlace some soil in a droplet of water and look for microorganisms.
PollenCollect pollen from a variety of plants such as flowers, pine cones, weeds, prairie grass, etc.
Plant RootsCut a thin slice out of roots from various plants such as carrots.
Sharp ObjectsLook at the tip of a needle and see how sharp it looks up close. Compare it to natural objects like thorns from plants or spikes from cacti.
SnowflakesThis one can be hard to execute, but if you keep your microscope in a cold environment you can keep the flakes from melting.
Intestinal ParasitesThis one is not for the squeamish, but many domestic livestock (goats, cows, sheep, etc.) suffer from parasites or worms in their digestive system. Collect fresh feces from the afflicted animal and dilute a small portion of it in water. Examine the water for signs of parasites.
MushroomsTake a sample of mushroom tissue. The underside of the cap is quite ideal.
MossPlace a small piece of moss in a drop of water. Many creatures live in moss on trees and other surfaces.