This single-celled alga is a natural ornament
It looks like a holiday ornament, but this lovely object is a single-celled freshwater alga from the desmid family, found in the marshes of Florida’s Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. USGS biologist Barry Rosen photographed it at 200x magnification using ultraviolent light and a fluorescence microscope. Desmids range in size from under 10 microns—approximately the width of spider web silk—to about 1 mm—the thickness of a dime.
Micrasterias radiosa collected at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, February 2017. Photo: Barry Rosen, USGS