We're living in a strange world, barely protected against the infectious, replicating agents called viruses. They may have gruesome effects on our bodies, but these viruses' microscopic world looks beautiful from close up — especially because researchers often add color to the images in order to study them more easily.

A colorized transmission of the MERS coronavirus that emerged in 2012.

(Photo by AP Photo/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases via The Canadian Press and AP Photo/NIAID - RML)

Advertisement

Infectious particles of the avian H7N9 (bird flu) virus emerging from a cell

(Photo by Takeshi Noda/Science/University of Tokyo/AP Photo)

Hepatitis B visions with Dane particles

(via Microbe World)

Sponsored

Rubella or three-day measles (also known as German measles)

(via Sanofi Pasteur)

The ultrastructural details of an influenza virus particle (virion)

(via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library)

Infectious Bronchitis virus (IBV) virions

(via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Rabies virus (Rabdoviridae)

(via Sanofi Pasteur)

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte

During the Cold War, the KGB started a disinformation campaign (named the Operation Infektion) that blamed the creation of AIDS on the CIA.

(via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library)

Ebola virus virion

But why is it deadlier than some other viruses? We know the answer.

(via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library and NIAID)

Hepatitis A (HAV)

(via Sanofi Pasteur)

The swine flu virus

(via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Smallpox virus pocks on the chorioallantoic membrane of a developing embryonic chick

(via Trees of Life)

Dengue Virus (flavivirus)

(via Sanofi Pasteur)

Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses (seen in gold) grown in MDCK cells (seen in green).

And another bird flu is coming from Taiwan! It's called H6N1.

(via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library)

A number of Nipah virus virions that had been isolated from a patient's cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimen. This virus was isolated in 1999.

(via Trees of Life)

Rabies virus after purified from an infected cell culture.

(via University of Texas Medical Branch)

The Schmallenberg virus, initially reported in November 2011 to cause congenital malformations and stillbirths in cattle

(via Jens Koehler/dapd/AP Photo)

The Rabbit Hemorrhagic disease, first described in 1984.

(via Plospathogens)

Smallpox, under 370,000x magnification

(via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library)

Various viruses from the Herpesviridae family: Herpes simplex Type 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2) and Chickenpox

(via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library)

Bonus: This is how flu invades your body