One cubic foot of life
With a 12-inch green metal-framed cube, photographer David Liittschwager surveyed biodiversity in land, water, tropical and temperate environments around the globe. This National Geographic commissioned project was then compiled into an interactive photogallery of more than a thousand organisms.
How much life could you find in one cubic foot? That’s a hunk of ecosystem small enough to fit in your lap. To answer the question, photographer David Liittschwager took a green metal frame, a 12-inch cube, to disparate environments—land and water, tropical and temperate. At each locale he set down the cube and started watching, counting, and photographing with the help of his assistant and many biologists. The goal: to represent the creatures that lived in or moved through that space. The team then sorted through their habitat cubes, coaxing out every inhabitant, down to a size of about a millimeter. Accomplishing that took an average of three weeks at each site.
You can read the full article by Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson at National Geographic Magazine.