And when we say ridiculously tiny, we mean it. So tiny, in fact, that 1,000 of these 3D maps can fit on a single grain of salt. IBM scientists working in tandem across three countries created this minuscule map. A map so tiny that the tallest mountain in the world is reduced to a few nanometers.
The map, measuring 22 by 11 micrometers, is scratched out on a polymer surface. Every 8 nanometers corresponds to 1,000 meters of altitude — so Mount Everest would be about 64 nanometers high. The map is composed of 500,000 pixels, each measuring 20 nanometers square.
The map was produced by applying heat and force to the polymer surface, literally molding the desired shapes to the desired precision. If amoebas ever desire to create a world atlas, they know who to go to.