Watch a Single Cell Become an Entire Organism in 6 Achingly Beautiful Minutes

Life is miraculous, and watching it unfold in real time is even more so.

A new video from Netherlands-based filmmaker Jan van IJken now lets you watch a baby salamander twisting and turning as it grows in its transparent egg.


Simply called Becoming, this beautiful short film follows a single salamander embryo (Ichthyosaura Alpestris) as it grows and matures, from fertilisation right through to the final hatch.

In reality, the whole process takes a salamander about three weeks, but this particular film is condensed into just six minutes.

The movie is like watching a flip book of embryogenesis, from cleavage, to gastrulation, neurulation and finally organogenesis.

Remarkably, the same process that occurs for all animals, and that includes humans.

“In the film, we can observe a universal process which normally is invisible: the very beginning of an animal’s life,” the filmmaker explains on his website.

“A single cell is transformed into a complete, complex living organism with a beating heart and running bloodstream.”

Life is just incredible.


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