Beautiful Animations Showing MRI Scans of Fruits and Vegetables

Most photographers and artists will never have the opportunity to make the kind of images that Andy Ellison does. As an MRI technologist at Boston University Medical School, Ellison has access to extremely expensive imaging machines. More specifically, he runs a research-only Philips 3 Tesla MRI machine. When he’s not using it for official purposes, he experiments with it by placing various fruits, vegetables, and flowers inside. The resulting still images and animations are beautiful and abstract, and form a project that he calls “Inside Insides.” The images above show a pineapple and an artichoke.

Here’s a selection of Ellison’s animations. See if you can figure out what they’re of (answers at the end. You can also hover your mouse over the images):

The answers: corn, tomato, cucumber, garlic, broccoli, banana, brussel sprouts, sunflower, onion, and spagetti squash.

According to Salon, the whole project started when Ellison needed a test subject to adjust the machine’s parameters. He grabbed an orange. After being subsequently astonished by the complexity seen in the images of the fruit’s guts, he began doing the same thing with other produce.

You can find an index of his different subjects on this page, and follow along on his blog for all the latest images.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Garry!

Image credits: Images by Andy Ellison

  • Lily

    this is so cool!
    when my 7 year old son broke his arm, the technician x-rayed his stuffed animal.

  • anon

    Looks like a sunflower between the brussel sprouts and onion!

  • Michael Zhang

    Whoops. You’re right. We accidentally left that one out of the answers, thanks! :)

  • Joey Duncan

    you should post a link of the pictures it you have one.

  • Joey Duncan

    So by my calculations, there are $36,000 worth of MRI shots here according to how much my last MRI cost.

  • Joey Duncan

    But this is really cool.

  • Philip Han

    This is so cool ! ! !

  • Chris Newhall

    Aren’t these really old? I swear I saw these back in like ’08 or ’09…

  • sum_it

    So expensive! haha. Best part is, you can actually use these scans to create 3D image and visualize any abnormalities