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.

Image credits: Images by Andy Ellison