Technicolor ferrofluids are a magnetic acid trip

Oil, watercolors and nanoscale iron particles make for some of the most psychedelic imagery this side of an LSD trip — and we've got the hi-res macro photographs to prove it.

"I really like using scientific phenomena in my work, because every one of us is surrounded by them in our daily lives," Switzerland-based art photographer Fabian Oefner tells io9. "My aim is to capture these phenomena, that we are all aware of, in an unseen and poetic way."

The photographs featured below are from a series entitled Millefiori. Oefner combined ferrofluid with watercolor, and exposed the mixture to a magnetic field, causing the solution's black iron particles to rearrange into the configurations seen here.

"Whenever I start working with a new material or exploring a scientific phenomenon... I just experiment with it. After a bit of time, I come across something that I think could be developed further into a series of images. Thats what happened with the ferrofluids project."

The structures are tiny — only about the size of a thumbnail — but a carefully calibrated macroscopic lens brings the vibrant details of each immiscible mixture into dramatic view. Click any of the images below to see it in jaw-dropping high-res, and check out Oefner's website, www.fabianoefner.com, for many more stunning examples from this and other series.

All images courtesy of Fabian Oefner

Technicolor ferrofluids are a magnetic acid trip

Technicolor ferrofluids are a magnetic acid trip

Technicolor ferrofluids are a magnetic acid trip

Technicolor ferrofluids are a magnetic acid trip

Technicolor ferrofluids are a magnetic acid trip