Throughout the natural world, there's noting else quite like the Dragon Fruit. From the speckle-crowded, geometric exterior... the shape-defining nodes... the stem system that, unlike any other domesticated fruit, grows off of cacti, there is so much to be explored. But inside, there's something even wilder. Can you see it? It's not the seeds: they're neat, but nothing out of the ordinary. It's the veins. Thanks to aggressive reflectivity and the limits of the human eye, even advanced photography can't entirely unearth this nearly micro scopic system It turns out, to get a good look at the veins, you must bombard them with light under exacting conditions. (3,200 DPI Scanner, Test 3 of 12) Dragon Fruit slice, actual size Dragon Fruit slice, 800% zoom What makes these veins so unique? Let's look even closer. 1000% zoom: first, beautifully rounded, squiggly shapes are common. All observed veins feature circular endings. Second, they're not two-dimensional: the further a vein dips beneath the surface, the more it blurs and disappears. Vein light + reflectivity study: they also love their light: take that away, and the veins disappear at a rate disproportionate to the rest of the dragon fruit. Material exploration: In a system so full of attention-grabbing beauty, how can the vein be elevated to a place where it's not only visible to the human observer, but also the focus? Designed object inspired by dragon fruit veins Designed object: Glows from the inside, emulating the way the vein captures light and always seems to be the brightest part of the dragon fruit. Baked and adhered dragon fruit flesh filters and obscures the vein, blurring as it moves further from the surface (as previously observed). Designed at human scale for observation while hanging or comfortably in the hand. The bright­ness, hue, sat­u­ra­tion, and color sub­tly shift over time, evok­ing the in­tense re­flec­tiv­ity of the surface. Photographed, drawn, written, modeled, and designed by Will Napier