Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

54B3R_ t1_isgpk80 wrote

>It’s a bright day in 1677, in the city of Delft, and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is making love to his wife. But moments after he shudders with orgasm, he hurries out of bed to grab his microscope. After all, he’s not just spending time with his wife: he’s running an important scientific experiment at the request of the Royal Society in London.

>Leeuwenhoek has already gained quite a reputation at the Royal Society for his observations of microscopic things, and has—with the Society’s urging—looked at a lot of bodily fluids, including blood, milk, spit, and tears. This time, the plan is to see what’s inside semen.

>He quickly collects his sample from his wife, places some on a pin on the microscope, and lifts the device toward the sun “before six beats of the pulse [have] passed.” When he peers through the lens, he becomes the first person to see living sperm cells.