Sometimes, you can find art in the most unlikely places. Take photographer Craig Ward: he found inspiration for his latest piece, which is making its way around the Internet, in the New York City subway system, in the form of microscopic bacteria.

Inspired by a fellow photographer's print of cultivated bacteria that came from her son's handprint, the 34-year-old artist, based out of Brooklyn, N.Y., decided to create his own rendition from the popular (and notoriously dirty) transit service.

To collect samples, Ward used run-of-the-mill tools, like petri dishes, all in plain site of other commuters.

"As soon as you start taking out scientific equipment and petri dishes, people did start to look a bit," said Ward in an interview with New York Magazine. "But no one really challenged me. You can get away with most things on the subway."

The list of bacteria that Ward picked up was less-than-appetizing, including salmonella, E. coli, proteus mirabilis (which causes kidney stones), staphylococcus aureus (which causes myriad infections like sinusitis), serratia marcescens (otherwise known as bathroom slime) and plain, run-of-the mill mold.

Luckily, Ward categorized where he found each sample by color in accordance to the hue of the train line (green stands for the G train, gray/clear for the L train, orange for the B and F train and so forth), so avoid those lines to your heart's content. Or maybe not: remember, bacteria is literally everywhere, including your belly button, which scientists say can potentially produce those microscopic organisms still undiscovered by modern science.

Check out more of Craig's petri dish-collected work in the photos below.

Source: Craig Ward

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