05/29/2017 02:14 EDT

Canada 150: Someone Planted A Microscopic Flag On Surface Of Penny

There are a million different ways to celebrate Canada Day, but few probably involve a focused ion beam microscope.


To mark the country's upcoming 150th birthday, a McMaster University research engineer used his specialized skill to plant a Canadian flag, invisible to the naked eye, on the surface of a penny.

Because why not.

“With no beaver teeth or moose antlers on hand, I reached for the cleanest penny that I had available,” Travis Casagrande told HuffPost Canada.

Casagrande is a research engineer at the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy at McMaster University.

He said the original plan was to etch a microscopic Canadian flag onto a flat surface, but he thought he could do one better by planting a 3D version on a tiny pole.

tiny flag

Travis Casagrande planted a Canadian flag, 1/100th the diameter of a human hair, on the surface of a penny. (Photo: McMaster University)

He said the entire process to plant the flag — measuring 1/100th the diameter of a human hair — took six hours.

But not everyone is impressed with his craft.

“I've already seen some angry comments about millions of tax dollars wasted, but no, that couldn't be more wrong,” said Casagrande.

While millions of Canada 150 flags are expected to be distributed across the country for July 1st celebrations, Casagrande’s special microscopic version is staying put.

“We may use it for demonstrations in the future,” he said.

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