Fun fact: Airplane food has 30% more salt than a typical meal. It is not because sadistic airlines are dead set on making you feel as disgusting as possible (good guess, though). It’s because the white noise and dryness of the cabin conspire against your sense of taste, stripping flavor from a perfectly seasoned dish. So airline chefs compensate by salting the hell out of everything.
That surfeit of salt is the subject of this oddly alluring photography series by Signe Emma. A graphic design graduate of Kingston University, Emma created scanning electron micrographs (a fancy term for images snapped under a microscope) of dissolved salt to represent the blood pressure-catapulting contents of airline meals. (When she presented it at an exhibit, she even made one of the prints 30% longer. I think you can guess why.) Here’s the neat thing: Under the microscope, the salt assumes the dramatic crags and canyons of an earthly landscape seen from an airplane window. Great to know that at 30,000 feet, the stuff giving us all hypertension manages to look like everything else at 30,000 feet: Beautiful.