In real time, crystal formation can take anywhere from hours to days, but time-lapse photographer Emanuele Fornasier shows it in just a few minutes. In a video spotted by Gizmodo, he photographs the birth of metal crystals spurred by an electric current. It’s the result of Fornasier’s long-term chemistry project on metal crystals.

Watch the crystals form layer by layer as the chemical reaction takes place, causing tendrils of metal to stretch farther and farther away from the center. 

If you like beautiful chemistry visuals, you can check out some of his other science-related work on his website.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Banner image by Maxim Bilovitskiy via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0