Chances are you experienced the weird joy of petri dishes when you were in school. The little discs of jelly that are the perfect home for bacteria are a staple of both the high school science lab and actual, bonafide laboratories around the world. But this year, they made the jump from tool of research to work of art.

The American Society of Microbiology just hosted its first ever Agar Art contest. Microbiologists from around the country worked with yeast, proteins, and bacteria to make miniature art projects in petri dishes. Definitely a step up from the old “touch the petri dish and wait to see what grows” experiment from school.

Along with flowers and butterflies, some went all out to create things like a map of New York and skeleton.

But the biggest hit from the contest was scientist Melanie Sullivan’s recreation of Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” Impressive right?

The winners of the contest were Mehmet Berkmen and Maria Penil, who created “Neurons.” Very in keeping with the science theme.

Science, just when we think you’ve outdone yourself, you find a new and exciting way to impress us. Of course, we’ll probably skip picking up petri dishes next time we make a craft supply run. Best to leave the bacterial creations to the experts!

You can see all the submissions at the ASM Facebook page!

(Images via Twitter/Agar Art)