Japan has created what it is claiming is the smallest ever printed book, with pages measuring 0.75 millimetres (0.03 inches) which are impossible to read with the naked eye.
The 22-page micro-book, entitled Shiki no Kusabana (flowers of seasons), contains names and monochrome illustrations of Japanese flowers such as the cherry and the plum. Toppan Printing, who have been making micro books since 1964, said letters just 0.01 mm wide were created using the same technology as money printers use to prevent forgery.
The book is on display at Toppan’s Printing Museum in Tokyo, and is on sale, together with a magnifying glass and a larger copy, for 29,400 yen (£205).
Toppan said it would be applying to Guinness World Records to claim the title of world’s smallest book, presently held by a 0.9 mm, 30-page Russian volume called Chameleon, created by Siberian craftsman Anatoliy Konenko in 1996.
The smallest reproduction of a printed book is Teeny Ted from Turnip Town, a Canadian book that cost £10,000. It was 0.07 mm x 0.10 mm and the letters are carved into 30 microtablets on a polished piece of crystalline silicon.
It would be great to find something like this trapped in a billion year old glob of amber.