Though no IRL germs can hold a candle to the adorable plush E. Coli dolls my mother would never let me have, it turns out subway germs are rather nice to look at, as evidenced by one artist's aesthetically pleasing photos of all the bacteria wriggling around on the poles. Which, as we've mentioned time and time again, are pretty much mobile petri dishes that carry you from home to work while potentially inflicting you with disease.

Photographer and artist Craig Ward captured the above images of microbes this past summer, collecting samples from hand rails, seats and other surfaces on each of the city's 22 lines. He photographed the samples, identified them by bacteria type, and compiled them into a stunning series, dubbed "Subvisual Subway"—found germs include E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus, none of which sound good but all of which are relatively harmless, provided you wash your hands and avoid licking any hard surfaces on the C train.