Building gingerbread houses is a huge part of Christmas. It's something that both kids and adults can enjoy. Of course, giving yourself a challenge like building the world's smallest gingerbread house can make things more interesting. That's exactly what a scientist at a Canadian University decided to do.

Travis Casagrande, a research associate at McMaster University, constructed the tiny little gingerbread house with the use of a powerful electron microscope (that can magnify up to 10 million times). He began by carving the individual pieces of the house out of a piece of silicon using a beam of charged gallium ions.

The construction of the tiny gingerbread house is incredibly detailed, and when you look at it, it's almost easy to forget that it's not even as tall as the width of a human hair.

The house itself is adorned with details like bricks, a Canadian flag welcome mat, and the McMaster logo on one side of the roof.

Casagrande had hoped that the fun Christmas-themed project would help draw attention to the capabilities of the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy.

"I think projects like this create science curiosity," Casagrande said in a news release, "I think for both children and adults, it’s important to be curious about science."

"Looking into how this was made leads to more interest in science, and that builds more science literacy, which allows everyone to make better decisions," he said. 

Casagrande had already tackled a similar project when, in 2017, he carved a Canadian flag on a flag pole set inside a hole in the back of a penny.

As a fun final reveal in the video documenting the project, it turns out that Casagrande actually created two tiny Christmas objects. the world's tiniest gingerbread house is actually sitting on top of a tiny snowman

All this goes to show that even people who work hard in the fields of scientific research every day love to embrace the holiday spirit. 

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