Science-themed decor to beautify any nerdy home

Geeky art can look super cool.

There’s a ton of nerdy artwork out there, but far too much of it is—we’ll say it—ugly. That’s a shame, because science is absolutely beautiful. These prints highlight that beauty while also allowing you to express your inner dork. You may have to explain some of these to your house guests, but think of that as an opportunity to teach them something new and exciting.

A print for whiz kids everywhere

Urine chemistry print ($20+)

Urine for a real treat. Etsy

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This looks like a lovely abstract painting of various colored dots, which means when people compliment you on it innocently you get to say “thank you! It’s urinalysis results.” Yes, each row on this poster represents a specific urine test, and the colors show the various results that test can have. Relish how beautiful a gross test can be and hang this beauty on your wall ASAP.

Beautiful bacteria

Microbe collection ($20+)

Microbial majesty. Etsy

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As anyone who’s looked through a quality microscope knows, microbes are beautiful. They create their own little art, especially when stained, and this poster shows that off. Bonus points for giving this to someone who can identify them without looking at the included ID card.

A quaint family tree

Evolution chart ($14+)

Life as we used to know it. Etsy

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Is this a precise rendering of the best information we have on the genetic relations of every species on Earth? No. Will it remind you of old-timey phylogenetic trees and make you feel like perhaps Darwin himself drew it? Yes. Plus you get to learn what the heck “vermes” were!

An outstanding orrery

Wooden model of the solar system ($89)

Take a few trips around the sun. Etsy

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The original orreries were geocentric models of the solar system, since they predated the Copernican revolution, but this one—like all modern versions—is heliocentric. You can use it to predict the phases of the moon and see the Earth’s tilt in relation to the sun. Or you can just put it on your bookshelf and let it look pretty. Either way.

Lunar terrain you can touch

Moonscape wall art ($91+)

Moon over this gorgeous art. Etsy

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This is a wooden carving made from actual topographical scans that NASA made from the moon. And you can hang it on your wall. Honestly, don’t even get this for anyone else: just buy it for yourself.

A chart of the heavens

Astronomy print ($30)

My god, it’s full of stars. CognitiveSurplus

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When Apollo 11 went to the moon, they had to use stars to help calculate their position in space. They used this chart. Okay, not literally this exact chart, but this print is much more beautiful.

Elegant electrophoresis

Electrophoresis art ($20+)

Running gels sounded so good. sandraculliton

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The monotony of running endless electrophoresis gels can easily overshadow the incredible feat of engineering that allows us to separate bits of DNA by size inside a gelatinous rectangle, then see them glowing under a special light. This watercolor highlights the beauty of that process, with none of the tedium.

A new way to see your immune system

Antibody watercolor ($20+)

Thanks for looking out, bud. sandraculliton

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Immunoglobulin G is the most common type of antibody—the body’s first line of defense against an infection. The antibodies aren’t typically considered pretty, but when rendered in watercolor they take on kind of an abstract beauty.

Postcards from another planet

NASA space art ($10+)

I want to go to there. FineArtUSA

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If you’ve ever wished for a vintage travel poster to hang over your couch, we’ve got a much cheaper and nerdier alternative. These prints are from a series created by NASA, and feature imaginary tourism campaigns for alien worlds. They’re actually free to print, but let’s be realistic: you’re not going to get around to framing them yourself. Pay someone else to do it for you.

Vintage rock posters

Yaggy geological chart ($25+)

What’s more metal than a 19th-century geological chart? PencilofNaturePrints

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Levi Walter Yaggy has perhaps the greatest name ever, and the silliness of it belies his profession and passion: to create intricate geological charts for educational purposes. They are, however, lovely and have a nice vintage look to them—so your hipster friends will think they’re cool.

Phages to gaze upon

Bacteriophage poster ($24+)

Going through a phage. MimiPrints

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Scientists are still debating whether bacteriophages—viruses that infect bacteria by injecting their genetic material into them—are alive or not, but that won’t matter to you as you gaze at the vibrant, lively colors in this print.

A rainbow of pee

Antique urine chart ($19+)

Urine for (another) treat. PopMat

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Nothing says old-timey medicine like a urine color chart. This helpful antique print shows you a simple scale (though there’s no info on what each color means, you can assume than everything past “red” is not a good sign), plus some “simple home tests for urine.” Can or should you use this as a substitute for modern medical advice? No. But it will be a whimsical, if somewhat unappetizing, presence in your living room.

Nuanced neurons

Neurology print ($20+)

Give the gift of a few brain cells. sandraculliton

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Most of your visitors probably won’t know what these neurons are, which means you’ll get to enthusiastically explain a little neuroscience to every guest who enjoys the print.

Sara Chodosh

Sara Chodoshis an associate editor at PopSci where she writes about everything from vaccine hesitancy to extreme animal sex. She got her master's degree in science journalism at NYU's Science Health and Environmental Reporting Program, and is getting a second master's in data visualization from the University of Girona. Contact the author here.