Artist Creates Beautiful Art Using Subway Bacteria

Craig Ward collected bacteria from each NYC train line.

— -- If you've ever wondered (and feared) just what is lurking on the subway handrail, artist Craig Ward has your answer: plenty of bacteria.

"You hold the handrails, you’re shaking hand with 100 people all at once," Ward told ABC News. A typographer by profession, Ward had the idea to grow the bacteria in the shape of every line's number or letter. For example, all the bacteria from the A train, which stretches from the tip of Manhattan to the outer reaches of Queens, was grown in the shape of an A.

"I think there was a morbid curiosity with the whole project," Ward said. "I was surprised by how well it turned out."

Ward said the project helped him think about the diversity of New York.

"For me, it’s interesting portraits of the city on a microbial scale," Ward said. But he's also become more aware of his surroundings on the subway.

"I’m not going to try boost sales of hand sanitizer," said Ward. "[But] I’m a little bit more mindful."