Nothing is as it appears. The wavelengths of visible light are about the size of bacteria, roughly a very small pinhead. Anything smaller than that is invisible to our eyes; it disappears between the crests of the waves. Things have to fit into categories of size and frequency and visibility, just to manifest appearance; appearance being the key word.
Speaking of waves, what exactly are they? Vibrations, of course. And vibrations? Does anyone really know? Without delving into the metaphysical, motion is the only thing we can say.
Every atom is in motion. And the parts of the atoms, the protons and electrons, are in motion. Each particle is spinning; the entire atom is spinning; atoms joined to others in compounds are in motion. This motion ultimately is vibration. Every particle has a specific purpose, a specific vibration, and they unfold in a harmonic pattern of creativity.
Every time we build a bigger telescope, or a more powerful microscope, the mysterious moves one step ahead. Our ever evolving new description inevitably has etheric origins beyond our tools capacity. It is these etheric origins that drive us all to understand the nature of things, and what is driving every atom into motion.