The universe today is host to a vast network of galaxies and an even richer array of invisible dark matter structures. But this was not always the case. The universe was nearly uniform until a time of about 100 million years, when the first cosmic structures gravitationally condensed. These objects were made of dark matter alone and each may have weighed no more than the Earth. Most of these objects do not last long: they rapidly grow and cluster together to form the much larger systems that we know today. Despite this, scientists at MPA have discovered in high-resolution simulations that some unique features of the first structures survive this process. Their lingering imprint could manifest itself in astronomical observations, yielding clues to the identity of dark matter.