needle in a haystack, (like finding) a

needle in a haystack

Something that is very difficult to locate. Trying to find my contact lens on the floor was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
See also: haystack, needle

needle in a haystack

An item that is very hard or impossible to locate, as in Looking for that screw in Dean's workshop amounts to looking for a needle in a haystack. Originating in the early 1500s, with meadow instead of haystack, this metaphor exists in many other languages as well.
See also: haystack, needle

a needle in a haystack

something that is almost impossible to find because it is concealed by so many other similar things.
2002 New York Times Magazine Terrorists don't fit a consistent profile: you're looking for a needle in a haystack, but the color and shape of the needle keep changing.
See also: haystack, needle

needle in a haystack, (like finding) a

An item that is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find. This term dates from the sixteenth century, although “haystack” at first appeared as “meadow” (in Sir Thomas More’s Works, 1532), “bottle of hay” (Robert Greene, 1592), or “load of hay” (John Taylor, 1619). The same metaphor exists in numerous languages.
See also: needle