Yikes, mites!

facemite

Guess where this little guy’s home is? HInt: Imagine him 400 times smaller. He’s right in front of your eyes, literally.

By the way, I’m not into creepy crawlers. Well, maybe I do find them fascinating, but I had no idea what was crawling around on my own face. All of us have hundreds of these tiny things. This really is weirder than Science Fiction. Do these mites that live on our faces have mites living on theirs on ad infinitum?

Look at the reaction of the girl who had her face scraped and examined what was living on her cute little cheeks.

face-mite-event

They evidently crawl inside our pores, and other kinds live on our skin elsewhere on our bodies. I wonder why, and I wonder if they are useful to us in any way like the bacteria in our intestines.

What is bizarre is that these mighty mites can tell researchers much about our ancestry. We take these creatures with us wherever we go. They don’t jump off when we touch cheeks and air kiss, so each person and family has their own brand of little ones.

Since 2013, scientists have been conducting a project called Meet your Mites and have done scrapings of over 400 people to learn more about these creatures who live out their lives on our faces. Our faces are like planets.

Michelle Trautwein, an evolutionary biologist at the California Academy of Sciences says “When you get to know them, they’re actually pretty adorable.” Hmm. She even says because their nature goes back to our ancestors we should think of them as “family heirlooms.”

Anyone for a face mask scrub?

Pictures and adaptation from Meet Your Mites, Rob Dunn Lab  and

Our Parasites And Vermin Reveal Secrets Of Human History by Rai Ellen Bichell for of NPR.

 

 

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