After centuries of cutting each other open and rigorously documenting the prizes found inside, you would think we human beings would have discovered pretty much all there is to know about our bodies. But, you would think wrong ...
5 There Are Tiny Spiders Living in Your Face Right Now
Sometime in 2014, scientists pointed a high-powered electron microscope at the surface of the human face, and they still haven't stopped screaming. What they saw in the high-resolution moonscape of the average human mug looked something like this:
Those blue things are tiny arachnids known as "Demodex brevis," and they live in your pores right now. Yes, in your pores. Researchers discovered that precisely 100 percent of people examined were home to massive colonies of microscopic face spiders.
Whoa, hey -- stop clawing at your skin; you need that to live.
Piotr Marcinski/iStock/Getty Images
You'll just make the spiders angry.
As you can imagine, some people react poorly to mites holding massive raves all up in their grills. It's now thought that a common skin condition called rosacea, which leads to rashes and inflammation, might be caused by an immune reaction to these scaled-down Lovecraftian monsters. But, hey, life isn't exactly rosy for our face friends, either: They don't live long, so nature never bothered to give them an ass. They stick around just long enough to gorge themselves, lay eggs, and die. So, that's sort of an upside: At least the millions of arachnids living in your face aren't using it as a port-a-John.
Oh wait, it says here that they just store all that poop up, and, when they die, it releases all at once, all over your face.
Manure: fertilizer for your skin, by your skin.
Sorry. There is no upside to this news.
4 The Bugs in Your Guts Influence Your Daily Life
Medical science has always known that we're packed full of tiny critters, known as "intestinal microflora," which help or hinder us in various ways. But, it's only recently that we've been able to glimpse the full extent of their influence. So much so that many now consider our internal ecosystem to be an actual organ in and of itself, as important as the liver or the pancreas or the dong bladder.
What? Did we spell dong bladder wrong? We didn't pay much attention in biology class ...
The bugs in your guts help to regulate the metabolism, assist the immune system, and fight disease. And they're no small deal -- there are about 100 trillion of them living inside you right now, accounting for about 1 to 2 kilograms of your total body weight. That's right: You're not fat, you're just big bacteria-ed.
And good luck convincing those fatasses to get on a treadmill.
But, not all gut microbes are benevolent. After the germs learned how to hijack our body like the Statue of Liberty in Ghostbusters II, some of them decided to use that power for evil. Recent studies have suggested that certain kinds of gut microbes have evolved to influence the vagus nerve (the nerve that links the brain and the gut), as they can force us to crave certain foods.
These microbes happen to prefer sugary or high fat foods to healthier alternatives, and they may be part of the reason some of us have the uncontrollable urge to binge on cheese until we sweat skim milk. By releasing chemicals that stimulate our nervous system to affect our cravings, or to light up our satisfaction nodes when their demands are met, they can effectively dictate our dietary choices according to their own whims. As such, it's thought that these greedy internal puppet masters might be partly responsible for today's epidemics of obesity and diabetes.
"But, sure, go on about what a marvel your brain is. We'll just be here, playing you like a violin."
Fortunately, it's possible to beat them at their own game -- by abstaining from microbe-driven cravings, no matter how hard they kick and shout, you can essentially starve them out. Dieting is basically genocide. Listen closely, and you may be able to hear their anguished screams.