Seeing the Invisible

After watching a program on H2 History Channel last night, I understand why I am a writer instead of a biologist. A program called, “The Invisible” confirmed I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I will never be sad again that I have never looked through a microscope. You see, my vivid imagination would drive me mad if I could see what I wasn’t meant to see.

In fact, I learned that we humans only see 1% of our world. The other 99% is invisible—and believe me, it’s a good thing. Here’s why.

  • Did you know that part of dust is really human skin? Yup. As disgusting as that is, it’s the truth. We constantly slough off our dead skin, and then the scary part happens. Dust mites come along and eat the stuff. They digest it, poop it out and ta-ta! They leave behind DUST. Isn’t that a grand thing to know? Here’s a picture of the critters en masse.
Attacking dust mites

Attacking dust mites

Even though these things look like something out of Star Wars, they are everywhere we are. Imagine if you could see the millions of these critters inundating your pillow and mattress when you go to bed at night. I think I’d try sleeping standing up!  One thing is for sure, I know I’m going to close my eyes when I empty the vacuum bin from now on.

  • Did you know that bacteria is everywhere? Take salmonella for instance. Here’s what one of these micro-organisms look like:

Disecting a Salmonella

Worst of all, this critter is on the food we eat. Of course, we humans are usually smart enough to outwit the beasts. We just have to heat our food to 200 degrees Farenheit and the little suckers die! That will teach those nasty bugs to get on my food!  I know my meat will be “well-done ” from now on just to make sure I’ve annihilated them!

  • Then there’s mold. Molds are a type of fungi which are related to mushrooms, but do not have stems, roots or leaves as mushrooms do. Instead, they have lightweight spores that can float through the air, somewhat like pollen spores. They thrive in damp, dark places—indoors and outside. These nasty little buggers trigger asthma and allergies.
Mold and mold spores

Mold and mold spores

As incredible as it is to know so much of what is around me is a another whole world, I’m elated I can’t see it. I’m too big a chicken! I would go mad–or at least need therapy–if I saw these microbes sharing my world.

But now I have a true dilemma. What do I do now that I realize these micro creepy crawlies live everywhere?  I can’t be oblivious any more thanks to the knowledge I gained last night! I can’t even hide under the covers in my own bed for fear a colony of dust mites will attack as I sleep!

I guess the answer is lies in knowing these bugs have been around longer than I have. I’ll respect that the are there, serving a purpose like all other animals and plants in our world. Then I’ll go back to my writing profession, knowing it’s a good thing  I’ve been planted in front of a keyboard instead of a microscope, and I’ll bravely carry on.

 

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3 thoughts on “Seeing the Invisible

  1. So I guess if we didn’t have dust mites there would just be layers of skin hanging around the house – ikes! I think I’d prefer the mites 😯

    I love those kind of shows – they really open your eyes to the world 😀

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