02 February 2015

"In your face" mites

Did you know there are "face mites" and that every adult harbors them?
They are so small that a dozen of them could dance on the head of a pin. They are more likely, though, to dance on your face, which they do at night when they mate, before crawling back into your follicles by day to eat. In those caves mother mites give birth to a few relatively large mite-shaped eggs. The eggs hatch, and then, like all mites, the babies go through molts in which they shed their external skeleton and emerge slightly larger. Once they’re full size, their entire adult life lasts only a few weeks. Death comes at the precise moment when the mites, lacking an anus, fill up with feces, die, and decompose on your head.
I'll leave out any photographs so as not to creep out sensitive readers; you can view a gallery at National Geographic.

You learn something every day.


  1. Thanks for that lovely image! I knew about the mites that live in/on our eyelashes ~ that was gross enough! But all over our face?!?!

  2. Having difficulty making sense of the magnification numbers, which would suggest that some of the specimens from the gallery are 0.03 mm in size, which is not that small. Digital calipers measure up to a 0.01 of a mm. (picture of 0.02 m across magnified 629x).
    I rest easy knowing that I probably ground a dozen of those into dust today with my Panasonic Wet/Dry electric shaver.

  3. Goodness Gracious, such lovely thoughts. This is something I would rather not think about. I had actually read about these creatures before. The article said that people with roseacea have many more of these little critters than other people. I sleep better with amnesia on this topic. Creepy!

  4. One more thought -

    Big fleas have little fleas

    Upon their backs to bite 'em;

    And little fleas have lesser fleas

    And so, ad infinitum.
    Ogden Nash

  5. > fill up with feces, die, and decompose on your head.

    hence the origin of the term 'poopy head'. :-)



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