It's often said that why we might think we are a single organism - a single human that thinks, breathes, eats, sleeps, and dies - we're really not. Like the Portuguese man o' war isn't a single jellyfish, but an entire colony of tiny creatures that each perform a specific role to keep the whole thing functioning, we're a walking, talking microbe farm, and we all carry more bacterial cells than human ones at any given moment.
It's not so bad thinking about the microbes that live in your gut or saliva, just silently helping us digest our food so we don't have to think about it. But it's a little bit more awkward when we have to start seriously thinking about the things that are living right there on our faces. In our eyelashes, across our eyebrows, and just under the skin. Ugh.
Or, you know, you could think of it like Hank Green does in the latest episode of SciShow - you're not alone, be happy, because you've got hundreds of animals living on your face!
Specifically, we're talking about Demodex mites, which are microscopic arachnids (so spiders and ticks are their relatives) that mirgrate towards our hair follicles and oil glands. They love all types of mammals, but there are two species of Demodex mites that live exclusively on humans - Demodex folliculorum, known for being the bigger one with the slightly rounder bottom, and Demodex brevim, of the slightly more pointy bottom.
You can thank your parents for the colony of Demodex mites that are currently burrowing, feeding, breeding and pooping all over your face, says Hank, and your friends, family, and significant others can thank you for some of theirs, because these creatures migrate from human to human as we make contact with one another.
And while if you have a healthy population of these guys living on your face, you're unlikely to ever notice them, until of course they rise up, overpopulate, and do horrible things to your skin. I'll let Hank explain what happens next in the episode of SciShow above, because it's got to do with poop - or rather, not pooping, for an entire lifetime, and then poop exploding all over your face upon death - and we're still laughing/crying about how hilariously gross this all is.