Contemplate the final point of a sentence in a book. Or maybe the final point of this very sentence . Try to expand it. Imagine that you make it gigantic. That you can peek inside.
In the following image you can see everything that would fit inside.
All the life that surrounds us
What is evident in this shocking image is that life surrounds us, life is everywhere (whether we see it or not), and it also penetrates us, sits on our skin, helps us to live, kills us.
Some even suck . But bacteria generate foul odors not as part of their waste material, but as a means of preventing us from eating their food.
Special mention should be made of body bacteria . Most of these species are not pathogens, but detritivores that feed on our body as it decomposes. In fact, we leave a trail of life everywhere: our skin peels off as we roam around the house in a process called "peeling."
50 million scales per day
We all break down at the rate of approximately 50 million scales a day. Each flake of skin that swarms through the air contains, in turn, thousands of bacteria that live and feed on it, as Rob Dunn explains in his book Home Alone? :
On the back of those skin parachutes, these bacteria shed from us like a constant snowfall. We also release bacteria through bodily fluids (saliva and so forth) and in the feces that we deposit here and there. As a consequence, the places at home where we spend time bear marks of our presence. Each place analyzed in any room where we lay our bodies contains microbial signs of lived life.
In fact, where we put more time the body (regardless of the humidity and temperature of the site) contains more mites. Matt Colloff , from the University of Glasgow, found in a study that he himself "left" 18 species of mites in total wherever he perched , mostly on his bed mattress. Mostly there were dust mites and dust mite predators, living there on his mattress and feeding on his body as he flaked off.
All this, in addition to disgust in the strict sense of the word, can also serve us to debate about moral disgust, the arbitrary lines that we establish to consider a life worthy of being protected, ignored or even eliminated. The bioethical conflicts that arise regarding the abortion debate , for example, can be greatly enriched thanks to data like this, and others that you can see in the following video (not suitable for those who are very, very sure that they have the truth) :