While we might consider our bodies to be completely our own, the truth is that that around 90% of the cells that make up a human are actually not part of us at all. Instead, they are made up of billions of different bugs, ranging from bacteria to parasitic creatures that depend on you to live. Unlike bugs you didn't realize you're eating all the time, most of these inhabitants provide a mutually beneficial service, getting rid of harmful bacteria or protecting us against infections, so they cannot simply be considered pests.
The diversity of the human body also makes it the perfect environment for other types of organisms. Insects, mites, and lice can all make their home on the surface of the skin, biting into the flesh to feed on blood. Many of the disgusting creatures that live on your body have evolved to specialize in a particular area and are capable of living their entire lives on your skin while you go about your daily business. All around the world, these little guys are feeding, mating, and laying eggs in human hair and flesh.
So whether it's microscopic creatures or visible insects, your body can literally be teaming with life that you might much prefer wasn’t there at all.
Chiggers, Larvae That Use Chemicals To Form Holes In Your Skin
Chiggers are a species of trombiculidae that are closely related to ticks. However, they are much smaller than their relatives and will usually only reach sizes of around 0.4 mm, meaning they are practically microscopic and difficult to spot. Capable of living in almost any sort of vegetation, they attach to a host - including humans - during their larval stage so that they can feed on blood.
They do this by using chemicals to form a hole in the flesh rather than biting. The disgusting creatures continue to live on the human body until they are finished feeding and simply drop off to mature into their harmless adult forms.44353Is this creepy?
- Photo: Content Providers(s): CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan; Richard Pollack. Photo Credit: Piotr Naskrecki / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain6
Bed Bugs, Sneaky Nighttime Residents Of Your Body
Bed bugs are a common problem throughout the world. These small, oval-shaped insects can reach sizes of up to 5 mm long, and they feed on blood. While they do not technically live on the human body, they do spend an extended amount of time on people during the night, when they crawl out from their hiding spots in beds and mattresses to bite exposed skin.
Thankfully, they are usually harmless and do not spread any diseases, though some people can suffer from an allergic reaction if bitten.55688Is this creepy?
Body Lice, Who Evolved Along With Human Clothing
Unlike their relatives the head lice, these parasitic insects tend to live mostly on clothing. They first originated some 100,000 years ago, around the same time humans began to wear clothes, and only travel to the skin to feed.
The creatures have a similar life cycle to head lice and are around the same size and shape. Luckily, they are far rarer than their head brethren as they only affect those who don’t have access to regular bathing and washing facilities or clean clothing.41350Is this creepy?
Scabies Mites, Who Thrive In Prisons And Hospitals
The scabies mite is a microscopic creature that can live on your body. Although they aren’t particularly common, the organisms can spread quickly in populated or confined spaces, such as prisons and hospitals. The tiny mites burrow into the skin and lay eggs in the flesh.
This causes rashes and irritation to the skin, often prompting severe itchiness. Outbreaks can become severe in a short amount of time as the mites are highly contagious and can pass on with brief contact.39261Is this creepy?