Scientists have recently discovered tiny spiders living on our faces. Actually, they’re called faced mites and they live on virtually every human on the planet.
According to researchers, no matter how much you wash your face the mites are here to stay. Scientists have discovered that your face’s pores are home to organisms that have literally evolved to live there.
In the study, scientists found two species of human face mites. At least one of the species, either demodex folliculorum or demodex brevis, have now been seen in every human ethnic group.
To test for the mites, researchers at North Carolina State University developed a special DNA test. Apparently the mites, which are undetectable by most methods, never poop until they die. Then they release a lifetimes worth of excrement on our faces. This fact enabled scientist to develop the test that detects the mites.
In the study, mite DNA was found on 100 percent of tested adults, suggesting the mites are on every human.
Says study co-author Megan Thoemmes, “They’re actually pretty cute. With their eight little legs, the look like they’re almost swimming through the oil [on our faces]. It’s like having friends with you all the time. Realizing that everyone has them and they’re likely not causing any problems, it is pretty reassuring.”
Among the myriad of interesting findings is the fact that the two mite species are not close genetic relatives. This indicates humans picked up the two mites from two distinct hosts at some point in the past. D. brevis is more closely related to dog mites than D. folliculorum according to the researchers.
Humans aren’t alone when it comes to mites. The tiny arachnids live on every species of mammal.
The mites have probably been on our faces for a very long time, at least since the suspected exodus of man from Africa. When we spread across the Earth, the mites came with us.