As a new-comer to North Carolina, I’ve been on the look out for things I can adopt and be proud of. I was an Oregonian for 20+ years. And Oregon is awesome. So, my goal has been to look for things that are different, and unique.
There’s a lot! From the amazing BBQ, to the Appalachian hills (they call mountains), to a plethora of awesome people, I’m finding that I really like it here in the South-that-is-called-the-North (confusing).
But, up until today, I didn’t have anything I could truly sink my teeth into… thank god for mites having sex on my face!
North Carolina State University is behind a huge effort to study the poorly understood hitchhikers you’re carrying around on your face, right now: Face Mites.
Check out their Meet Your Mites
During the day, they hide in your follicles, feeding upon your precious bodily fluids. At night, they come out to make sweet love on your face. Yay, Science!
Your body harbors at least two closely-related species of mites: Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis. Both live in your hair follicles, but folliculorum live in the follicles’ main cavity, whereas the smaller brevis live in something called the sebaceous gland, which secretes a waxy oil called sebum — likely the mites’ main food source.
Both types of Demodex are densest on the face — especially near the nose, eyebrows, eyelashes, and hairline — but they live anywhere on your body where hair follices are. Scientists, however, have never fully studied the total abundance of mites on the human body. Dan Fergus, a researcher that works with [Holly] Menninger, estimates that the average person has between 1.5 and 2.5 million mites, but no one really knows.
Interestingly, while 99.9% of adults have them, few children do, and only 70% of 18 year olds have them. One theory is that we get them via human-on-human lovin’. So, meta.
Here’s a sexy video:
Now go lift something heavy,
PS. photo from the North Carolina State University’s Meet Your Mites project.