10 Fast Facts About Bacteria

Bacteria are microscopic organisms that exist in every environment, both inside and outside other organisms. While some are harmful, most serve a purpose. They support plant and animal life and are used in industrial and medicinal industries.  Although they have a bad reputation, they do a lot of good!

Facts About Bacteria: How They Eat

Bacteria get their energy through the consumption of organic carbon. Most absorb dead organic material and aid in decomposition. Some of these parasitic bacteria kill their host, while others help them. For example, bacteria in your gut absorb nutrients from digested foods you’ve eaten.

1) Older Than Dirt (Really!)

Bacteria has been on the planet for more than 3.5 billion years old, making them the oldest known life-form on earth.

2) They’re Fast

A bacterium can typically move about 100 times its body length in a second. To put that into perspective, a large fish can move only about 10 times its body length in the same time.

3) You Eat It

That yogurt you ate this morning?  That’s made with bacteria. Many snacks like yogurt, cheese, Kimchi, and miso are all made with bacteria.

4) Most Are Good

Your body has far more bacterial cells than human cells. They help with processes such as digestion and they defend your body from bad bacteria. Of all the bacteria in the world, less than 1 percent will make you sick.

5) They Go For Light Years

Lined up from end to end, bacteria would stretch out around 10 billion light years. That’s the distance from here to the edge of the universe.

6) Discovered in 1674

They weren’t discovered until 1674, when Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek spotted them as he was looking at scrapings from the human mouth under a newly invented microscope.

7) They Adapt Fast

Bacteria adapts quickly, making it hard to find an antibiotic that will work consistently. If you take antibiotics too often, bacteria can become resistant. This is why people with a long history of antibiotic use should undergo household testing to ensure there are no harmful bacteria present.

8) They’re Single-Celled

Bacterium (single bacteria) are made up of only one simple cell.

9) Unique Shape

Bacteria is most frequently shaped like a sphere, rod, or spiral. Some bacteria varies, and can be shaped like a comma or corkscrew.

10) They’re Tough

Different bacteria can survive in a variety of extreme conditions. From ice to hot springs, and even radioactive waste.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

For better or worse, you would not exist without bacteria. The oxygen you breathe was probably created with the help of bacteria!  That said, where there is good, there is very bad. It’s important to safeguard against bacterial invaders that could wreak havoc if given the chance!

To learn more about bacteria, and how to safeguard yourself and your home, Contact Us.

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