Scientists have discovered the world’s biggest bacterium.
Often when we hear the word ‘bacteria,’ we think of teeny-tiny organisms that you need a microscope to see.
However, a newly discovered bacterium can be seen without using a microscope. It is about the same size and shape as a human eyelash. it is known as the Thiomargarita magnifica!
Thiomargarita magnifica was discovered living on sunken, decaying mangrove tree leaves in a swamp in Guadeloupe, a group of islands in the Caribbean.
At about 1cm long, Thiomargarita magnifica, is about 50 times larger than all other bacteria and the first to be visible with the naked eye.
The organism isn’t dangerous and can’t cause disease in humans.
What are bacteria?
Bacteria are small single-celled organisms.
They are found in their millions in almost every habitat on Earth: soil, rock, oceans, and even arctic snow, and are a vital part of the world’s ecosystem.
Bacteria are in the human body. In fact, there are around 10 times as many bacterial cells as there are human cells in the human body!
Most bacteria are harmless, and some are even helpful, but a small number of species can cause diseases.