You Have A Personal Microbe Cloud That Follows You Everywhere

When it comes to bacteria, we already know that we're literally covered in the stuff. We've made our peace with that, but new research shows that it's all around us as well — in a small, personalized cloud.

Related: 10 Personal Items You Don't Want To Share

Researchers from the University of Oregon recently conducted a small study on the human microbiome and how the bacteria inside of you shows up outside your body. By simply testing the air around their 11 study participants, the researchers found that they could identify thousands of types of bacteria, most of which were the same as those found on that person's skin or in his or her mouth. Study author James F. Meadow added that the researchers "were surprised to find that we could identify most of the occupants just by sampling their microbial cloud."

Related: Confessions of a Germaphobe: Will These Weird Habits Protect Me (Or You) From Germs?

In other words, the bacteria you're emitting isn't just some generic microbe smog — while the types of bacteria found around the participants were the same, the combinations differed from person to person. Everyone walks around with a cloud of bacteria specific only to them, making your personal germs essentially a second fingerprint. It's a little unsettling at first, but remember that bacteria is right at home in your body, and you actually need it to be healthy. Beyond that, if you think of our bacteria clouds as just another way we're all special, it's kind of nice.

Click through to
Shape to learn more about the tiny world around (and inside) us.
(Shape)

Related: 7 Things You’re Not Washing (But Should Be)

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