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August 11, 2017
Q. Last night, while you were sleeping, legions of eight-legged creatures had an orgy between your eyebrows, even as other creatures inhabit your every crevice. Whoooa! What's going on here?
A. Think of yourself as a menagerie, populated by mites, arthropods, lice, and all manner of bacteria and fungi, says Daniel Cossins in New Scientist magazine. Demodex mites, close relatives to ticks and spiders, are permanent and mostly harmless residents of the human face. In fact, says North Carolina State's Megan Thoemmes, “Every person we've looked at, we've found evidence of face mites.” Only 0.4 millimeters long, they live buried head-down in hair follicles by day, then crawl out at night to copulate. “They have no anus, so on death disgorge a lifetime of feces into your pores.”
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