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  • - [Narrator] There's a creature scurrying

  • across your face right now. Yes, you,

  • and at some point, maybe now, maybe in a few days,

  • it's going to find a nice cozy pore in your skin

  • and lay a single enormous egg.

  • Meet the face mites. They're smaller than a grain

  • of sand, are a kind of arachnid like spiders,

  • and they feast on the oil and cells in your skin,

  • particularly on your oily nose, cheeks, and forehead.

  • Scientists suspect they've been living on us

  • since the dawn of humanity over 200,000 years ago,

  • and today, studies suggest practically every adult

  • on the planet has thousands of them.

  • Odds are you've been living with them your whole life.

  • Babies quickly get them from their parents

  • a few days after birth, and once those face mites

  • are on you, the only thing they enjoy as much

  • as slurping oil and nutrients from your pores is

  • having sex all over your face.

  • Afterwards, females burrow deep

  • into your pores where they lay their eggs.

  • The eggs end up in one of two places

  • depending on the species of face mite.

  • The first species, called Demodex folliculorum,

  • lays its eggs in your hair follicle,

  • while the second prefers nesting in your sebaceous glands.

  • And in under two weeks, the babies hatch,

  • mate, lay their own eggs and die,

  • leaving behind a pile of decomposing corpses.

  • Now, you can wash some of this off,

  • but you'll never eradicate them completely

  • because even if you treat them with antibiotics,

  • they'll return in about six weeks, tops.

  • You'll pick them up from towels, pillows,

  • and your loved ones.

  • Well, that all sounds horrific,

  • but usually face mites are harmless.

  • They only become a problem when they multiply

  • out of control. This can happen in people

  • with an impaired immune system.

  • It's also been seen in people with a painful skin

  • condition called rosacea.

  • Normally, you'll have around one or two mites

  • per square centimeter of skin,

  • but one study found that people with rosacea

  • had 10 times the normal amount.

  • Believe it or not, in some cases,

  • face mites can be useful.

  • Researchers can actually study your face mites

  • to learn about your ancestors.

  • You see, most mites often stay within a community.

  • So over time, they've evolved into distinct lineages

  • in different geographic regions, and by comparing

  • their DNA, scientists can trace how different groups

  • of humans migrated across the world.

  • For example, a study found that European mites

  • genetically diverged from East Asian mites

  • around 40,000 years ago.

  • That's the same time European and East Asian humans

  • parted ways. Pretty handy.

  • So when it comes down to bugs crawling all over you,

  • it could be a lot worse.

- [Narrator] There's a creature scurrying

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The Bugs That Lay Eggs In Your Face

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/29
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