Life is fascinating. The fact that we are built up of millions of cells, each having their own purpose and lifespan - and miraculously those cells are held together to form us … a unique individual, is magnificent. We in turn, are little planets that supply nourishment to a series of creatures most of which are not visible to the naked eye. One of the most intriguing is a tiny, thin creature that is called a follicle mite or Demodex follicarum. These often live at the base of our eyelashes. In measurements that we can understand this tiny mite is approximately one hundredth of an inch in length. It has a fierce mouth with needle sharp cutting devices and minute clasping claws. It uses its claws and mouth to bury itself deep inside a hair follicle and remains there its entire life for it can only move in one direction and that is forwards. It is, however, one of the most efficient creatures on the planet as it makes use of the entirety of its food supply (us) and has no need of an anus as it produces no waste. When it eventually dies it harmlessly dissolves and leaves the hair follicle remarkably clean. Not everyone will home this little creature and as yet it appears there is little knowledge on how it travels from one person to another … but if you do have them they are it is alleged, entirely harmless.
Follicle mite, Demodex follicarum
Head and legs of the Follicle mite, Demodex follicarum