It’s True: Over Half of Your Body Isn’t Human

It’s True: Over Half of Your Body Isn’t Human

Ever feel like you were once too close to an alien space invasion? There could be a good scientific reason for this.

A recent report on BBC.com details how, as people, we’re really on about 50% human. The rest of us isn’t actually Martian, but get this: 57% of our body is made up of microscopic creatures or colonists. Over half your torso and limbs isn’t you!

These creatures form your microbiome and in reality, they are more numerous in number than your human cells are.

Where are they hiding out? Everywhere, (and you can’t shower them away). The vast majority of this microscopic life lives deep in your bowels and includes everything from bacteria to fungi, archaea and viruses. Yum.

Related: Social Stress Leads to Changes in Gut Bacteria, Even if You’re a Hamster: Study

One of the most interesting things about all these ‘guests’ is that they help to create the person you are, the report indicates.

As Prof Sarkis Mazmanian, a microbiologist from Caltech, told the BBC: “We don’t have just one genome, the genes of our microbiome present essentially a second genome which augment the activity of our own. What makes us human is, in my opinion, the combination of our own DNA, plus the DNA of our gut microbes.”

So, there you are. Lost your job and the dog ate your homework? Yes, it could be (sort of) your fault, but it also could be all that sneaky bacteria working away in your system. There’s more to you than…you.

Photo credits: Iurii Matviienko/Shutterstock.com

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