Eerie footage of giant bacteria 5,000 times larger than average “swimming” in the swamp.

Researchers have identified a massive strand of bacteria floating in mangrove swamps in the Caribbean that’s the size of an eyelash, and you don’t need a microscope to see it

A 3D microscopic image of Thiomargarita magnifica
A 3D microscopic image of Thiomargarita magnifica

Bacteria large enough to be visible to the human eye have been discovered by scientists.

The strain of bacteria, named Thiomargarita magnifica, is the size of an eyelash and has been identified floating in mangrove swamps in the Caribbean.

The cells of most bacterial species are between 2 and 750 microns (ten thousand centimeters) long, but T. magnifica spans more than a centimeter.

To put this comparison in context, it was described as a person who “meets another human being as tall as Mount Everest.”

A research paper published in the journal on supersized bacteria Science said that the cells of T. magnifica “grow orders of magnitude beyond the theoretical limits of bacterial cell size.”

The French Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe, where the giant bacterium Thiomargarita magnifica was discovered


Lawrence Berkeley National Labor)

T. magnifica bucks the trend in biological standards for bacteria — single-celled organisms that lack the natural characteristics that large, complex organisms have to support their size — by growing so large.

DNA normally floats freely in the bacterial cell membrane because it does not have a nucleus to house the DNA molecules. The New York Times explains how this limits the growth of most DNA cells to a few microns.

However, scientists have discovered for the first time in a bacterium that T. magnifica has its own compartments for DNA.

Study leader Jean-Marie Volland said: “We found that within these bacteria there are structures that contain the DNA, and that means these structures separate the DNA from the rest of the cytoplasm.

“This is something unique that has never been observed in bacteria.”

The marine biologist who first found the large bacteria in the wild told the New York Times that he hasn’t seen them since.

The researchers will try to copy and grow the massive bacteria in a laboratory for further observations.

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Fry Electronics Team

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