As far as I know, the face mite is the only living animal that doesn’t poop.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t trust an animal that never pinched off a loaf. It’s just not healthy to keep too much to yourself. I’m willing to give the face mite a pass, though, because there’s no arguing with them at this point. They’re set in their ways. Also in your pores.
Face mites are very small spider relatives that sit on your face. They look like a worm that changed its mind at one end, jamming in eight legs in a bunch. The other end is where the anus orter be but ain’t. This is what happens when you rush a project without proper planning.
So what the face mite does is store up an entire lifetime’s worth of crap and then, predictably, drops dead. Fortunately, it only lives about two weeks, but still. That’s backed-up. It does all of this–growing up, having sex, dying, rotting, and dropping off its old shit, on your face. Mostly in your hair follicles or pores, but it moves around at night, and at a pretty good clip, considering. The female lays a heart-shaped egg half her own size in one of your sebaceous glands, and that hatches into a six-legged larva, later tacks on an extra pair of legs when it remembers it’s in the spider family, and then it continues to eat your face until it dies.
Under the circumstances I don’t get too worked up about having face mite poop disintegrate on my face, since its food came from my face to begin with. I think about it as being more of a compost situation.
This is the kind of thing that makes people itchy, though. There’s a whole industry in cosmetic exfoliation because people can’t even stand having their own personal dead skin cells on them, and they will polish their faces to a high gloss with scrubs and little Dremel tools so as to get down to the young juicy layers. They’re faithless, though. They’ll give that beautiful young skin no more than a day or two and grind it off again. And this is without even knowing about the mites.
Scientists knew about the mites relatively early. The face mite was first described in 1841 and called Acarus folliculorum. Nobody paid much attention. The next year someone called it Demodex folliculorum and everybody went Oh, sure, Demodex. We know all about that. They discovered there was a long form and a short form, just like taxes, and it was 1972 before it was finally confirmed, in a real groundbreaker, that they were two different species, in a report that also did not receive much attention.
Both of them sit on your face, to the degree they can sit, without a butt. They stick their heads into your sebaceous glands with their sealed nethers sticking out. Except when they’re motoring around at night.
They don’t bother me. When you’ve got enough years in your back pocket, you have a much better grasp of what isn’t going to harm you (face mites and refugees) and what is (falling down and global warming).
So they’re all welcome here. Tolerance and compassion are my goals. A face mite wants to drop an anchor larva on my eyelid, I say go ahead on. I’m a Democrat.
Queasily laughing–an interesting way to start the day!
I wonder if those two words have been put together before?
Of course they have. Queasy laughing and shame-faced sniggering are part of the reason that people say I laugh at the 'wrong' things.
And hooray for tolerance and compassion. And beasties which don't crap on me – physically OR metaphorically.
Hmm. That would be your octopuses?
I'll bet that if everyone knew about these that there are some who would take a stump grinder to their faces, just to get rid of them.
A stump grinder. I didn’t think I could be more weirded out on this post. I should probably stop reading the comments right here.
All these years and THIS is what's going to do you in?
Sorry Nance! This time of year Fargo is often playing in the back of my alleged mind.
Murr, that’s exactly my question. Jono, that’s exactly what I thought of.
Might be my favorite movie.
"Animals that are literally full of shit live on your face."
Now that's a thought for the day.
They're livin' small, though.
I know you have a thing for poop but this article puts you into revered status among poop nerds.
I had to say "living" animal because evidently there is an extinct animal that also did not poop. Which should be a lesson for the face mites.
anusorterbebutaint…a new species
It looks French from here.
I'm pretty sure ticks are arse-less, too.Some reason about the god fellow being a bit busy the day he made the tick.Probably trying to fix the cube business in the wombat region.
(There'll probably be a rush on hand sanitizers now!)
Ticks poop. Poop with Lyme disease in it. Yet another of their lovely features.
Face mites??? I've never heard of those before. I thought head lice were bad enough, now I need to get out the strong torch and see if any bits of my face are moving. Sheesh!
You have heard of facial tics though, right?
Highly entertaining — and it didn't even skeeve me out, but only because I've had about forty years to get used to the idea of the little critters tagging along everywhere I go. It skeeved me out back THEN, though. (And the no pooping part was news, so there's my new thing I've learned today.) They are dang poor in the looks department, aren't they?
I have been apprised that this photo I stole off the internet is NOT a face mite, but a silkworm. I'm really sorry. You can't believe everything you steal off the internet.
Well, I wondered! I thought mites were . . . leggier? More like a spider? Now I need to go look that up.
Laugh out loud funny and educational, and no butts.
Long skinny butts with no hole.
As ever, hilarious and entertaining…But damnit, Murr, now I can't quit scratching my head and face!
And that's why people take the dremel tool to their faces.
This is the first time you've published something that simply isn't, can't, and won't ever be true. This. is. fiction. Please? GACCCKKKKKKK
The first photo is wrong. Everything else is right on the money.
I used to give a brief introduction to these critters to my freshman biology classes. It was always interesting to see the students start to rub and scratch and otherwise pester their faces as I described the critters and their ecology.
Thank goodness you were talking about face mites and not…well…hm…
Once, when I had a half-decent microscope at home, I pulled out a few eyelashes and watched the mites wander around near the roots. Lucky I'm not squeamish, although I did wash my face a bit more thoroughly for a while after that.
I didn't know about them not having an anus. I wonder, what is worse to think of; piles of fresh mite poop, gently composting, or layers of mite coprolites encased in old mite skeletons?
My eyelids are itchy now.
You don't have a microscope now? Was it the mites?
My grandson took it back. I was getting too excited for my ancient years.