TECH

This Tiny Animal Is Growing In Your Hair

29/08/2014 10:56 BST | Updated 29/08/2014 10:59 BST

There are tiny animals living on your face. Don't panic though, because they're completely harmless and have been with us for over 40,000 years.

Incredibly it turns out 100 per cent of us have them. They are a tiny species of mite called Demodex and they're so small that they live inside the hair follicles on our face and eat the oils we secrete.

Now that may sound hugely unpleasant but actually once you take a look at them they're not as hideous as you think.

demodex

Add to that the fact that 100 per cent of us have them and suddenly life can begin to carry on as normal.

The discovery was made by Megan Thoemmes, a graduate student and her fellow entomologists from North Carolina State University.

Describing the mites as 'cute' Thoemmes goes on to explain that 'with their eight little legs, they look like they're almost swimming through the oil, it's like having friends with you all the time realising that everyone has them and they're likely not causing any problems, it's pretty reassuring.'

There are in fact two species of Demodex that exist; Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis and they're both related to spiders.

It's hoped that the discovery of these completely harmless animals will help researchers learn more about how we evolved and travelled around the globe as mites found in Asia are entirely different to mites found in the UK, suggesting that they too evolved along with us.