What do microbes look like? And how do they compare to various microcomponents of the human body?

Here are two helpful resources that let you into the world of the microcosmos so you can see for yourself what things look like.

The video begins by comparing the size and shapes of viruses to the much bigger bacteria, including Staphlococcus.

But the more detailed resource is this one from the University of Utah (sorry, it can’t be embedded). It takes you from a coffee bean all the way down to a carbon atom. Click on the cursor below the graphic and drag it to the right. It shows you not just the microbes, but how they compare to various well-known components of the human body. For example, you’ll see how bugs are smaller than a red blood cell or X chromosome, but larger than – in descending order – an antibody, a molecule of hemoglobin, methionine (an amino acid), glucose, and water.

The unaided eye can just make out the human egg; for anything smaller you need a magnifying glass or microscope.

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