First, don’t be alarmed. We could not be healthy without the help of many kinds of bacteria. It makes you wonder how biologist came up with the idea of studying belly button bacteria. Maybe they were at the beach taking notice of young ladies wearing jewelry in their belly buttons. Something had to inspire them to do this high profile, or should I say low profile research!
Anyway, these dedicated researchers led by Doctor Rob Dunn of North Carolina State University, swabbed more than 500 belly buttons. Then, using the trusted and ubiquitous petri dishes, they grew the germs that were present on the swabs. Yikes! The discovered over 2,000 species of bacteria living in what they described as a rain forest of life.
Golly, to think I have my own rain forest! They say that our bodies have about three or four pounds of bacterial living on and in us. Most of them are user friendly and help fight off the bad ones. The study considered the “doners” “sex, age, ethnicity, and other factors” but none of them were predictive of what species of bacteria would be discovered.
There is a word that describes people who gaze at their belly button called omphaloskepsis. Now, I know why! For those nasty bacteria that make us ill we can wash our hands.