Have you ever been a little drunk – or maybe a little high – and stared up into the night sky and wondered if aliens exist?
But looking up is the wrong direction. You need to look down. Down at the end of a microscope, you’ll see an entire alien world of microbes.
Microscopic alien creatures are among us. In fact, it’s a microbial world, and humans are just living in it.
All day, every day, these microbes go about their invisible existence. They work behind the scenes to make our entire world possible. They live around us, on us and inside of us. We feed them, and they feed us. We protect them, and they protect us.
Our eyes can’t see all these tiny little creatures, so we don’t think about them. But we need to. We need to pay attention to the microbes. The world they create is the world we live in. By making the microbe’s world a better place, we make our life better.
Maybe you’re thinking, “dude, please. Humans can’t take care of the visible world. Why the fuck should people care about an invsible allien world? How could these microbes really impact our reality?”
These are great questions. And the answers, well, this is where things get trippy.
To recap, microscopic aliens exist. We live in their alien world. And here’s the kicker – we are their puppets. Humans are marionettes with microbes pulling our strings.
“Dude, please. No fucking way that’s true.”
Here are some cold hard facts for you. A carrot is made of 32,000 genes. The human genome tops out at about 22,000 genes. Quick math, a vegetable that lives its life stuck in the ground is made from 10,000 more genes than an astronaut exploring the future of living on another planet.
Don’t believe me? Google that shit. The facts are the facts. You can’t argue the numbers, but you can ask: what the fuck is going on here?
It’s the alien world. Microbes live on and inside our bodies. When you add the genomes of these microbes to the genome of the human DNA, the math starts to make more sense. The microbe community living in humans contains millions of genes.
We are genetically 1% human. Our genes are outnumbered 100 to 1 by microbe’s genes.
Jaw drop. Mic drop.
We can’t change our genes. Our genes are precoded instructions we inherited from our parents. The house is built before we have a choice, but we can choose the microbes living in the house. We can invite new guests. We can chase away bad guests. We can make the house more comfortable for our friends. We can refuse to feed rude guests tearing the house apart.
We are stuck with our parents’ genes, but we can make choices to change the other 99% of the genes in our bodies.
Thus, we need to give a fuck about these microbes. These little aliens, with their invisible world, deserve a closer look.
Also published on Medium.