Microorganisms are everywhere. They support life as we know it. They can live far out in the atmosphere and have been found as high as twenty miles up. They also live deep into our soils, and even beneath rocks. They have been found alive deeper than twenty miles underground, and have been found on high mountain tops, and seemingly, barren, acidic bodies of water. They have been found in frozen temperatures, and in near boiling ones, as well.
They are alive in oceans, and also on land; many thrive in forests, and some thrive in deserts. Not all breathe the same concoction of air that we do. Some have even been found to live on arsenic.
Your whole body is covered with microorganisms, and without them animals and plants could not survive.
Microorganisms are also known as simply microbes. They particularly seem to prefer water in its many forms, from very cold, to near the boiling point. Like us, they seem to be more numerous at temperate ranges, and also much more prolific where animals, and other hosts are also plentiful.
They are also in our homes and virtually upon every surface. Do not seek to destroy them, as most are beneficial to our lives. Of course some are less desirable than others. Even our food is full of microbes and in many cases would not be food without them.
There are billions of micro-organisms under your feet at this very moment, unless, you are in a controlled lab environment of some kind, or possibly in outer space.
We need microbes to both produce, but also to break down, waste. Some are known to consume toxic wastes, so without them, we would be all dead of our own poisons by now. Since some even eat oil, one can only imagine what a place like the US Gulf would be like after a major oil spill if there were not microbes to rescue humanity from its own blunders.
All around us, at every turn microbes abound. In the air we breathe, and in the sediments deep under any river or lake, as well as the ocean. Fungi, bacteria, viruses, algae, and protozoa are everywhere so that we can be just where we are.
As with all things under Nature’s laws, they can of course go out of balance, and when they do, all kinds of mayhem, disease, and even starvation could result. Nature, in great abundance always seems to have systems that know when enough is too much, and unless there is major damage to an eco-system, say, the total destruction of a forested area, microbes there will either diminish or over produce to complicate matters.
Acidification of bodies of water can result from soil erosion when fish die-offs happen. This allows too much microbial nutrient flow into the deltas, where streams and rivers empty into oceans, for example, and can cause algal blooms.
In any case of imbalance, the role of microbes of every kind is crucial to the outcome. So from now on, say hello to your invisible little friends, and be sure to thank a microbe that you are a collection of them.