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More Than 1,400 Kinds of Bacteria May Live in Your Belly Button . . . Including 662 Species that are “New to Science”

Photo by Bernard Bisson/ Getty Images

I love when scientists travel to remote rainforests and the bottom of the ocean to find new species. But they might feel stupid after hearing this.

A group of scientists discovered 662 new species of bacteria . . . in people’s belly buttons.

The researchers are working on something called the Belly Button Biodiversity project. They’ve taken samples from about 100 people to see what’s living in their navels.

The results could not be any nastier: They’ve found 1,400 different strains of bacteria, including 662 they couldn’t classify. According to project leader Jiri Hulcr, that, quote, “strongly suggests that they are new to science.”

They decided to look at belly buttons because they’re a relatively isolated part of the human body . . . and few people bother to wash theirs regularly.

Even though they found a huge number of different species, a small group of 40 strains of bacteria made up about 80% of all bacteria in there.

 

 

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