How To

Germs and the Real World: a Size Comparison

Giant Microbe - white blood cell stuffed toyHave you ever wondered exactly how big germs were, relative to the real world?

Thanks to the people at the University of Utah, we now know.

Just go to the CELL SIZE AND SCALE application to see what things look like at actual size.You start with a grain of rice, a coffee bean, or even typical typewritten pages.  All things that you have a good feel for their actual size.

As you move the slider bar, you zoom in to the microscopic world of germs and cells and you can see the size differences as you move in.  Such as:

  • An amoeba is bigger than a paramecium.
  • A skin cell is larger than a red blood cell.
  • Baker’s yeast is about the same size as the X chromosome.

“What’s Larger” is a great game to play with family and friends.  When looked in this way, size really does matter.