How Was Bacteria Discovered?

Josh Welch

First illustration of bacteria in 1784One of the coolest parts of middle school was getting to use the microscopes in science class to discover a whole new world living right under our noses (and in them). 

Today, the fact that your skin is covered in bacteria is fairly common knowledge, but that wasn't always the case. 

In fact, the western world did not discover this microscopic world until the 1670's when a poorly educated man named Antonie van Leeuwenhoek submitted his findings to the Royal Society of London. 

How did a common man with little education or scientific background come to discover something as important as the entire field of microbiology?

This video by Vox explores the historical facts of Van Leeuwenhoek's unlikely discovery and the implications it had on the future of the world.

Are you creeped out by the knowledge that you are surrounded and covered by tiny organisms, or do you not really care? Let us know in the comments!