5 Extreme Close-Ups Of Everyday Things That Definitely Freak Us Out

1. As much as we like to pretend otherwise, we are covered from head to toe in bacteria. Millions of microorganisms like to travel all over our skin every minute of every day and a good portion of them are on our faces right now. Oh yeah, and they look like this. Half worm, half accordion…vacuum type thing. These microscopic eight-legged monsters eat, breed, and die on our faces (and all without paying any rent, I might add).

For the obsessive clean freaks out there (and I include myself firmly in that category) it doesn’t matter how many times you wash your face or how abrasive your face cloth is, there’s no getting rid of these things. But this is a good thing – they get rid of dead skin cells and suck up bad bacteria but really, do they have to look like this? Here’s a fun fact to leave you with – face mites don’t have anuses, so they store up their feces and “explode” with waste at the end of their life. Yup. On your face.

2. This image kind of looks familiar – like something we may have seen in a shampoo commercial. Except that there’s no music or beautiful model or soothing voice-over explaining in vaguely scientific terms just what the heck it is we’re looking at. We’re not sure that this is even human hair. It looks more like a close-up section of a dehydrated candy bar. The individual ridges though are really just a super detailed picture of the natural layers in a human hair follicle, in this case damaged layers that are beginning to fray and make an unpleasant journey to splitsville.

I’d like to see advertisers show this grim, eerie image of what hair damage really looks like. It’s no good rendering the hair strands in pretty 3D for the sake of matching the bouncy, upbeat narration. People need to know how gross their hair really looks and then they might actually buy the “revolutionary new formula.” Pfft.

3. Caterpillars are those cute, harmless bugs that spend their days munching on leaves and scuttling along tree branches until the time comes that they turn into a beautiful butterfly. They even had a Pokémon named after them – they’re so cute, right? Wrong! They want your soul and I think they may want to enslave humanity judging by this picture. Where are its eyes? And if those are its eyes, why are their hairs coming out of them?! Shudder.

From the way its front legs are positioned, it kind of looks as if this caterpillar is clasping its hands together in the style of a James Bond villain (either that or it’s doing a terrific impression of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons). And if this is true, then it really is plotting against us. Hurry up and turn yourself into a butterfly, you prickly dead-eyed demon! Come back when you’re not so nightmarish!

4. There’s nothing particularly nice about the appearance of dental floss at regular size. After all, we literally use it to pry old food out from between our teeth. It’s gross, we know this. But just in case it wasn’t quite gross enough for you, science has stepped in to help. Feast your eyes on this delicious section of used dental floss, straight from someone’s plaque-covered molars for your viewing pleasure! This doesn’t look like food particles as much as a living, breathing monster that wants to take over your bathroom cabinet (and possibly the world).

If the microscopic camera went in any closer on this image, you could probably start to identify the food groups mushed up in that mass of gunk and mouth bacteria. Nasty. On the other hand – as disgusting as this may look – it’s a great advert for why you definitely should floss. Just don’t blow it up and hang it on the wall in the elementary school science classroom, some kids might cry.

5. We’re always told that lettuce is good for us, but judging by this freaky image I’m not so sure. Under a microscope, some perfectly ordinary green leaf lettuce appears to have some sort of mouth. Well, not so much a mouth as a gaping, green vortex into vegetable hell. (Could this be a representation of where all kids end up if they don’t eat their greens?) Whatever it is, it’s not right and it’s putting me off going anywhere near a salad for fear it might attack.

This creepy lettuce mouth kind of reminds me of the singing Venus Fly trap plant in Little Shop of Horrors, but this angry looking beast doesn’t look like it’s going to belt out any funky tunes anytime soon. Like a lot of things on this list, it really just looks like it wants to steal my soul and spit me back out once it’s done.