Want to know something scary? There are bugs living on your eyelashes! Yes, that’s right: little parasitic mites that are similar in some ways to spiders. They enjoy a hardy diet of skin oils and fluids around hair follicles. Yum! They’re mostly harmless but apparently can cause some problems in some folks, in particular a rash (demodicosis or Demodex mite bite) or some inflammation of the eyelid (Blepharitis). Interestingly, the older you get, the more likely that you have these. These little guys are less than a millimeter in length but sure do look scary up close. Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure.
Here are three of these little bugs, embedded head-first in a hair follicle:
And a nice shot showing the whole body:
There’s some neat information on Wikipedia and also quite a few anecdotes on Google of people dealing with bites and solutions for them. For most of us, they’re just disgusting little reminders that we’re not as clean as we like to think.
Also, “Demodex and the Mitey Blepharitis” would be a sweet name for a rock band.