In the Lesser Antilles, scientists have discovered the worldʼs largest bacterium

Oleg Panfilovych

In the Lesser Antilles, scientists have discovered the largest bacterium known to science. It is so large that it can be seen with the naked eye.

This was reported by CNN.

Thiomargarita magnifica has an average length of more than 9,000 micrometers, which is almost 1 centimeter. The cells of most bacterial species are about 2 micrometers long, although larger ones can reach 750 micrometers.

According to study co-author Jean-Marie Woland, a marine biologist and scientist at the California Laboratory for Complex Systems Research, Thiomargarita magnifica can grow up to 2 centimeters in length.

"To understand how gigantic it is for a bacterium is the same as finding a man taller than Mount Everest," he told CNN. According to the study, Thiomargarita magnifica was first detected as a thin white thread on the surface of the leaves of a mangrove tree that grows in shallow tropical marine mangroves in Guadeloupe.

Tanya Woik, a senior researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, believes it is likely that giant bacteria may be found in other mangroves around the world.

"Iʼm always amazed at how little we know about the microbial world," she said, adding that "itʼs still a black box". "Prejudice about the size of the virus has prevented the discovery of giant viruses for more than a century. The discovery of Thiomargarita magnifica shows that larger and more complex bacteria can hide from us,” she added.