The Gross Truth: See What This Mom Grew from Her Son’s Hand

I’m not much of a clean freak, so when I think of bacteria, I scoff and continue with my daily tasks. However, once I saw these photos, I was reminded that the microscopic world of bacteria is all around me. Maybe it’s time I started thinking about what’s on my hands before I dig into my bag of fries.

Tasha Sturm, a Microbiology lab technician at Cabrillo College conducted a simple test with her eight-year-old son to see how much bacteria was on his hand after he was done playing outside. She took his hand a put it on a Petri dish and added a growth medium onto it. She grew the bacteria for approximately one week and then took a photo to capture the results.


Bacteria is unavoidable and certain types are even necessary for the building of our immune system. While this is great, photo is just downright nasty!

Similarly, another study was done at Cabrillo College that showed a side-by-side comparison of a hand that was washed and a hand that wasn’t. The results were disgusting to say the least. Even washed with soap and water, bacteria still lives and is not completely gone.

According to, researchers found that the average hand was home to over 150 different species of bacteria.

Maybe I’ll start washing my hands before my meals from now on. But let’s be real, I’ve probably eaten thousands of these microscopic bacteria in my lifetime. Why start now?