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He Saw Things No One Else Would For Another 50 Years. Who Would Believe Him?

Let’s hear it for thepower of creative tinkering, aka messing around with microscopes when you're supposed to be at work. Stick around until 4:25 when they start describing what we know now (and what we don't)!

OK, I admit it, I’m a bit like van Leeuwenhoek: While I’msupposed to be writing for Upworthy, I'm searching the Internet for the latest weird news about microbes. The worlds van Leeuwenhoek discovered were really just the tip of an iceberg, a scientific universe that has exploded in the last decade because of new ways of reading genetic information.

Suddenly, ideas about “individual” and “personal choice” shift when you realize that how you feel andthink (even what you want to eat) are tremendously influenced by the microbial fauna living on and in you(and they are probably talking about you constantly). There are about 100 times more microbial genes in our bodies than human genes. So yeah, we're like giant puppet-houses for microbes. So much for free will.


Also, our idea ofevolution as something that happens over generations now has to accommodatethis crazy phenomenon of “horizontal gene exchange,” which is just what it sounds like: single organisms within ageneration simply trading genes. No time-consuming reproduction needed! It’s like they can adapt evolutionarily on thespot to new situations (and of course this is why microbes are pretty good atevolving beyond the ability of our antibiotics to control them). Enough from me. Now maybe you can see why people like van Leeuwenhoek put aside work for a while to wonder about what we can't see.

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Images from Instagram and Wikipedia

It’s true that much of our wildlife is in danger. Like, an alarmingly large amount. In 2021 alone, 22 species were declared extinct in the United States.

And globally, Earth is facing what scientists refer to as its “sixth mass extinction,” primarily thanks to human activity. You know, deforestation, climate change, overconsumption, overpopulation, industrial farming, poaching … the usual suspects.

It sounds like dystopian science fiction, but sadly, it’s the reality we are currently living in.

But today, there is a silver lining. Because the World Wildlife Fund recently reported 224 completely new species.

From a snake who channels David Bowie to a monkey with ivory spectacles, there are a lot of newly discovered creatures here to offer a bit of hope to otherwise bleak statistics.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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