May
14
2008

Giant bacteria threaten safety, sanity of planet

Join the fight!: Grimace is doing his part.
Join the fight!: Grimace is doing his part.Courtesy GiantGinko
Okay…I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I think it’s important that you’re all made aware of this threat before it’s too late. I mean, like, we didn’t used to be afraid of that little ball of goo until it became the blob, and now we’re in deep, deep fudge. That kind of thing.

Okay, so…ugh, why do I have to do this? Just prepare yourself, get a fresh pair of pants ready, and please, please don’t panic. Not yet. That could be dangerous.

There is…somewhere, like, out there…a bacteria that is literally a million times bigger than other bacteria. Do you understand what this means? Do you understand what “literally” means? It doesn’t mean, “I’m literally going to starve to death if I don’t get that pizza!” It means for real. For really real. And do you know what “a million” means? Of course you do. It’s like, if you had to fight another guy and his ninety nine friends, and then had to fight nine hundred and ninety nine more groups just like his, and then fight just as many people nine more times—you’d be fighting a million guys. Could you win a fight like that? No, try again, you couldn’t. So what chance do we stand against this gargantuan bacteria? You know that bacteria have no emotions, right? They’ll eat you and your new puppy, and then eat, like, a pumpkin, and they wouldn’t feel any worse about you and your lousy puppy than they would about the dumb pumpkin.

Oh, this is the worst.

Okay, okay, I was the one who said we shouldn’t panic. So let’s look at this beast rationally—maybe we can find a weakness.

What do we know? Well, the monstrosity in question, of the epulopiscium genus, is a million times the size of an E. coli bacterium. A million times bigger. That means that epulopiscium is, let’s see…about the size of a grain of salt. If you, for instance, were for some reason one-hundredth the size of a grain of salt, epulopiscium would be a hundred times bigger than you. A hundred times bigger than you! What else? Well, it seems that the bacteria only live in the stomachs of surgeonfish, in the area of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. That’s where they live for now—the surgeonfish lives in a symbiotic relationship with epulopiscium, so there’s no reason to assume that it will keep its horrible buddy under wraps.

How can we fight this thing? Guns? What good would bullets do against something like this? Nuclear weapons? Only as a last resort. But what if… What if we could turn epulopiscium’s own size against it, like we did with King Kong when we shot him off that building?

Let’s see…Normally bacteria have to be itty-bitty because they haven’t got the specialized organelles to move nutrients around, and their DNA—of which there are only a hundred or so copies—isn’t bound in nuclei; basically their Schmidt is all over the place, so they have to be tiny to keep things working. It seems, however, that the epulopiscium is unique in that it has thousands of copies of its genome incorporated into its cell membrane. That way, if anything remarkable happens in the cell, DNA will be right there to react quickly, locally producing RNA or whatever proteins are necessary for the situation.

So that means we need to destroy its fancy DNA, and then its own bulk will bring the epulopiscium down! And what can damage DNA? Electromagnetic radiation! We need to start dumping radioactive waste into the waters of the Great Barrier Reef immediately! Stat! Ionize their fancy little DNA!

Get to it, Buzzketeers. This will be a modern-day David and Goliath story.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Candice_318's picture
Candice_318 says:

Man who didn't know this

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 10:08am
Looney_Tooney's picture
Looney_Tooney says:

Is that purple guy that one dude with the Ronald McDonald Crew???

U Kno Wat Im Sayin!!!

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 10:10am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

He has a name: Grimace. And, no, that's not him. That's a bacterium.

posted on Fri, 05/16/2008 - 9:15am
twila_08's picture
twila_08 says:

That's scary. I couldn't be around nasty stuff like that.

Twila Turnage

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 10:10am
bert123's picture
bert123 says:

that is crazy why did they have to say that?
IBI Call it what you want IBI

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 10:23am

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