Critters found in one cup of compost


Amy Stewart says: "A scientist at the University of Illinois received a cup of compost from a friend; he put it under the microscope and created a very cool composite image of all the creatures living in that one cup of decay." Link


  1. Who knew? Critters in compost?!? I guess that’s cool that 14 distinct organisms were found though. My guess in one cup of compost would’ve been maybe 4-5 critters.

  2. It’s awesome how all these organisms cohabitate in compost and do their jobs.

    And now I have one more reason to buy more garden gloves. Yeeeeuccccch!

  3. The bacteria and protozoa (a) are not naked-eye visible; the scale bar is 50um. The nematodes and smaller enchytraeids (b) are barely naked-eye visible.

    The amount of bacteria alone in soil is absolutely staggering- there are about 10^9 (1000000000) bacterial cells in every gram. Not sure how many species this represents…

  4. I have been a fan of composting since my early teens. Now that I am a grown up I try and compost something at least once a day. I often shave my beard into our “Dirt Machine” compost bin. This summer cant wait to try this experiment with flickr documentation and everything!

  5. A retired farmer shook his head as recalled
    the rich’feel’ of the soil on his granpa’s land
    & observed that when his dad began using synthetic fertilizers [sic]
    & years later as he continued, the Soil was transformed into just Dirt…lifeless dust.

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