Image for Bacterial world

Bacterial world

Duration: 01:09

If a visitor from another planet were to analyse our bodies, they'd conclude that we were only 10% human. That's because around 90% of the living cells in a human body are made up of bacteria, some of the smallest and most numerous living organisms on Earth. Yet, in spite of their abundance, we find it difficult to see any of them without the aid of a powerful electron microscope. On the head of an apparently perfectly clean pin, it is only when we magnify 10,000 times that the size of the bacteria becomes clear and we can finally see the colonies.

Available since: Wed 23 Sep 2009


Camera Operator
Camera Operator
Mike FOX
Camera Operator
Richard KIRBY

This clip is from

State of the Planet IS THERE A CRISIS?

3 part series in which David Attenborough (DA) investigates the future of life on earth. 1. The variety of life is threatened by human activities.

First broadcast: 15 Nov 2000

Image for IS THERE A CRISIS? Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Featured in...

  • David Attenborough's favourites

    David Attenborough's selection of memorable film moments demonstrating the leaps in filmmaking technology in the past 30 years and showcasing the diversity of life on Earth.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.