• Question: what do germs look like?

    Asked by chloemoulden to Cat, Daz, Holly, Johnson, Pamela on 22 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by 115rules.
    • Photo: Cat O'Connor

      Cat O'Connor answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi Chloe,

      wow great question and wish I could draw you an answer! The short answer is that they are all different shapes and sizes. remeber that they are tiny so we have to look at them through microscopes. Some look like tiny worms, others look like little circles, some look like curly fries (seriously!) and some look like a 50p piece but in 3D with spiky things sticking out of them!

      They are pretty cool. You should try and google some and you’ll find some very pretty pictures!

      Hope this helps!


    • Photo: Pamela Lithgow

      Pamela Lithgow answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi Chloe,
      As Cat said germs are all very different to each other. That is actually sometimes one of the ways of working out which germs are which!
      Generally fungi and parasites are quite bit (in a world of tiny things) compared to bacteria which are smaller then viruses which are tiny (as I said in my profile).
      If you look on my profile under the expanded “me and my work” section you will see a picture of my virus. That is really my virus not a drawing, it is taken with a REALLY high power microscope and that is what it looks like! I think that is really cool. I think my virus kind of fits with cats description of one that looks a bit like a 50p piece if you look at it there but it is actually a tiny ball with flat sides!
      Hope that help and make sure you check out my cool virus on my profile!
      Pam 🙂

    • Photo: Holly Shelton

      Holly Shelton answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Yep Cat and Pam are right! Germs are all different shapes, colours and sizes. Viruses can range in shape and even viruses of the same type can be different. For example flu can be circular or what we call filamentous (very long) it depends on the type of flu. The human pandemic flu we have just had was a long one!!


    • Photo: Darren Braddick

      Darren Braddick answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Hi chloemoulden and 115rules!

      Germs are always single-celled, which means they have one cell and never more. They are usually round, because a round shape is very favourable for nature because it is the most relaxed state. Think of a balloon of air – it becomes round for the same reason. In fact, germs are a lot like balloons of liquid – that liquid is everything inside their cell! Unfortunately, like a balloon, the pressure is very strong, and most bacteria live in places where pressure is a problem, and to survive this, they have a big net around the cell called the cell wall. Actually, my research is about this part of the bacteria!

      So, we have a balloon, with a net around it. Some germs are also coated in a slimy gel, kinda like mucus (or snot…I guess). This helps them do many things. We should also consider that germs are TINY, especially compared to us! In fact, germ cells are much much smaller than even a single human cell!

      So, in conclusion, we have a tiny tiny tiny balloon, in a net, maybe coated in slime. That is basically what germs look like…

      I hope this helps answer you guys!!