Zoom in on microorganisms

Can microorganisms fly?

CladosporiumZoomZoom (102KB)
© Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.

Microorganisms are found as transient and variable inhabitants of the air. The air carries dust and water drops from the surface of the earth, the oceans and other bodies of water, which are loaded with microorganisms. These particles can settle rapidly or be carried for metres, even kilometres. Some microorganisms die in fractions of a second once in the atmosphere, while others survive for years. Algae, protozoa, yeasts, moulds, bacteria, and viruses have been isolated from air. In the urban atmosphere, mould spores, especially those of the genus Cladosporium, are the most common microorganisms.