The largest bacteria yet found. This strain of bacteria is so large, that a single cell is about the same size as the period at the end of this sentence. Yes, for one single cell. It's almost as large as the head of a fruit fly. It's large enough that it has other bacteria living on it's outside.

For a comparison in sizes - if a normal bacterium were the size of a mouse, the previous largest bacteria would be the size of a lion, and this new one would be the size of a blue whale.

It was discovered in samples of sediment from Africa.

The name, apt for a bacterium with sulfur granules in it, means "sulfur pearl of Namibia".

You can see these small pearls at http://www.mpg.de/news99/news17_99.htm, a page hosted by the discoverers of Thiomargarita namibiensis.

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