If my mother is to be believed, dirt is one of the four worst things in America, right up there with cockroaches, rap music, and restaurants that advertise fresh vegetables when she alone can tell they are obviously frozen from a bag. The dirt thing might have to do with one Thanksgiving Day long ago at my grandmother’s house when myself, my brother, and two of our cousins got into a football game at a nearby park while dressed in our holiday best slacks and button-downs. At this point, I should probably also mention it had rained pretty much the entire day before. Dirt gets a bad wrap from the maestros of motherhood who have to battle it on a daily basis as it accumulates on floors, finds its way into corners you didn’t even know existed, stains clothes, somehow gets in the food from time to time, and is magnetically attracted to every part of a dog. But surely dirt isn’t all bad, right? So next time you’re scrubbing it off a kid’s shoe, Fido’s paws, or the side of the refrigerator, remember these fascinating facts about that stuff on the ground.
- Dirt’s been around for 450 million years. Yep, it’s eluded brooms and dustpans since before the time of the dinosaurs. On the flip side, it created an environment for plants, dinosaurs, and eventually us.
- The world spends $24 billion on soap per year to get dirt off our bodies. That’s only $3.18 per person, which tells us there are some seriously gross people walking around.
- There are 5,000 types of bacteria in 1 gram of soil. That noise you just heard was every mom in America simultaneously passing out.
- Your kitchen is the dirtiest room in your house. Sorry, bathroom, your reign of tyranny is over.
- A carpet full of dirt can weigh four times as much as one without it. And you thought you were stuffed after Taco Tuesday.