Aside from the fact that it smacks of hipsterism, the trend for bushy beards has a dark side: the beards’ owners are unwittingly carrying around all kinds of crap on their faces. Real crap, as in fecal matter. The Atlantic undertakes a “cost-benefit analysis of manliness and microbiology”:
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Journalism is, at its core, a public service. This is why several days ago the reporters at Action 7 News in Albuquerque, New Mexico, decided to investigate just what, exactly, teems within the beards of the polity. They swabbed the whiskers of a handful of local men and took the results to Quest Diagnostics.
The results were the kind that medical labs don’t leave on your answering machine:
Several of the beards that were tested contained a lot of normal bacteria, but some were comparable to toilets.
“Those are the types of things you’d find in (fecal matter),” Golobic said, referring to the tests.