The diversity of life is one of the most striking aspects of our planet; hence knowing how many species inhabit Earth is among the most fundamental questions in science. Yet the answer to this question remains enigmatic, as efforts to sample the world's biodiversity to date have been limited and thus have precluded direct quantification of global species richness, and because indirect estimates rely on assumptions that have proven highly controversial.
1. The bacteria aren't actually eating your flesh. The various species—including some that cause strep and staph—enter a wound, scrape, or bug bite and unleash a flood of toxic chemicals that kill surrounding tissue cells.
2. At least 650 cases crop up each year in the US—and about a quarter prove fatal. Flesh-eating bacteria have claimed the life of particle physicist Alexandru Marin, a chunk of the right leg of science fiction writer/marine biologist Peter Watts, and some of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman's right arm.