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Dust: where it all began.

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH
JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

Dust is one in all the underestimated substances within the world. It's everywhere yet invincible. Irrespective of where you're within the universe, you continue to encounter dust in your standard of living. It's on our beds, sofas, kitchens and offices. Even animals have their share in its distribution. It's the beginning of life and therefore the end of death. Unfortunately, we close our eyes to the current beautiful element in our midst. In fact, it contributes to the existence of humanity. Without it, life would be something else. One may say, dust is totally a nasty thing, nobody wants dust in their homes. We clean dust from our buildings everyday yet they end up at the spot the following day. It's a nuisance to the livelihood of humans.

WHO describes dust as a hypothetical sphere of density of 1g/cm3 having the same speed in calm air as the particle in question regardless of its geometric size, shape and density. A mouthful of words, right? Simply put, dust is a fine, dry powder consisting of earth or waste matter lying on the ground or on surfaces or carried in the air. Dust is ubiquitous.


Did you know that humans shed off skin while we are still alive?


Dust as its definition stated comes from earth or waste matter. Matter is anything that has mass and can occupy space. This implies that any thing we've got in our surroundings can produce dust. However, the amount of dust will depend mainly on your surroundings, people and animals around you. More than half of the dust particles comes from the soil and pollen. This suggests that, if you reside near a desert area, you're more likely to see dust as compared to one who lives near a rainforest vegetation.

Dust is mainly found in dry regions like the desert,etc Dust may also be produced by our dead skin. Surprising, right? Our outer portion of the skin is made from dead cells tightly packed together. Eventually, they fall off cell by cell almost like the shedding of skin by reptiles such as snakes. Snakes molted skin can be seen unlike humans. Human shed dead skin cells in our homes; in our clothes, in the shower but mainly on the bedsheets on our beds. Since humans spend one-third of our lives sleeping, then it's logical to mention that we shed one-third of our skins in our beds. This makes it imperative for us to change our bedsheets often and bathe regularly else we are going to return daily to sleep in the dust from our body which are trapped in the fibers of our bedspread. A crowded room is more likely to own more dust than a spacious room.


Dust may also be produced from the fibers from our clothes, carpets, paper, etc. practically anything in your home that features a little bit of organic substance in it. Can you name more?
Is dust dangerous?
Dust usually causes an immune reaction. Your body naturally causes you to sneeze immediately you inhale a specific amount of dust. Others may have a more serious form like an allergic response. Even though, dust particles may contain trapped microbes, prevalence of diseases from dust is low. they will occasionally irritate the eyes, skin or throat. Fortunately, there's more to dust than we give credit to. To do this, we've to visit the place where dust is found the most: the desert.


The desert is generally a dry land stuffed with sand and dust everywhere. It's barren with the harshest of conditions and nobody wants to experience it. They say, water is the true wealth of the desert. What if, I told you, that even a number of the driest deserts like the Sahara deserts used to have lakes full of biodiverse fishes and animals. An example is the lake Mega-chad in Sahara. It's now a historical lake which used to have some fishes, crocodiles, hippopotamus and the likes present in the center of the desert. Now, the lake has dried up with the creatures of the sea decaying into ashes and dust on this desert. Fortunately, these organisms didn't die vainly because the importance of those dusts are somewhat the items that keeps you and I breathing.
The windy conditions at the desert carries the dust particles from the bottom into the air and travel with it. Most of those dust particles end up within the ocean. Who would’ve thought? No wonder, they assert that he who constantly swims in the ocean loves the dry land. The effect these dust particles have on the ocean is tremendous. Basically, within the ocean, there are organisms termed as phytoplanktons. They act just like the plants on dry ground. The dust contains nutrients that feeds these organisms which cause them to photosynthesize along with sunlight and release oxygen.

Apparently, almost half the oxygen in our atmosphere which makes it possible for us to breathe is from these ocean phtoplanktons. The next time you relax at the beach, you'd appreciate the land more. Unfortunately, these dusts also can cause the expansion of certain algae which end up producing toxins and killing some ocean creatures and might even make it difficult for people to breathe if one comes into contact with water and air contaminated with these toxins.


Furthermore, scientists think that, the dust within the atmosphere from these deserts prevent plenty of hurricane from happening. Hurricanes are formed when the warm air from the ocean rises, the warm air is replaced by cooler air which also becomes warm and rises. This will cause a huge storm cloud to be formed that begins to rotate with the rotation of the earth. If there's enough warm water, the cycle will continue and along with the wind cause a hurricane to form. If the hurricane isn't controlled, the storm can move to the land with its high speed and cause trees to blow off, cause flooding and storm rages. However, the dust from the desert which is above these storms trying to form will disrupt its formation. It'll deplete the storms of the moisture necessary to cause the hurricane. Remember, that air is simply evapourated moisture(water). Thus, the dust becomes our hero again.


Also, a number of these dust travel to the rainforest vegetation like the famous amazon basin. It's important to notice that, the soil within the rainforest is unfertile thanks to the continual presence of rain which washes way the nutrients to the underside or rivers. Hence, when these dusts settle on the trees in the rainforest, it serves as nutrition for these plants.

Remember, that these dusts contain remains of decayed organisms which are highly nutritious. Thus, they travel not vainly. Indeed, the forests keep the dry lands working. This is not surprising because according to CALIPSO, the Saharan desert for example produce 150 million heaps of dust per annum.

The skeletons and decayed matter from the Saharan desert contribute to the life at another biodiversity. Out of death, life. that's the sweetness of nature. Ultimately, the good outweighs the bad. Dust can even be found above our earth within the planetary space. The next time you breathe, the next time you obtain farm produce from the rainforest, the next time you think about a hurricane that could have destroyed homes and life, say a giant thanks to dust.

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

A young lady who is excited to influence the society and world with the knowledge she has acquired.