In the mid-19th Century, not long after the invention of photography, John Benjamin Dancer (1812 – 1887) began printing tiny photographs onto glass slides at his studio in Liverpool, England. In Paris, René Dagron (1817 – 1900) wondered how to circumvent the need for an expensive microscope to view them. In 1859, Dagron patented the first Stanhope lens mounted with a mini-photograph.
He named it after the magnifying device invented 50 years earlier by Charles Stanhope, Third Earl Stanhope (1753-1816). In the late-18th century, Stanhope invented lenses which allowed all sorts of “viewers” to house images in secret. Stanhopes, also called Bijoux Photomicroscopiques, became known as ‘peep holes’, ‘peep-eye views’ or ‘peeps’.
The term sea lice was inappropriately coined by residents who suffered strange rashes after swimming in coastal waters in the 1950s, according to the Florida Department of Health. (There is such a thing as actual sea lice, it turns out, but they are tiny parasites that affect fish, not humans.)
The rash that humans tend to get, on the other hand, “is caused by miniature jellyfish larvae trapped under bathing suits when in the water,” states a 2017 brochure available on the Health Department’s website.
“If pressure occurs from exercising, surfboards, lying on the beach, etc., stinging cells are released and cause itching, irritation, and welts,” the brochure continues. The larvae also like to hang out in people’s hair, so the back of the neck—where hair hangs down and touches the skin—is a common place for lesions.
This handsome boy is called a Demodex. Its dimensions are approximately 0.3mm, which means you can’t see it living on your face. Especially on your forehead, nose and chin. He’s always there and it will be that way forever. At night, they vigorously mate on your face and then lay its eggs in the pores of your skin. Funniest thing is that the Demodex have no anal orifice to evict. They accumulate and build up to death bursting with… feces. Right on the face. Sweet dreams everyone!