Thiomargarita magnifica looks like a thin white filament and is nearly 1cm in size. It is 5,000 times larger than most bacteria and can be seen with naked eye.

Mysterious monster

Unlike other filament-like bacteria found in mangroves which contain hundreds of cells, the magnifica's entire filament is just one cell. The bacterium lives by oxidizing sulfur.


Most bacteria reproduce by dividing into two identical cells. However, magnifica buds off
a small piece at the tip, which creates a new being.

Unique genetics

Generally in other bacteria, genetic material floats freely inside the cell. But in magnifica,
the genetic info is stored in thousands of pepins which are membrane-bound structures.