With an unsettling *splat* your toast has once again landed butter-side down on the carpet. But it’s not like you’re going to waste another five minutes waiting for a replacement piece to brown. Heck no, just yell out “five second rule,” pick that sucker up, brush off all that hair and lint and you’re ready to eat, right? Science says no.
The most important thing to remember about the world around you is that everything is covered in germs, at all times. There are an estimated 100 billion in your mouth right now, another 100 trillion living in your digestive tract. As many as 25,000 germs crowd onto every square inch of your cell phone, though, and another 7.2 billion call your kitchen sponge home. Luckily, an overwhelming majority of these microscopic lifeforms either pay us no attention or actively work for our mutual benefit. The rest of them, though, can kick your ass.