Get ready to hold a little vom down in your throat. These carpet-looking thingamajigs are actually cheese made with human bacteria, such as the kind you'd find in your belly button or in your nose or in your salty tears or on your skin or on your toe. It's beyond gross and, if you really really think about it, makes the very idea of cheese seem disgusting.
Scientist Christina Agapakis and scent expert Sissel Tolaas gathered bacteria from various people and created cheeses with them in their project Selfmade, which debuted at an exhibition about synthetic biology in Dublin. The cheese is supposed to reflect the flavors of their own humans. Stinky cheese, stinky feet—that kind of deal.
"Despite [their] chemical and biological similarities, there are obviously very different cultural and emotional responses to stinky cheese and stinky feet. By making cheese directly from the microbes on the body, we want to highlight these bacterial connections as well as to question and potentially expand the role of both odors and microbes in our lives."
The cheeses aren't meant to be eaten, but the idea of belly button bacteria is so gag-inducing that I can't even look at them. Surprisingly, when I built up the courage to scroll, the belly button cheese doesn't look so bad:
The toe cheese, on the other hand—yuck: