Soccearth Cells

Imagine a Soccer Ball Inflated to the Size of the Earth...

Created by Wyken Seagrave.

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The whole surface of Soccearth is swarming with cells made from molecules. Most of the cells were bacteria but some were larger and advanced cells such as protozoa which are feeding on the bacteria. There were also smaller objects called viruses. On the map below we show examples of all these different types of objects on Soccearth.


A virus is not a living cell. Instead it uses other cells to reproduce itself. A bacteriophage, shown here, is one of the smallest viruses. To reproduce itself, it injects its DNA into a living bacterium, which then takes over the living cell and turns it into a machine for manufacturing more viruses. These then rupture the cell wall and burst out, going on to infect more cells. In the map you can see how small they are in comparison to a bacterium.


A bacterium (also sometimes called a germ, plural bacteria) is a simple, individual living cell in which the DNA is not packaged into a nucleus. It is widely believed that bacteria were among the first forms of life on Earth, although how life actually started is one of the great unsolved mysteries.

Image created by Mariana Ruiz Villarreal, LadyofHats

Key to diagram: 1 Pili, 2 Plasmid, 3 Ribosomes, 4 Cytoplasm, 5 Plasma Membrane, 6 Cell Wall, 7 Capsule, 8 Nucleoid of DNA, 9 Flagellum


More advanced forms of life, such as the animals and plants we are familiar with, consist of cells living together to form a complex organism. Each cell has a nucleus which is surrounded by its own membrane, and it also contains smaller organelles within it. Such cells are called "eukaryotes". It is widely believed that these advanced cells originated when bacteria began to live together.

We show examples of all these forms of life on a map of the Earth which represents Soccearth. Imagine a soccer ball (and everything on its surface) inflated to the size of the Earth. That is what I call Soccearth.

These are the objects you will find on the map. You can zoom into one of them and move any one of them to a chosen location on Soccearth. You will also find two of the panels of the soccer ball, so you can see the scale of the cells. Note the panels of the soccer ball are distorted because of the way the spherical Earth is projected onto a flat piece screen.

Object (click for info) HIV Virus Phage Virus Bacterium Animal Cell
Meters Across 7 m 12 m 120 m 3000 m
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Example of Size Town?
You can move any object to a new address. Enter the address here then press the Move button
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