Throughout my life I have seen some bacterial and fungal colonies in various sizes and colors, mostly on food or in hot humid dirty environments.

Putting bacteria and microfungi as well as other microbiology such as microalgae and archea aside, I ask here as a non biologist:

Why do what I can define as "aerophilic viruses" (viruses that can live significant amounts of time in the air and especially on surfaces interacting with the air - around 12 hours or more) don't establish colonies?

If such "aerophilic viruses" are so common and constantly going through evolution (perhaps faster than any other organism), why a microscope is needed to see them and one cannot see gatherings of them in the macro level?


1 Answer 1


Virus cannot reproduce on their own; they can only reproduce by taking over a cellular organism. For this reason, the idea of a 'virus colony' does not make sense.

You could have a colony of mold or bacteria that is infected by a virus, but a virus by itself could never create a single offspring, let along a macroscopic colony.

If there were some type of mutated virus that could reproduce independently, then I would argue that it would be a new type of life and not a virus.


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