A microorganism or microbe is a microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell (unicellular) or cell clusters.
The study of microorganisms is called microbiology, a subject that began with Anton van Leeuwenhoek's discovery of microorganisms in 1675, using a microscope of his own design.
Microorganisms are very diverse; they include bacteria, fungi, archaea, and protists; microscopic plants (green algae); and animals such as plankton and the planarian. Some microbiologists also include viruses, but others consider these as nonliving.
Most microorganisms are unicellular (single-celled), but this is not universal, since some multicellular organisms are microscopic, while some unicellular protists and bacteria, like Thiomargarita namibiensis, are macroscopic and visible to the naked eye.