The ABC affiliate in Albuquerque, N.M. (KOAT) conducted the experiment with the help of Quest Diagnostics. In a story posted on their website, they report they swabbed the beards of a handful of brave guys, and what they found on them was astonishing.
All of the beards had lots of bacteria, like the types you'd find on average surfaces. But they also had the same bacteria you'd find in fecal matter. Yes, fecal matter.
So is there really poop on your beard? Here's the thing: The study's sample size was small. A much larger study would have to be done to determine what's in the average beard.
The thought of what might be is pretty disturbing, but what can you do if you don't want to shave? A microbiologist who appeared in the report said if you've got a beard, scrub your it often. And most of all, try not to touch it with your hands.
Click here for the full report on the study from KOAT.