Eeewwwwwww! That's nasty!
And, nasty is exactly where we're going today.
Today, I'm talking about sites. Not a single site, though, rather a pair of them.
That's right, Parasites.
Parasites are those nasty things you really don't want to run into. They aren't any worse than some of the viruses, diseases or bacterias you see out there, except for one small fact: You can see them.
So, leave your lunch behind, and let's get gross!
Cotesia Glomerata - This disgusting thing is the inspiration behind Aliens. A female parasitic wasp will lay her eggs into a caterpillar. After a couple of weeks, larvae emerge from the egg, and they start to grow. The larvae inject a venom into the caterpillar, and then chew their way out of the body. But, they are still just larvae. And birds love to eat larvae. So, the venom injected caterpillar starts to weave a cocoon over it's little buddies, and protects them until they emerge as wasps.
Loa Loa - This is also known as the "African Eye Worm". And, it's just what it sounds like. It first enters the body through a Deer Fly bite. It then lives it's life quietly moving about under the skin. Until, it's homing pheromones kick in. Then it makes it's way up. Until one day, it's host wakes up and goes into the bathroom to start their day. They look in the mirror, and there, just under the cornea, is a small white worm. Mmmm....wormy eyes.....
Sacculina - This thing infects crabs. But, it tends to reside in the genitals. It preferes females, as it can easily turn off the females desire to mate, leaving the crab free to carry and nurture the parasite. If it infests a male, well, it partially castrates the male to make it act like a female.
Cymothoa Exigua - Probably the parasite most of you have seen. This is a water louse and a member of the crustacean family. When it's young, it enters a fishes gills, and then attaches its self to the base of the fishes tongue. It then uses its front claws and starts feeding on the fishes blood. This causes the fish tongue to shrivel up and die. If you look into the mouth of an infested fish, you can clearly see a large beastie sitting there, looking back. But, don't touch....they bite. (seriously. They will bite you)
Dracunculus Medinensis - Otherwise known as the "Guinea Worm". Let me tell you why you don't step in puddles in Africa. This little thingy starts small and lives in water. Say you're out for a walk and you step in a puddle. No big deal. You go home, maybe have something to drink, a bite to eat and watch some TV. After a few hours, you take a shower and go to bed. You sleep fine, and you go about your day. In fact, you keep on going about your day for approximately a year. Then, one day, seemingly out of the blue, a notice a blister on your foot or leg. It itches. And, it grows. And, as it grows, it starts to hurt. You finally have had enough, so you decide to pop it and drain it. And when you do, a small white head pops out. So, with great disgust, you grab the head and start pulling. And you keep pulling. And pulling, and pulling. And the whole time, it burns and itches. Severely. To soothe the pain, you run outside and submerge your foot into a puddle of water. And, that does the trick. You finish pulling the worm out, and find it's between 12 and 18 inches long. And by submerging your foot, you have let loose thousands of eggs.
Ok. You know what? I've spent the last 40 minutes composing this post, and now my skin is crawling. So I'm stopping here. I do have to get some sleep tonight, after all.
Just wait until tomorrow. I'll come up with something that will....uh....well, I haven't decided what tomorrows post will be about. But I'll figure it out. Oh yes. I'll figure it out.