Scary Things That Can Live Inside You!
You may have heard the urban legend that tells us a spider took advantage of an open wound on a human and laid its eggs there. Sometime later, this person became an incubator for scores of little 8-legged orphans. We say, orphans, because how on Earth could mother have kept tabs on her little ones.
This is in fact a myth, as spiders just can’t lay eggs in human skin. Your body is a breeding ground, though, make no mistake about that. Mites live on our skin, bed down in our eyelashes, while microscopic bacteria make a home in our intestines. In fact, trillions of microbes live in and on us.
Perhaps one of the most commonly seen invasions of horrible living things in the human body is the tapeworm. Recent reports explain how a man in India had a 2 meters long tapeworm make the man’s gut its living quarters. The worm was removed via the man’s mouth in quite distressing fashion.
These things can grow up to 3.5 meters and can go unnoticed as they don’t always cause pain.
A report in 2012 showed Indian doctors removing one from a man’s eye. The larvae from the worms can get into undercooked meat and fish and this is how they get into humans. They could also live in human feces and then get onto the hands of humans if we don’t wash them properly after going to the toilet. It’s unusual they make it to a person’s eyes, but if they get past there and reach the brain then trouble will follow.
Tapeworms aren’t so bad if you’ve seen rather paunchy bot flies being removed from a human body. There’s only one type that often chooses humans to lay its eggs and that is a kind of tick named, Dermatobia hominis. This parasite burrows into the skin and when removed looks like a maggot, only that maggot can be as long as 2.5 cm. When they grow, you’ll know about it as it gets uncomfortable. As Wired magazine points out, they “rotate in their little burrows in your skin, and this creates this sort of intense shooting periodic pain.” It’s impressive how it happens. The botfly grabs a flying mosquito in mid-flight and sticks its eggs to the underside of it. When the mozzie finds you the larvae feel the warmth of your body and decide to make a home there. Watching what an infestation of these things looks like may put you off your bowl of rice. It’s fairly common, too, so you can watch the removal videos until your heart’s content.
What about the tiny fish that tunnels into your penis when you take a leak in the river. Well, this tale of Amazonian horror is more fact than fiction, even though European scientists published papers on this mysterious fish, called the candiru. The story goes, it burrows into the urethra and then begins a campaign of causing you absolute misery. The problem is, even though tales abound in the Amazon about this fish, enough to exhort local fishermen to tie up their baloney, an investigation by the BBC found only one case had ever been officially reported. According to the BBC, “After hours of surgery, urologist Dr. Anoar Samad managed to extract the fish, dragging its carcass back out through the unfortunate patient’s penis.”
Often regarded as one of the worst things that can happen to you is an invasion of what’s known as Screwworms. The Screwworm fly looks for a place to lay its eggs and unfortunately, a human being is regarded as a workable host. The problem is, the maggots have teeth and they burrow farther into you, sometimes right into the nerve tissue. If you annoy them, they keep on burrowing. This can lead to intense pain or even death. A British tourist came quite close after a trip to Peru. When she arrived back in the UK, she heard scratching sounds in her head and started getting shooting pains down her face. After numerous trips to the doctor, it was found her ear was filled with these flesh-eating bugs. She had to have emergency surgery to remove what the surgeons called a “writhing mass of maggots” that had begun chewing their way through her ear canal. Had they been left alone, things would have gotten much worse. Some journals explain the agony as being eaten alive from the inside as these horror-bugs screw farther into you.
A disease you’ve probably all heard about is elephantiasis, wherein parts of the body are grossly swollen. You may not have known that the major cause of this is because of a parasite carried by a mosquito that then enters a human. These are called filarial worms, and they block the lymphatic vessels and cause a build-up of fluid, which often affects the limbs and genital regions. It’s thought about 39 million people are affected globally by lymphatic filariasis, which may or may not develop into people having oversized parts of the body. There is no cure because the worms reproduce inside of you, although surgery can be successful. Infections are most common in Africa, Central, and South America, South Asia, and the Pacific Islands. The main thing is to try not to get bitten, and if you do always make sure to clean your wounds.
A much more common infestation is that of scabies. Just recently it was reported that everyone at a private jail in Nashville, Tennessee, had to be treated for scabies. That also included the staff. Scabies is the result of scores of parasitic ticks burrowing into human skin. They can be spread by people or by touching surfaces where they are waiting. They’ll make you itch like crazy, but the more you itch the worse it gets. Anyone can be infected and it exists just about everywhere.
It may just end up looking like a graze on the skin, but the worst-case scenario would be to develop what’s known as Norwegian scabies. Also known as crusted scabies, it is the result of a compromised immune system not attacking the mites and hundreds of thousands of them living on you. The result can be skin that turns into hard scales, making part of you look like a stone a man from Game of Thrones.
So, which of these horrifying things is the most horrifying to you?