Dec 9, 2007

Brainwash

I've posted on some stuff that has made me ashamed to be human. This one makes me ashamed to be a biological entity.

Jade sent me this video (he posted on it here). What you'll watch is what happens when you step on a grasshopper that is infected with hairworms. Here's what you need to know about the hairworm:

A parasitic worm that makes the grasshopper it invades jump into water and commit suicide does so by chemically influencing its brain, a study of the insects’ proteins reveal.

The parasitic Nematomorph hairworm (Spinochordodes tellinii) develops inside land-dwelling grasshoppers and crickets until the time comes for the worm to transform into an aquatic adult. Somehow mature hairworms brainwash their hosts into behaving in way they never usually would – causing them to seek out and plunge into water.

Once in the water the mature hairworms – which are three to four times longer that their hosts when extended – emerge and swim away to find a mate, leaving their host dead or dying in the water.

Now you can enjoy the video, and marvel at how profoundly ugly nature can be.

Thanks for the photo, Jade. I'm praying that these worms don't learn to jump species.

21 comments:

Aubrey said...

Let me be the first to say.... ewwww

Fat & Sassy said...

Words fail me. *gags slightly*

Jade said...

Glad to see everyone's enjoying this bit of joy, so far :)

booge said...

Here's some footage of a similar forced suicide.

zeda said...

Oh my gawd, it just keeps going.

To think a live cricket had all that inside! Gives me the creeps.

meg said...

that was a positively horrible idea to watch before bed. i must definitively say i am creeped the hell out. and will probably have nightmares. takes a lot to do that to me.

Cozytailmom said...

I can't even watch it...

TeratoMarty said...

Waaargh jeezus. Someone throw some chlorine in that pool, right away!

zhimbo said...

(shudder...gag...shudder). Howzabout more brandishing mantises? Those are nice...

jynxkat said...

that looks like something from that movie The Thing- kinda had the same effect on me too- totally linked that to all my friends :P

Arachnophile said...

Parasites freakin' OWN! I mean, yeah, it's nasty but what an amazing organism.

I saw this happen in real life once, nasty way to go.

no_one said...

Ugh. Thats sooo nasty, I nearly threw up watching it.

Luillinind said...

Ah, yes, the hairworm. I've been fascinated with this parasite since I first learned of its existence. Apparently hairworms target more than grasshoppers and crickets, or at least some species do.
Last year, I found a large dead spider whose abdomen was sunken in like a deflated balloon. A few inches away, there was a worm that had clumped itself into a tangled, writhing brown ball that looked almost too big to have fit in the abdomen. It was quite a freaky sight. Knowing their reproductive habits, I think I nudged the worm into a nearby puddle of water.

LuvBJones said...

This is even more fun that the bot fly larvae! I'm going to go cry now.

jenjen said...

Eeeeugh. What else can you really say. I need a unicorn chaser now.

Anonymous said...

What's up with the music in the background?

Why did I watch that? said...

NOT a good thing to watch while you are eating breakfast. Ick. Ick. Ick!

Nebulous Grey said...

I'm too scared to watch this.
Maybe I'll force someone else to watch it - if I can creep someone else out with it, usually my own disgust vanishes in the sadistic glee of making another person almost puke.
:)

wobblerlorri said...

I don't speak Spanish, but I guarantee the men were saying "Hey, y'all watch this!" and the woman was saying "Will you PLEASE clean that crap up off my patio!"

Anonymous said...

That is so terrifying. I keep thinking of the Thing, where the dogs get attacked and infected.

Nonexistant Black Feather said...

not even gonna watch it. i'm bad enough with some bugs, but to combine it with parasitic worms? blechhhhH!