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.