We’ve all heard about scary diseases transferred by mosquitoes and other vermin like smallpox and malaria, but what most people don’t know is that millions of bugs and parasites could be living inside your body at this very moment. Scary isn’t it?
Parasites could be worms or bugs or straight up anything that is alive and crawling inside you. The symptoms and side effects from these parasites can span from nothing to even death within minutes.
But what most people don’t realize is that these parasites could be living inside you without alerting you to their presence. Not only is that gross, it’s unsettling scary. They could live and grow for decades before you even notice!
So what are some of the more scarier bugs that could be living in you? Here are 10 of the scariest bugs on earth that could be, at this very moment, living within you…
10. Naegleria Fowleri – Zombie Bug
Zombies are depicted as brain-thirsty creatures that hunt humans for food and sustenance. The Naegleria Fowleri is similar in a way – they like to eat brains. Another bug that can get into your body because you swim into it, the Fowleri attacks your nervous system. It comes with a gift basket of headaches, nausea, vomiting among a handful of other symptoms before you are thrown into an irreversible coma. This parasite is very rare, however, with less than 1000 cases ever reported. So don’t be scared to take a dip in that lake out back.
9. Onchocerca Volvulus – The Blindness Worm
Onchocerca Volvulus is the worm that causes many people to go blind in areas that are underdeveloped. Humans are the only hosts of this worm and are affected almost immediately with what is known as River Blindness. This causes your corneas to harden slowly and thus cause you to go blind. The immune system of the human doesn’t even recognize it as a foreign and harmful parasite!
8. Filarial Worm – A.K.A The Elephant Worm
This worm is often called the elephant worm not because of its size but because of what it does to your body after it enters you. After entering the human body, the Filarial Worm rests like all other worms because the task of harming humans is tiring. A year after entering you, the worm becomes an adult and like all respectable adults, the worm moves out of where it was before and into the lymphatic system. Most people think, ‘oh, Lymphatic system, never heard of it, doesn’t matter.’ That is quite the contrary! The lymphatic system controls the liquids and more importantly, the departure of those harmful liquids. So when a giant worm and its friends clog up the drain, your body starts to keep the liquids inside causing the area affected to swell up into giant water-filled areas. These affected areas are often compared to elephants as they swell up to the point where they stop becoming useful to the human and are more of a burden.
7. Loa Loa – The Eye Worm
Loa Loa sounds like a drink that you would have on a tropical beach vacation on some exotic island. But the reality is, this parasite is a real nasty one, leaving victims with a swollen mark from wherever they were injected from. An insect carrying the Loa Loa parasite will bite an unsuspecting human and push the parasite into the person’s skin and tissue. Like a dog settling into bed, the Loa Loa parasite will circle around the wound for a while before settling in and causing major swelling and pain. The craziest part about the Loa Loa is that if it finds its way up towards your eye, you can actually feel and see it crawling through! Also, these worms can live in you for 17 years – all the more reason to take that much-needed stay-cation.
6. The Botfly- Nature’s Freeloaders
These insects burrow into a human’s skin with the sole purpose of laying eggs inside a person. If a botfly were to choose you as their victim, it wouldn’t be hard to realize that you had thousands of baby botflies on your body. When the parent fly leaves the sac and it hatches, the baby botflies eat all the way to the muscle for their sustenance – leaving a big gaping hole in a person’s skin. Now, many of the people that have been attacked by botflies report the ability to feel the maggots squirming under the skin – disgusting! Most cases of the botfly lead to a surgical procedure to remove the clump of eggs.
5. Guinea Worm – Reverse Psychologist
The worm that makes you do their bidding by using what I like to call reverse psychology. When swimming in lakes and oceans that aren’t filtered for bugs, a person might swallow a water flea. These fleas love hanging out in dirty and off-road lakes where they sit around and prey on water insects smaller than them. After the flea is swallowed down into the stomach, your body does most of what it’s supposed to do. Burning away the flea, the body leaves the very strong guinea worm in the stomach. The worm then burrows into a part of the intestine or any soft mushy part inside you and hibernates until it grows.
After about a year of unknown growth, the worm can measure up to 2 to 3 feet long. At this moment in time, your body is too small of a home for them – think a bungalow for a king- and so they try to get out by crawling to the surface of your skin and leaving a blister there. This is where the worm messes with your brain. It creates a hot burning sensation under the blister, prompting for you to put your infected limb into cold water to alleviate pain. But that’s exactly what the worm wants! It releases thousands more tiny worms into the water and stays in your body.
4. Vandellia Cirrhosa- The Vampire Fish
Parents and officials everywhere say not to pee in the pool and that is something you should live by in life after reading this. The Vandellia Cirrhosa is a tiny Amazonian worm that allegedly follows and guides itself using ammonium, and guess where that comes from – your urine. They can climb through the penis and burrow themselves in and basically eat all the flesh that they can before they are taken out, which usually isn’t long. This little fish wrecks havoc wherever it goes, so it’s very hard not to realize that they are inside you.
3. Ascaris Lumbricoides- The Real Elephant Worm
Growing up to over 30 cm in length, the Ascaris is a ringworm that is very common in rural areas. This one is a scary one – you could never know it was inside you. The Ascaris doesn’t show any symptoms if the amount of worms inside you is small. Once a city of worms calls your body home, the symptoms start to show. Everything from headaches, fevers, nausea to good old diarrhea are possible symptoms. This ringworm affects more children than adults and can affect their learning ability.
2. Sarcoptes Scabiei – Scabies
The Sarcoptes Scabiei is just a very simple way of saying Scabies. It causes red and uncomfortable rashes around the site of infection and just overall discomfort. These little bugs basically camp out in the hair follicles of your skin and cause immense pain and don’t go away until treated head-on with antibiotics and therapy. Make sure to wash behind the ears next time.
1. Spargana – The Ticking Time Bomb
The Spargana is quite possibly the scariest of them all. This parasite latches onto a part of the host, typically the brain, and feasts upon it for up to 20 years. During the time period, you might only experience mild symptoms that can’t connect to the Spargana such as headaches or sometimes seizures. Right after it’s done with its feasting, the Spargana leaves once it kills the host. This parasite is found mainly in Asia and is contracted from contaminated water and under-cooked meat.