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Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga is a Costa Rican parasitic wasp that terrorizes the spider Plesiometa argyra. When it's time to procreate, an adult female wasp will seek out a spider, paralyze it and then lay an egg on its abdomen. After hatching, the larva wasp will feed on its host, while the spider goes about its business like nothing's wrong.
Then things get interesting. After a couple weeks of bloodsucking, the larva will inject a chemical into the spider, which causes the spider to build a web like none it's ever built before. The spider sits motionless in its creation — which is far from pretty, but super durable and able to withstand pelts of rain — to await its fate. The parasite then kills the spider with poison, sucks it dry and builds a cocoon that hangs from the middle of the new web.
If Tom & Jerry taught us anything, it's that cats and rodents typically don't get along. In fact, rats inherently know the smell of cat urine and run from it like their lives depend on it (because, well, it does). But if a rat is infected by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii, it loses its instinctual fear of cat pee. Worse yet, the parasite appears to make the rat think it's sexually attracted to the revolting odor. T. gondii does all of this to increase the chances of its host getting eaten by a cat, so that it can happily complete its lifecycle in its new feline friend.
The Lancet liver fluke Dicrocoelium dendriticum has a very busy life. As an adult it spends its time in the liver of a cow or another grazing mammal. Here it mates and lays eggs, which are excreted in the host's feces.
A snail eats the poo, taking in the eggs at the same time. The eggs hatch in the snail and make their way into its digestive gland, where they asexually reproduce. They then travel to the surface of the snail's body. As a defensive maneuver, the snail walls the parasites up in cysts and coughs up the balls of slime...doing exactly what the parasites wanted it to do.
An ant comes along and gobbles up the fluke-laded slime balls. The flukes then spread out inside of the ant, with a couple of them setting up shop in the insect's head. When night approaches, the flukes take control. They make the ant climb up a blade of grass and hold tight, waiting to be eaten by a grazing animal. If the ant is still alive at dawn, the flukes release their control and the ant goes about its day like normal (if the ant baked in the sun, the parasite would die, too). At night the flukes take over again and the cycle repeats until the ant becomes cattle food.
The parasite destroys the fish's tongue, and then attaches itself to the stub of what was once its tongue and becomes the fish's new tongue.
originally posted by: eXia7
Crazy list of freaky things.
Problem is, they left the worst parasites off the list. Politicians.
oh yeah, and I almost forgot bankers.
originally posted by: and14263
I once had a tick in my chest after staying in a rain forest for a week. It was pretty cathartic pulling it out.
What is going on with nature when it decides this s**t is acceptable?
Parasites are the enemy
Eliminating the Parasites That You Almost Certainly Have and Curing Lupus
Written by C. Thomas Corriher
Parasitic infestations are an epidemic in the United States, with most sources estimating that a massive 85% of Americans have parasites. Because of this, we recommend a parasite cleanse every six months, care in choosing restaurants, and washing after exposure to animals.
Many people think parasites may be acquired only in developing and third-world countries or as a parting gift on an exotic vacation. However, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds these buggers are very much alive in the U.S.
Millions of Americans develop parasitic infections and symptoms often go unnoticed or are misdiagnosed. These microscopic creatures are typically picked up through food and water. An infection can lead to serious health problems, including seizures, blindness, pregnancy complications, heart failure and even death.
Naturally Eliminating Parasites:
•Black walnut hulls
•Pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil capsules
Diatomaceous earth is probably the best natural anti-parasitic medication. It is a natural pesticide that does not harm humans or pets. It is believed to kill insects, worms and parasites by dehydrating them. When used on ants, it usually takes approximately 20 minutes before they are all dead. One tablespoon of diatomaceous earth taken by an adult, once a day for seven days, is believed to be extremely effective for killing all parasites. When it is used on children, bear in mind that height is a better indicator of the size of their G.I. tracts than their weights. Thus, a child who is 4 feet tall should take 2 teaspoons, and a child who is 2 feet tall should take 1 teaspoon.
If you take the diatomaceous earth route, then we advise you to only buy it food grade. Industrial diatomaceous earth is used for swimming pool filters, but it has been chemically treated, so this type is not safe to eat.
See link for more pics and description
10 COMMON parasites in humans:
Symbiotic relationships between a parasite and a host can have beneficial effects (StoutBroux's notation: OR NOT - zombie effect anyone?), even changing human personality and evolution.