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Botflies redux.
December 15, 2006 9:29 PM   Subscribe

Man pulls botfly larva from his own stomach. Previously, from head. From eye (Snopes, w/pictures). Wikipedia.
posted by unSane (68 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
These Chinese giants sure are coming in handy these days. No, wait...
posted by Dasein at 9:34 PM on December 15, 2006 [3 favorites]


How lovely.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:03 PM on December 15, 2006


Oh. Oh, so, so gross.

Awesome.
posted by jmhodges at 10:13 PM on December 15, 2006


And then there's a human parasite (parasitic twin). An, uh oh, carniverous willie parasite, the candiru fish. A parasite infested intestinal tract.

In India I contracted roundworms a number of times. They can grow pretty loooong. nnnnggg. They take a weird journey through the body en route to the intestinal tract.
posted by nickyskye at 10:14 PM on December 15, 2006


It's a boy!
posted by gottabefunky at 10:17 PM on December 15, 2006


I contracted some kind of near microscopic worm, probably from Japan (it's very clean there but lily white bellies might not be ready for some water borne parasites, beware). Strangely enough I had a dream about worms a few days before I was diagnosed.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:19 PM on December 15, 2006


Oh, and I'm always amazed to see how thick the skin covering the skull is, given that subjectively it feels so hard and close to the bone.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:22 PM on December 15, 2006


From the Wikipedia link: "They do not kill the host animal, and thus are true parasites (though some species of rodent-infesting botflies do consume the host's testes)."


Uh, interesting.
posted by roomwithaview at 10:42 PM on December 15, 2006


Dude, this whole thread is fkked up. Sweet dreams, everyone.
posted by Brittanie at 10:48 PM on December 15, 2006


Now, I hate everything.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:12 PM on December 15, 2006


Damn you, unSane. Damn you all to hell!
posted by jonson at 11:22 PM on December 15, 2006


grooooooooss.
posted by j-urb at 11:29 PM on December 15, 2006


Second time I've seen this link today and I'm still not gonna click it and look. A man's got to know his limitations and I know this would scar my brain.
posted by fenriq at 11:33 PM on December 15, 2006


"This video has been removed due to terms of use violation."

Ehh... maybe I should be thankful for that.
posted by tmcw at 12:12 AM on December 16, 2006


Before the original link was taken down this came up as an additional further link (warning: parasites + heart surgery.) Any doctors: what the hell? Is this a hydatid cyst? And will I ever be able to sleep again?
posted by monocyte at 12:28 AM on December 16, 2006


An, uh oh, carniverous willie parasite, the candiru fish.

Perhaps those who fear candiru attacks should consider getting an apadravya (NSFW) in order to obstruct the trespasser's route up the urethra.
posted by homunculus at 12:53 AM on December 16, 2006


I like that botflies have the evil little spines that make it extra hard and painful to remove them. And as they mature they stick a little breathing tube out of the wound, like a periscope.
posted by Tuffy at 1:04 AM on December 16, 2006


Not to be all heartlessly (*cough*) clinical, but that Wormy Heart video is incredible --- it looks like they were living in one of the atria (or maybe ventricles, I'm not a cardiac surgeon....) but surely they weren't, because why weren't they flushed out with each contraction? It just astounds me, and no matter how many times I watch it, I can't figure it out.

On a separate note: I've both dissected cadavers and personally witnessed a friend remove a parasite from his arm with the aid of a lighter and a pair of tweezers in an almost hallucinogenically groteque display, and this still kind of squicks me out. But if you are willing (or able) to look past that, this is almost a kind of horrific testimony to the pragmatism of capital-L Life:

It does what it needs to do and it does what works, no matter how many stomaches it turns in the process.
posted by Tiresias at 1:10 AM on December 16, 2006


Huh. Count me in with those who know their limitations. The comments here are interesting, though.
posted by blacklite at 2:08 AM on December 16, 2006


Does anyone have another link to the video?
posted by joedan at 2:16 AM on December 16, 2006


People, I think you're overreacting. This is normal and in most cases quite healthy for the host as these so called "parasites" tend to feast okay, its posting from the other side of the brain but will be done soon on dead tissue and yucky things your body doesn't need won't let me sleep. Should see the crap they make me eat anyway. I think I read somewhere that there learned AJAX. Won't be long now. They'll discard are more foreign organ alad at Olive Gard isms in the body than indigenous.

I, for one, welcome my little "housekeepers."oming back. Please kill m
posted by hal9k at 3:43 AM on December 16, 2006 [14 favorites]


Humans were never meant to live on this planet.
posted by jfuller at 3:47 AM on December 16, 2006


Merry fucking Christmas to you, too.
posted by maryh at 3:49 AM on December 16, 2006


maryh: "Merry fucking Christmas to you, too."

Hey, I haven't looked at it either, but I'd much rather see this, no matter how vile, than yet another bunch of cute furry animals.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:02 AM on December 16, 2006


Worms... IN YOU'RE FACE! ("champagne! number one!")
posted by Land Stander at 5:50 AM on December 16, 2006


The desire to read this thread makes me glad the img tag is gone.
posted by evilcolonel at 6:36 AM on December 16, 2006


Maaan. Just what I needed to cure a heavy hang over.
posted by Bravocharlie at 6:54 AM on December 16, 2006


Aren't insects the shit? Seriously.

Though the first link is down, I saw the botfly/stomach scenario on an Animal Planet special - "Parasites!" or something like that. I think the guy gave the larvae a name - George. While it was living in him.
posted by Liosliath at 7:02 AM on December 16, 2006


Nature is wonderful! I need to go shop for bubble rooms now.
posted by StarForce5 at 7:05 AM on December 16, 2006


ugh. i hate when i click on links like these. yuck!
posted by punkrockrat at 7:06 AM on December 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


The heartworm video is amazing.

Sorry the first link got deleted. Here's another botfly extraction, from the back this time.
posted by unSane at 7:32 AM on December 16, 2006


Oh man, those images were gross; I'll never be the same.


"Humans were never meant to live on this planet."

So true! There's no way we're indigenous to this planet.

*shudder*
posted by hojoki at 7:43 AM on December 16, 2006


That extraction from the heart was a new one for me. What in the hell was that white lump they pulled out? It didn't look like an insect--more like a big piece of pasta.

I have to say, it didn't appear that the doctors were acting terribly quickly in that video. If I were one of 'em, I'd be yankin' and grabbin' those fuckers out of there one after the other. And I'd also make damned sure the cavity they were extracted from was empty afterwords. It looked like they pulled out the one piece of pasta, thought "Oh how interesting..." meanwhile I'm here yelling at my monitor, "There's more! Look right there!"
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:00 AM on December 16, 2006


Now my eyes feel weird. Thanks!

That was pretty cool, though.
posted by Verdandi at 8:33 AM on December 16, 2006


Video is gone. I'm not sure I mind.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:46 AM on December 16, 2006


The horror... the horror...
posted by papakwanz at 9:37 AM on December 16, 2006


A pity the first vid is down of the guy extracting the botfly larva (the second of the day) from his skinny lower abdomen/hip with his beloved badly focusing the camera and her making the great comment, "It's a boy!", when the white, wriggling, definitely squicky larva(presumably "George") was painfully tweezed out by its head. That had to be a horrifying experience and he, the host, handled it bravely. Interesting the guy was wearing a winter hat during the procedure.

I think when dealing with the EEEK factor of life, it helps to go into Interested Scientist Mode, with one's inner child peeking out from behind yelling EWWWWWwwwwwww!
posted by nickyskye at 9:39 AM on December 16, 2006


The wrong thing to read before dinner. Clearly.

I should know better, but it's like a trainwreck or something "Ooooh! Parasites! Where?!" and it's always gross. And awesome. Definitely awesome and definitely gross.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:05 AM on December 16, 2006


barf
posted by FunkyHelix at 10:10 AM on December 16, 2006


Traveling in rural Brazil, I´m fairly certain I´m full of worms. If they don´t mess with me, I don´t mess with them.
posted by iamck at 10:38 AM on December 16, 2006


Not all intestinal worms are bad.
posted by alizarin at 11:11 AM on December 16, 2006


Don't forget, bugs have their own bugs to deal with too: The Gordian Worm lives inside a cricket for long periods of time, eventually injecting chemicals into it's host that cause the poor critter to commit suicide.
Also, the interesting and strangely beautiful alien-landscapes created by Cordiceps Fungi. <a
posted by ktrey at 11:12 AM on December 16, 2006


Oops. Second link here.
posted by ktrey at 11:13 AM on December 16, 2006


This thread is not complete without revisiting Colonix Blue's: “The death that existed inside of me” photo gallery.
posted by HyperBlue at 11:27 AM on December 16, 2006


no, seriously, what were those things the doctors were pulling from the heart? i couldn't understand what the doctors were saying. how can we find out what those were???
posted by mosessis at 11:29 AM on December 16, 2006


Tell me that Colonix thing is not for real.
posted by Morrigan at 12:32 PM on December 16, 2006


thanks for the links, ktrey. how in the hell does that worm fit inside that tiny cricket?
posted by es_de_bah at 12:54 PM on December 16, 2006


Tell me that Colonix thing is not for real

It's for real, but not what the vendors claim. It's just a cast of the colon, such as you excrete after taking psyllium-based products, psyllium being a gel-forming bulking agent.
posted by raygirvan at 1:10 PM on December 16, 2006


How did that person get ravioli in their ventricle?
posted by gottabefunky at 1:30 PM on December 16, 2006


Ok, after a little research I'm going to tentatively guess that the heart thing is a hydatid cyst, a consequence of zoonotic infection with Echinococcus worms. The worms form a cyst, a walled-off chamber of tissue, which gradually swells. Bad things happen when the cyst gets too large or *silent scream* ruptures. The pocket that they're draining might be associated with the muscular walls of the heart, but it's not actually in the chambers, so no blood comes out under suction. Google image search will give you plenty of images for comparison.

What the surgeons are doing seems to line up with the description given in this summary. First the cyst is located surgically based on the radiologic findings; I think you can see it in the first few seconds of the video as an unusual swelling on the surface of the heart. Then the cyst is cut open and suctioned out, which forms the rest of the video. The white pads surrounding the cyst in this scene are probably soaked with cetrimide, which should help protect the surrounding tissue from additional wormy grossness. After they finish up suctioning, they will inject the cyst with a cetrimide solution, then with saline, and sew it back closed.

Hydatid cysts aren't that common, thank god, and are geographically limited to where there's Echinococcus in an animal population. Cysts in the heart are supposed to be really rare; you normally see them in the lungs or liver, but they can go a lot of other places, including the eyes and brain. Eww.
posted by monocyte at 2:18 PM on December 16, 2006


/reeling

I'm sorry, that Colonix thing requires a FPP and a LOT more explanation!

/still reeling
posted by unSane at 3:20 PM on December 16, 2006


monocyte, somehow i was hoping that an explanation would make me feel better. safer, perhaps. more at ease. this did not happen. i was really hoping those pasta shapes were not alive in any way. things buried just beneath my skin's surface: that's cool. i mean, i've had a few tics in my life; what's the big deal? but larvae on my heart? un uh.

but, seriously, thank you for your guess. at least i can sleep tonight knowing that my animals probably don't have this infection and that i therefore probably don't have one of them things on my heart.
posted by mosessis at 3:29 PM on December 16, 2006


Parasites suck.

wow ktrey, That Gordian Worm story is astonishing. How the hell did that parasite concoct the exact neurochemical to induce the cricket to commit not just any old suicide, endangering the parasite puppet master, but the precise suicide that would enable the parasite to move on to greener pastures? Incredible.

I didn't realise that a neurochemical could be 'manufactured' to cause a precise action. Recently, I had a brain procedure, which required my being awake but sedated. They offered me a drug to cause short term amnesia, Versed, but I wanted to remember everything and declined. It seemed like a scary idea, causing amnesia at will, like Men In Black with that flash gadget.

Dang, been taking Cordyceps Fungi supplements, so now I got alien tummy. yikes. And wow, that heart surgery vid.

A friend and fellow traveler in India, had brain surgery to remove beef tapeworm hyatatid cysts. Parasites can be a real drag, the critter ones and the human variations.
posted by nickyskye at 3:55 PM on December 16, 2006


"guy extracting the botfly larva (the second of the day) from his skinny lower abdomen/hip with his beloved badly focusing the camera and her making the great comment, 'It's a boy!'"

Hm, no. This was a guy who had the botfly in his stomach for some time, until it started to give him severe pains while he was at a hotel somewhere. He phoned the NHS (or something), and they told him all the tricks like petroleum jelly, painting over the hole with nail polish, etc... None of them worked, so he went into the hospital and had George extracted. The craziest part was the photographer he had with him missed the shot of the botfly being removed, so he asked the doc to put it back in for another go-round. And the doc DID.
posted by Liosliath at 4:29 PM on December 16, 2006


And the Animal Planet special was "Eaten Alive!"
posted by Liosliath at 4:29 PM on December 16, 2006


I realise Liosliath that the guy had the larva -two apparently- in his abdomen for some time because it takes while for the larva to grow that big. However, he said it was the second removal of a larva of the day and he had another inflamed and quite visible hole further up his abdomen, where he presumably took the other larva out earlier that same day. The doc put the sucker back so he could reshoot the extraction? Dang, the sacrifice for documentation!
posted by nickyskye at 7:08 PM on December 16, 2006


PS The gently told story of the human botfly. And human botfly infestation, myiasis, of the scrotum.
posted by nickyskye at 7:17 PM on December 16, 2006


i'm in ur scrotum eatin ur ...

NO IT'S TOO HORRIBLE. I CANNOT GO ON.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:33 PM on December 16, 2006 [2 favorites]


H.O.L.Y. S.H.I.T.

I love the fact that the guy not only wrote a poem about the botfly in his scrotum, but made it a parody of 'The Night Before Christmas'.
posted by unSane at 7:40 PM on December 16, 2006


"guy had the larva -two apparently"

The guy I saw only mentioned one - since the video's down, was he a big teddybear-like guy with a beard?

That Travel Clinic link is pretty cool. Nothing like reading about all the things I should have been scared of in Africa.
posted by Liosliath at 8:28 PM on December 16, 2006


How the hell did that parasite concoct the exact neurochemical to induce the cricket to commit not just any old suicide

Still not as amazing as the wasp that envenoms its cockroach prey, turning it into a roach zombie that it then rides back to its wasp lair like a cowboy, where it then impregnates with its seed, which later emerge from the dead body like that scene in Alien. That is some crazy-awesome shit.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:57 PM on December 16, 2006


The vid, the first link in the post, showed him having two holes on this abdomen and he said he'd already taken one out. This guy was thin. Lots of interesting parasite critters in Africa. My fav gory one is the Loa Loa, eye parasite. But elephantiasis (not safe for the squeamish or for work), caused by mosquito bite, like the botfly is pretty grisly as well. Then there is the Guinea Worm, sometimes as long as 3 feet.

Should anyone in the NYC area need a doctor who is expert in tropical medicine and parasites, I'd like to highly recommend
Dr. Kevin M. Cahill
(212) 879-2607
850 5th Ave
New York, NY 10021
posted by nickyskye at 9:16 PM on December 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


PS omg, Civil_Disobedient , that wasp neuropuppeteer cowboy roach-on-a-leash alien parasite is incredible!
posted by nickyskye at 9:30 PM on December 16, 2006


How the hell did that parasite concoct the exact neurochemical to induce the cricket to commit not just any old suicide, endangering the parasite puppet master, but the precise suicide that would enable the parasite to move on to greener pastures?

Actually, according to my understanding of how evolution works, if a parasite evolves a "make my host kill itself when I'm all done" behavior, it will naturally occur such a way as to maximize the survival of the species. So I'd be surprised if it didn't end up how it did.

Also, re: topic at large: ew. Totally not watching any of those videos, the still images linked in this thread are bad enough.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 10:34 PM on December 16, 2006


The clip of intestinal parasites makes me want to go drink Drano or spray Raid up my butt.
posted by davy at 8:17 AM on December 17, 2006


Ktrey--

You know, I'd heard about the bullet ants and cordiceps before, but the part I didn't know--the part that's truly horrifying and awesome in the original sense of the word--is that the ants have some understanding of what "one of us climbed up a tree" means, and drag the infected ant somewhere way the hell west of dodge.

That's just freakin' cool.
posted by thecaddy at 1:43 PM on December 17, 2006


There is no way I'm clicking those links. I'm still having nightmares from the weird fishies.
posted by deborah at 9:53 PM on December 17, 2006


Here's another wasp for you Civil_Disobedient, the Tarantula Hawk. They rate a 4 on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index.
posted by tellurian at 11:13 PM on December 17, 2006


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