Fish got your tongue?
September 11, 2009 7:24 PM   Subscribe

H̢̫͕͕̦͚̳ͅE̵̮̜͎͚̮̦̰ ̹̜͖̳͜͝C̮̦̩̣͇̭O̷̬̠̯̺M̡̠̗̘͈̤̜̼͞ͅE͇͟͝S͏̶͓̣̪͔͉̩̦͙
posted by threetoed at 7:28 PM on September 11, 2009 [19 favorites]

I'm going to have nightmares involving scary parasites popping out of people's chests.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 7:31 PM on September 11, 2009

Awesome photo. For parasite affectionados (and let's be honest, who isn't?) I'm going to recommend, for the nth time, Carl Zimmer's fascinating book Parasite Rex. Just wait until you discover the amazing crab parasite Sacculina...
posted by Auden at 7:33 PM on September 11, 2009 [6 favorites]

Phew. I thought it was off the New Jersey coast.

[NOT AMERIC--Why are you sticking out your tongue at me? And ... And ... What's wrong with it?
posted by thecaddy at 7:34 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

I saw this on Reddit. There's another article that talks in a bit more detail about how the parasite eats away the tongue until it then serves as the tongue and takes a bit of the food the fish eats each time. Actually the lil guy looks cute. It's the fish that has those human-like teeth. Looks 'shopped as hell, but I never checked back to see if it was real or not.
posted by cashman at 7:36 PM on September 11, 2009

Cymothoa exigua. Wiki sez they feed off blood and mucus from the fish - not the fish's scraps.
posted by cashman at 7:40 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

I should not have looked at that before bed. Oh well. Maybe some space marines or a hot, badass Ripley will show up in my dreams too.
posted by MasonDixon at 7:42 PM on September 11, 2009

Yet another thing this website has shown me that I did NOT need to be exposed to.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:44 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

What exit?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:49 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

i agree with cashman - what's with the human teeth on this fish?
posted by mgkaelen at 7:52 PM on September 11, 2009

Hint: Do not think about these guys and Bathynomus giganteus at the same time.

Also, shark-eye–eating copepods.
posted by hattifattener at 7:59 PM on September 11, 2009

And just today, I listened to the podcast of RadioLab's latest show, all about parasites and featuring Carl Zimmer:
posted by tippiedog at 8:03 PM on September 11, 2009

Oh? Is Carl Zimmer a parasite? I had no idea.
posted by Doohickie at 8:10 PM on September 11, 2009 [2 favorites]

It looks like its smiling. Like some kind of parasitic Buddha.
posted by Nyarlathotep at 8:13 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by sarcasticah at 8:17 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

before eating and replacing their tongues with itself

You know, I have some admiration for a post this fantastical that still manages to hold back the clincher.

(hopefully others, like me, will be unable to pass up the link before checking in here)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:17 PM on September 11, 2009

Isn't Intelligent Design wonderful?
posted by Creosote at 8:20 PM on September 11, 2009 [7 favorites]

On the surface, sure it sounds great - living inside a fish's mouth, but once the novelty wears off...
posted by davebush at 8:23 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yet another thing this website has shown me that I did NOT need to be exposed to.

Have you been exposed to Darwin's thoughts about another parasite, the Ichneumon wasps?
I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.
More specifically (emphasis added),
The Ichneumon is parasitic. The females deposit their eggs in the body of Caterpillars (Lepidoptera).

Other species are parasites of Hymenoptera and Coleoptera. The tiny larvae that hatch fed upon the fatty tissues of the Caterpillar's body without damaging any vital organs. When the Ichneumon larvae are almost full-grown they begin to feed on the more vital organs, resulting in death of the caterpillar. In many cases the Caterpillar continues to live, and it is only after the Ichneumon larvae enters the pupa stage and attacks the vital organs, does the Caterpillar die. What is even more astounding is the Ichneumon larvae may enter the pupa stage within the pupa of the Butterfly or moth. Eventually the adult Ichneumon eats its way through the skin of the Caterpillar.
posted by orthogonality at 8:26 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

See also.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:28 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

obligatory zombie snail (with zombie vision®).
posted by juv3nal at 8:50 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

i need mental bleach to rid me of this. better skip watching that parasite ---although i have to admit, i've pics of it before. disgusting :P
posted by liza at 8:59 PM on September 11, 2009

I was hungry until I read this thread.
posted by futureisunwritten at 9:07 PM on September 11, 2009

Is this gonna be a standup fight, sir, or another bughunt?
posted by Rangeboy at 9:10 PM on September 11, 2009 [2 favorites]

There is increasing evidence that some rhizocephalan species inhibit molting and sexual maturation of their crab hosts. Several species are renowned for causing parasitic castration. Remarkably, it appears that some rhizocephalans trigger a behavioural modification so that infected female hosts groom, protect and ventilate the externa of the parasite as if it were the egg mass of the host! Even more remarkable is that because infected males are castrated and feminized, male crabs also display maternal behaviour!

Today I learned some fascinating things about nature, including the phrase 'parasitic castration'. Thanks, Metafilter!
posted by jokeefe at 9:15 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm surprised this didn't appear on metafilter a year or so ago when it first did the blog rounds.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 9:18 PM on September 11, 2009

(too gross; didn't read)
posted by kylej at 9:24 PM on September 11, 2009

Awww. . . I think he's kinda cute all huddled up in there.
posted by Sassyfras at 9:41 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

One early morning at summertime god camp, as I was making good use of some lonely downtime, chatting with the Lord and praying for a bowel movement (food was somehow uniformly composed of a material that turned to concrete when ingested), I watched a little bug struggle across the painted floor and eventually expire. It just toppled over at one point, shuddered a bit, and finally came to rest. As I was lost in thought already, my mind's eye down my gullet, it took me a little while, a moment or two, to really come to grips with and question the nature of what I'd witnessed. Do little struggling bugs go to heaven when they die, Lord? Why here, in our grimy commode, did the end have to come? Shit, am I going to die on the throne? *gasp!* Was this a BAD BUG? Is it in hell? And so on for a few minutes, eventually planning out a good insect-themed discussion group story I could easily apply to any number of Jesusy learning opportunity situations, before that determined feeling finally kicked in and my gaze sort of glassed over again.

But where all was still through my unfocused field of vision, suddenly movement. Another bug? No, the same one, the dead one was moving again. I knew how Mary felt, and I began to awe as I imagined a new Great Stone rolling away from this tiny crawler's tomb. I watched it close, expecting it to eventually right itself and totter off at an odd-angled fashion from it's previous course (as bugs are wont to do). Instead my eyes tricked me, and I blinked hard to clear out any leftover sleeping sand—it was bigger. And growing longer..., and still wriggling?

Couldn't be. Is it shedding an exoskeleton or something? Is it even really growing, or am I still half sleepy? But I watched it for like ten more minutes, early shouts of OUT DEVIL hushed as the thing was eventually twice, thrice, finally about twenty times as long as it's original size. The new six inch bug-tail whipped around and eventually detached from its tiny body, which clattered to the side again, motionless. The tail, this fucking parasite, loosed from the bug-husk it'd finally cleaned out, abandoning its useless, spent vehicle, wriggled across the green concrete for a few inches, shuddered a bit, convulsed, and finally came to rest about a foot away from its dessicated ride.

I nearly vomited. When I talk to God again, maybe someday, we're going to have to discuss this parasite situation because it is unacceptable and unnerving. It is 'just no.' And science isn't helping. Look at that tongue-asite. Jesus Bug Christ, ew! I'm going to have the shudderies all night again, thanks a ton.

Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gaaaaal!
posted by carsonb at 9:47 PM on September 11, 2009 [40 favorites]

Oh Jehova, you always were a disgusting psychopath.
posted by Avenger at 9:54 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Weird, I thought that this parasite is face-into-the fish, but the photo looks like it's facing out-of-the fish. iirc, it eats the tongue, and glues itself into the bloodstream of the fish, acts like a tongue (possibly better?) and just vampires off nutrients to survive.

Anyone have info on the reproductive habits of this odd and interesting parasite?
posted by porpoise at 10:05 PM on September 11, 2009

Twice the parasite, twice the fun!
posted by parudox at 10:39 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Kinda looks like a Giant Isopod, except those are about the size of a shoebox.

~pleasant dreams metafilter!~
posted by kosher_jenny at 10:49 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Like many of God's creatures, the best response seems to be to kill it. Kill it with fire.
posted by klangklangston at 12:11 AM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

We secretly replaced the tongue in this swank fish with a mucus eating parasite - let's watch the customers' reactions...
posted by Smedleyman at 12:15 AM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

I think that may be the most disturbing parasite photo I've ever seen. The others are disgusting, yes, but this little guy is almost, almost, kinda cute.... until you realize where he is and what HE FUCKING DOES FOR A LIVING AAAAAH AAAAH AAAAAUUUUGH.

(Like many of my ex-boyfriends! *rimshot*)
posted by WidgetAlley at 12:57 AM on September 12, 2009

(Re creepy isopods and other sea dwellers— and even a mention of tongue-eatin'— see previously.)
posted by hattifattener at 2:06 AM on September 12, 2009

Awww, I think he's kinda cute. He's smiling!

(Incidentally, after carsonb's story, I'm never going outside again. Who's with me?)
posted by kalimac at 4:42 AM on September 12, 2009

Good that I read the comments before daring the link: I'm not going there.

I should change my name to francesca the too squimish
posted by francesca too at 5:05 AM on September 12, 2009

Mom, is that you?
posted by Ron Thanagar at 5:47 AM on September 12, 2009

And: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy, but that's seriously fucked up yo."
posted by Ron Thanagar at 5:48 AM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

Say, I see some potential here. Genetically modify these things so they eat human penises, then hook 'em up to child molesters, and televise it a few times. Compulsion or no, you'd HAVE to think twice about molesting a child after seeing someone's penis eaten and replaced by a big bug as a consequence.

"Apparently there's not too much ill effect to the molester himself except he's lost his penis."

There. Much better.
posted by jamstigator at 7:22 AM on September 12, 2009

David Cronenbug.
posted by effluvia at 8:04 AM on September 12, 2009

Genetically modify these things so they eat human penises, then hook 'em up to child molesters, and televise it a few times

Please don't tell Japanese animators your reality show idea of men raping children with their monster, parasitic insect penises.
posted by dgaicun at 8:28 AM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Zombie snails? How about some mind control fungi?
posted by notnamed at 8:43 AM on September 12, 2009

HR Giger sleeps w/ the fishes
posted by electricsandwich138 at 9:10 AM on September 12, 2009

There are also isopods that merely latch onto fish near the face and live of scraps of food that the fish leave in the water.
posted by snofoam at 9:15 AM on September 12, 2009

You know who else delivered a good nip? That's right.
posted by nowonmai at 10:11 AM on September 12, 2009

When I was last in Hong Kong i went to a bbq, and was served something that looked a lot like this thing. I'm normally a fearless eater when travelling, but this bug-looking thing on a skewer was giving me pause. I asked my host what it was, and he struggled a bit with the answer, finally turning to a friend and asking him in Chinese. After a little back and forth they finally come up with the closest English translation they could muster.

And with a big smile he says, "It's like a shrimp, only not from the sea."
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:46 AM on September 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

I wondered why my fish was talking funny.

Turns out he had a frog in his throat.
posted by MrVisible at 11:10 AM on September 12, 2009

The tongue-eating parasite is nasty, yes, but what's with this site "Discoveryon"? I can't tell if the site is legitimate or not. There's this line that begins an article about the smell of space:
NASA astronauts aboard the US space shuttle Discovery have said that the smell of space, which is regarded as the final frontier, is strong, metallic and unique.
A Captain Kirk reference in a "science" article? Who writes that? Is this just some random Bat Boy loving blog? Here's another bit from an article about a possible chupacabra, which is hilariously mangled:
After something was heard rustling around in Jerry Ayer’s cousin’s barn in Texas, so one of Ayer’s taxidermy students put out rodent poison. When he returned the next day to find out what it was, he discovered what may be a dead chupacabra.
I'm a little dubious about this source.
posted by dammitjim at 1:32 PM on September 12, 2009

Just think, that fish could solo with two-part harmony!
posted by hydrophonic at 9:02 PM on September 12, 2009

I've got you
under my skin
I've got you
deep in the heart of me
So deep in my heart,
that you're really a part of me
I've got you
under my skin

posted by hydrophonic at 9:05 PM on September 12, 2009

Quite early on in this thread (after following the main link) I made the decision not to click on ANY links in comments here.

I'm fairly sure I've made the right decision.
posted by sycophant at 2:02 AM on September 13, 2009

The little critter inside the fish has a very mischievous grin doesn't he?
posted by ~Sushma~ at 6:57 PM on September 13, 2009

Last night I dreamt that I watched helplessly through the dining room window as a plane crash landed on our house while we were having a party but I think this FPP pic is at least 5X scarier than that.
posted by applemeat at 8:17 PM on September 13, 2009

Methinks that picture of the parasite in place is shooped. Look at the roof of the fish's mouth. That looks suspiciously like human teeth and and palate.

That's not to say that these things don't exist, but that photo just does not look genuine to me.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:26 PM on September 13, 2009

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