We're all aware of the big dangers that the animal kingdom poses: sharks, bears, snakes, more sharks. But what we don't often think about are the small things, the things like parasites that will crawl up your unsuspecting pee-hole (No. 2) Or turn your ass into a spaghetti buffet (No. 10). Here are 10 solid reasons to lock your doors and take a bath in hand sanitizer.
1: The Human Bot-Fly
This critter regularly deposits larvae in the flesh of unsuspecting people. Over time, the larvae grow and the lucky host gets his very own pet maggots.
2. Candiru Fish, or Vampire Fish
I know what you're probably thinking. "Hey, those guys don't seem so bad. They look a bit like minnows." And you're right, except I've never known a minnow to swim up your pee-hole and lodge itself there until a doctor performs surgery to remove it. Forget piranhas, these evil bastards are the best reason not to go swimming in the Amazon.
These insidious parasites are dangerous because they often don't produce any obvious symptoms in the host until a late-stage infestation. Early on after ingestion, usually through contaminated water, they attach themselves to your intestinal wall and begin siphoning off blood, possibly resulting in anemia or protein deficiency.
4. Guinea Worm
People have been doing battle with the Guinea Worm for over a thousand years. Once introduced, it grows to be several feet long. The worst part is that the most effective way to remove it is to pull it out of the body by slowly winding it around a stick for days or even weeks.
5. Sand Fly
This blood sucker differs from your average parasitic freeloader by causing a horrible infection at the bite area called leishmaniasis, for no apparent benefit to the Sand Fly. That's just the way it rolls.
Roundworms are found in every single type of environment on Earth. They have numerous parasitic forms and, oh yeah, BTW, if they don't dig the way their current environment is treating them, they just enter a state called cryptobiosis, in which they essentially hibernate.
7. Screw Worm Fly
This fly is well known for laying its larvae in the flesh of mammals, where the maggots rapidly grow and consume the flesh of the host.
Also known as the Seven Year Itch, it's caused by a tiny parasite which burrows its way beneath your skin, causing horrible irritation.
9. Chigoe Flea
You've probably heard of this one via a different name: Jiggers. The mating female burrows its way into the feet of mammals, where it lays eggs and feeds on tissue.
Or, Large Intestinal Roundworms. They multiply fast. They grow long. They eat all your food. They may come shooting out of your ass like stringy confetti.
Can't get enough fascinating creatures? Check out The 20 Largest Animals in The World.