There are a lot of people out there who will swear to you that the scariest stuff in the world can be found nature. They scoff at the idea that horror movies, scary books or anything else can be legitimately terrifying. To them, the only way a person can truly be shocked by something is if they it in full effect, in the wild.
After viewing the video below, I sort of have to agree with them. It is by far the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.
Check it for yourselves, but be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart.
So what the heck did we just watch? Let’s allow the good folks at IFL Science to explain:
Nematomorph hairworms don't just colonize the belly of their hosts, they take over their brains as well. The hairworm makes grasshoppers jump into water – fatal for the grasshopper but a great move for the parasite as they need water to reproduce.
Such worms can grow to two meters long, although 50cm-1meter is more common. The adults live freely in water, but the larvae are parasitic on various insects and crustaceans. They are known to tie themselves in knots, leading to the nickname Gordian worms.
Although Nematomorpha don't infest mammals that doesn't mean you are off the hook nightmare-wise. Their capacity to control the brains of their victims has added support to the theory that Toxoplasma gondii, a single celled protozoa that reproduces in the intestines of cats may make those its hosts more reckless, possibly including humans.
There you have it. Nature in all its, ah, beauty.