Nature is a favorite topic among the poetic set, but this list of ten creatures compiled by National Geographic’s Dr. Mike Leahy is far more appropriate for the horror genre and may have you heading for the nearest hermetically-sealed space for good.
10. Loa loa
This disease is spread by the bite of the innocuous mango fly, but can leave you with worms crawling out of your eyeballs. (Google “Loa loa” at risk, the images are rather graphic.)
It’s only No. 10 on my list because it won’t kill you, and may not even blind you, but it is pretty freaky.
If you plan to travel in sub-Saharan Africa the best way to protect yourself (and this is a common theme) is to cover up with long sleeved clothing and consider using insect repellent.
9. Assassin Bug and Chagas Disease
The Assassin Bug can find you at night while you sleep, firstly using its natural thermal-imaging camera, then a chemo-sensor that can detect carbon dioxide given off as you breathe.
Once on your face the bug feeds on blood from your lips or your eyelids — without you even knowing that it’s there. As the insect feeds it also defecates, and that’s how a tiny single celled parasite can leave the assassin bug and enter your bloodstream, leading to Chagas Disease.
Over the years Chagas Disease might kill you by stopping the muscular contractions of the guts, meaning you will fill up with your own waste products, or it may simply cause heart failure. The bite of an infected Assassin Bug supposedly killed Charles Darwin, but it took decades of suffering to do so.
Although present in the United States, this bug, and the disease it carries, is normally only a problem in Central and South America. Sleep in a romantic thatched beach hut at your peril, because assassin bugs love making their homes in such places.
Full story at CNN Go.
Mother Nature’s dark side.
Photo credit: Wikimedia CommonsAuthor on Google+