The human body is such a magnificent thing. Just check out this video that shows how our immune system works. When a parasite finds its way inside a place where it clearly shouldn't be, white blood cells immediately start rushing to the rescue. It only takes a few seconds for the parasite to get swallowed.
It's sad that this praying mantis was killed—but what comes out of its body is as disgusting as it's long. Horsehair worms ride in live invertebrates, feeding and growing up to 39 inches as they mature. Some release chemicals to make hosts seek water and drown, others can survive their host's predation, so do not mess.
Mira Grant, author of the social media zombie series Newsflesh, is back with another tale of pandemics that threaten to transform humanity into shuffling, homicidal maniacs. Parasite is a spine-tingling, near-future tale of what happens when a new medical technology starts (literally) eating our brains.
Mira Grant, author of the Newsflesh series that began with Feed, is back with a new biotech horror series. Parasite, the first novel, comes out this month — and it's an incredible, disturbingly plausible tale of what happens to a world where medical treatments have minds of their own.
A microscopic view of the brain-eating amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri reveals a trio of feeding structures, twisted into a macabre clown-face. The parasitic organism – which lives in warm bodies of fresh water – has infected 128 people since 1962. Only one has survived.
For humans and most other animals that you don't need a microscope to see, honeybees are notorious for their stings. But there's a whole universe of creatures that are blissfully unaware of bee stings... but are terrified of bee bites.
Back in December, authorities learned that Naegleria fowleri — a deadly, brain-eating amoeba, pictured here — was living in Louisiana tapwater, infecting its victims' grey matter by way of neti pot.
Edward Cullen? No. This person actually exists. Alexander Skarsgård? No. In fact, drop the vampiric line of inquiry altogether. Any more guesses? Here's a hint: these parasites hail from Jamaica. Still nothing? Okay.
When an Indian man asked a doctor to examine his irritated eye, the doctor discovered the man had a little squirming company. A 15-cm parasite was swimming about around the fellow's eyeball, and the surgery was recorded for Internet posterity.
This image may look like something dreamed up for a surreal horror movie, but it's a real horror for the tarantula in question. This unfortunate arachnid is infected with Cordyceps, a parasitic fungus that replaces its host's tissue with its own.
The Malaysian plant Rafflesia cantleyi is a parasite, attaching itself to another plant and deriving all its food from its unfortunate host. But Rafflesia doesn't stop there. It swipes genes from its host, sometimes actually completely replace its old genes.
Neurocysticercosis is an infection that happens when you have the misfortune of eating bad pork. It causes severe seizures. Researchers say they've finally discovered how it tweaks the brain, and they might already have a drug to fix it.
Something is very wrong with the bees. Since 2006, the mysterious phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder has wiped out countless honeybee colonies throughout Europe and North America, and nobody knows why. But a weird parasite may hold the answer.
Rat are notorious pests, with populations throughout the world living off the scraps and garbage left behind by humans. Rats, it seems, are just born to mooch off humans, since they've gone down this same evolutionary path four different times.
If seed beetles aren't careful, wasps will invade their eggs and have their own young kill the beetle larvae for nutrients. But these beetles aren't taking the threat lying down - they've developed an ingenious strategy to fight back.
The single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii lives infects rats, but it needs to be inside a cat's digestive system in order to reproduce. The parasite actually alters the brain of its rat host so that it won't be afraid of cats.
Malaria kills almost a million people every year and makes another 250 million people very, very sick. Soon we may be able to instantly cure the scourge the same way you heat up your sad, frozen dinner-for-one.
Cancer patients may feel like they have alien creatures growing inside their bodies, robbing them of health and vigor. According to one cell biologist, they're exactly right. The formation of cancers is really the evolution of a new parasitic species.
No animal is more defined by what it eats than the cleaner fish. These helpful parasites are all born female, but the biggest eater becomes the dominant male...and then, as you might expect, institutes a strict diet for everyone else.
About 200 million people today have schistosomiasis, a serious chronic illness caused by a parasitic infection. A big part of why the disease runs rampant today is how our ancestors practiced irrigation...and it's a mistake 1500 years in the making.