The Loom

Gross, and then really gross

Even I have my limits.

Comments

  1. #1 Apesnake
    March 17, 2006

    I still feel like I would rather live on a different planet than Dracunculus medinensis. I wonder what Adam thought when God asked him to name that (kinding).

  2. #2 cats
    March 18, 2006

    NOW let’s ask who intelligently designed this….hey man, are you vomiting?

  3. #3 dobzhansky
    March 20, 2006

    During medical school my wife had first hand experience with bot fly. She had just returned from a month-long community medicine rotation in Nicaragua when she started complaining about something moving in her scalp. She kept asking me to take a look and I saw nothing but a mosquito bite. So I told her she was imagining things and to go back to bed (what a great husband huh?). Well, she ended up in the University of Iowa OR having two bot fly larvae surgically removed from her head. She was the star of the hospital that week (how many human bot fly cases do you think are seen in Iowa?) as well as with a parasitologist friend of ours. We even have a couple of grueling slides of the event!

    As it turns out, this experience has made her a better doctor – on at least one occasion she has correctly diagnosed someone with bot fly while everyone else thought she was nuts.

  4. #4 dbpitt
    March 20, 2006

    I would have to say, the picture in your book of the botfly in the kid’s brain was what really got me the most. That was just crazy.

  5. #5 Brenda Johnstone
    March 20, 2006

    My husband had two botflies removed from his scrotum. I have complete details of our ordeal about it on our website. Doctors are not aware of what a botfly is; therefore it took a lot of convincing when we were at the emergency room to have them removed. They thought we were nuts (pun intended)!

  6. #6 KevinM
    March 20, 2006

    Worked on a farm one year and got to see blowfly myiasis first hand, when we sheared the sheep. Yes, it looked disgusting, but the SMELL, my God, the SMELL.

  7. #7 Jeremy Pine
    March 20, 2006

    I. love. botflies. Thank you again for making science infinitely more fun than horror movies.

  8. #8 luca
    March 21, 2006

    yuch!

    seriously, though… fascinating…

    I’m going to buy parasite rex right now…

  9. #9 Bram
    March 28, 2006

    Hey botfly lovers. Here is a comprehensive site on the little critter.
    http://botfly.quiik.com/

    With two really neat pictures of a human botfly larva in action. (Don’t watch these if you are eating, I warned you.)

    pic 01: http://botfly.quiik.com/epe90105f2.jpg
    pic 02: http://botfly.quiik.com/epe90105f3.jpg
    :) Bram

  10. #10 Edward T. Babinski
    April 7, 2006

    Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to create the screwworm fly of South America and Africa which aims straight for a wound (since it can’t drill through the skin all by itself), even one as small as a tick bite, and lays five hundred to three thousand tiny eggs in it. They hatch and the maggots tear away with their sharp mouth hooks on the human [or cow] that is their host. As they feed, they produce a toxin that prevents the wound from healing, so infection quickly sets in. In a matter of a week, the maggots [each grown to about half an inch long] can enter the lungs or brain and kill the person [or cow]. Screwworms have been a major economic problem in livestock-producing areas.

    Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to create Mydas heros, the largest known fly, with a body length of about 2 1/4 inches and a wingspan of about 4 inches, which resides in South America. “It is so formidable it will attack even well-armed bees and wasps, diving on their backs and paralyzing them with a bite in the soft region of the neck.” [Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats]

    Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to create a large fly from South America (Dermatobia hominis) that overpowers smaller insects (like a mosquito or a smaller fly or anything small that is liable to land on and bite a human being) and glues an about-to-hatch egg on its underside, which that smaller insect carries with it when it lands on a human for lunch. The egg hatches almost instantly and the maggot crawls over to where the smaller insect has made a wound, and it enters the human being there, and matures inside the human.

    Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to create the African tumbu fly (Cordylobia anthropophaga), “whose larva wriggle about in a boil-like swelling under the skin of humans.” [Des Kennedy, Nature's Outcasts]

    Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to create the Congo floor maggot (of the fly species Auchmeromyia luteola) that gets its food from human beings who sleep on the ground (since the maggot cannot crawl up a bedpost). “It sucks their blood as they sleep. The maggot seems to be totally dependent on human beings as a source of food.” [Roger Knutson, Furtive Fauna: A Field Guide to the Creatures Who Live on You]

    Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to create the greenbottle fly that lays its eggs in the open sores of living sheep. The maggots hatch and eat the sheep.

    Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to create the warble fly that lays its eggs in the nasal passages of horses and other animals, where they live and eat the cartilage and flesh of animals’ noses.

    Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to create the copper-colored fly (Bufolucilla silvarum) that deposits its eggs in the nostrils of toads and frogs, after which the larva, when they hatch, blind and devour their hosts.

    Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to create phorid flies that inject their eggs into living ants, one egg per ant. “The maggot emerges from the egg and crawls into the ant’s head where it eventually seals the ant’s mouth shut. After about two weeks the growing maggot devours the interior of the ant’s head, while an enzyme breaks down connective tissue to the point where the head falls off. This heady incubator protects the larva for another couple of weeks as it transforms into a millimeter-long adult phorid fly.” [J. Raloff, "When This Fly Arrives, Ants' Heads Roll," Science News, Vol. 146, Nov. 26, 1994] (Talk about jury-rigged design! Or did the Designer make the ant’s head just to fit the needs of the phorid fly maggot?)

    Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to create a parasite that feeds on fly larva (larval flies themselves being parasites that feed off of so many other organisms as pointed out above). I’m speaking of the fly parasite Spalangia endius – “Released in millions, these tiny parasites lay their eggs in fly pupae and their offspring proceed to consume the developing fly.” [Des Kennedy, Nature's Outcasts]

    WHY WE BELIEVE IN A DESIGNER