Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Parasitic mind control

Yesterday, somewhat typically, I walked in a bit late to this weekly discussion group I go to. It's usually pretty free form, so I didn't know if we would be talking about Japan, or Wisconsin or Libya this week. But instead we had a biologist from up at the university speaking and as I came in, he was talking about parasitic mind control and other ways that bacteria and other parasites use their hosts as servants of their own survival ends. One way they do this is parasitic mind control. The following is an example which he told us to google. So I did.

Crickets can't swim well and normally don't like water. But when invaded by this worm, which is large enough to take up most of their inner body, they find themselves compelled to leap into water against their own needs. This is why:

The cricket presumably dies, and the worm goes on to breed anew. Ah, our natural world...


  1. That was creepy. Interesting, but creepy.

  2. Yes, I hesitated a bit to pass it on, but I suppose it's better to know the world as it is than not.

    Although, as I learned today, apparently the big book for teenage boys of a certain age and their fathers) right now is How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous, I suspect I'm on the squeamish end of the spectrum...

  3. Yikes. I'll have to hope my husband and son don't find that one somewhere...even though they probably will.