so parasites, kinda gross, kind of upsetting right?
寄生虫 有点恶心 有点吓人对吧？
You know they wheedle their way into our bodies, set up camp,
basically turn us into a living cafeteria.
I did a whole long episode on parasites.
You should watch it. It’s super interesting.
But what’s more upsetting to me than when they start to actually eat me
is when they try and take over my brain.
Or did you not know that there are parasites that can take over your brain? So I will.
Here’s the thing, so some parasites aren’t content to just set up shop and consume the body of their host.
They need their host to do something specific to continue their life cycle
And because parasites are so crafty, they can do this by taking over the brains of their hosts
Take for example the green-banded broodsac, a kind of worm that likes to live inside a bird.
But in order to get into a bird, it has to first get into a bird’s food, and this is where the snails comes in.
Certain snails love to eat bird poop. You know to each his own.
And bird poop is where green banded broodsac larva end up after infecting a bird.
So a snail strolls by and sees oh awesome some delicious bird crap sitting on a leaf,
but little does it know that that poo has a baby little worm larvae in it
that’s going to hijack its brain turn it into a zombie, and drive its body around like a go-cart.
The worm uses the snail to create this unbelievable scene
just to get the attention of the bird.
Bascially the worm will drive its zombie snail to a conspicuous location
where bird is sure to see it,
and then jammes itself up into the snail’s eye-tentacle and puts on a laser show
making the snail’s head look like a giant delicious maggot
so a bird eats the snail, and the whole cycle starts over.
But I’ll see you one of those and raise you a hairworm.
These little bastards work their way into insects like grasshoppers
through the water that the insects are drinking,
and they live inside of those insects until they are fully grown.
But when it’s time for these hair worms to mate, they need to get back into the water,
and so you know what it does?
It secretes proteins that interfere with the grasshopper’s brain chemistry, overrides its entire existence,
every fiber of its being, and commands the grasshopper to commit suicide.
It makes the grasshopper jump into the nearest body of water where it drowns,
and the worm is super happy, crawls out of its butthole
and goes on to mate with other disgusting butthole worms.
Fortunately for us, not a lot of parasites
are able to deal with the marvelously complicated thing that we’ve got sitting on top of our necks.
Oh but there is this one thing.
So there is this protozoan called Toxoplasma gondii, which we’re just gonna call toxo for short.
Cats poop out the toxo babies, but then cats don’t eat cat poop
because that would be gross, unlike dogs.
But the things that do eat cat poop for whatever reason turned out to be rats.
interferes with the brain chemistry at the rat and switches off
a rat tries to spoon a cat you know what happens
a its job and success so here’s the thing people
also spent a lifetime around cats and were actually pretty similar
and there is research that suggests that the gigantic
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