Could You Be A Parasite?

Is anyone there? This is Jake Roper from Outpost 31. The lab is destroyed. I need immediate support. Please come back. Vsauce, I’m Jake and I’m glad I’m not
the only one who made it out alive. I think the parasite is destroyed or at the
very least will freeze out here in the cold. I’ve never seen anything like it. Able to completely take over the form of another,
of a person. Parasites… What makes the one we are dealing with or…were
dealing with so unique is that humans in general appear to be less prone to being manipulated
by parasites but, in Kathleen McAuliffe’s book This is Your Brain on Parasites she gives
an interesting example: “If a cold germ makes you cough, is that your body trying
to clear the infection from your lungs or the parasite tickling the back of your throat
so that you’ll spread the germ?” It’s the manipulation hypothesis: when a
parasite purposefully changes the behavior of the host. And it does this, generally, to increase its
chances of transmission. To spread. An example that can be seen in humans is the
Guinea Worm which gets into your body when you drink stagnant water In that water there might be water fleas which
carry the Guinea Worm larvae (larvie). Our stomach acid dissolves the flea but not
the larvae, the parasite. It grows into worms that push inside the intestinal
walls and procreate in your abdominal muscles. The male worms die, get absorbed by your body
but the female grows. And grows until it is about a meter long. It spreads through your connective tissue,
making its way to a lower extremity…your foot, calf, etc. And it stays there for a year and you, the
host, have no idea. By this point the female is bursting with
larvae of its own so it releases an acid that makes your skin bubble and blister. It burns so your body’s reaction is to dip
the blistered area in water, but in doing so hundreds of thousands of larvae are pushed
out of the female worm’s mouth and into the water…exactly where the larvae need
to be to repeat this cycle. And then there are parasites that, unlike
the Guinea worm, don’t keep themselves hidden inside you, instead, like in the case of the
parasitic flatworm the green-banded broodsac, they change your appearance. A snail unknowingly eats bird droppings infested
with broodsac eggs. The eggs hatch inside the snail, forming long
tubes that spread into the snail’s brain and tentacles, it’s eye stalks. It fills the stalks up so fully that it stretches
the walls so thin that you can see the parasite through it, colorful and pulsating. And those pulsating bands are broodsac larvae. Because the parasite has pretty much taken
over the snail’s eyes, its vision is impaired, it starts spending much more time out in the
sun, out in the open because it can’t judge if it is in darkness or in light. Birds see the pulsing eyestalks and think
they are caterpillar grubs. The bird swoops down and then flies off with
a belly full of broodsac larvae which then reproduce in the bird and the eggs come out
in the bird’s droppings. Rinse and repeat. (Sip and spit) It is a form of aggressive mimicry, where
the parasite resembles the food of the predator it wants as a host. they use the host as a kind of living taxi,
riding in the foreign body to get from point a to point b. They are transient, to continue their life
cycle they need to find a new…home But there are parasites that are more insidious. They don’t use the host as transport or
use the host’s bodily responses against them, instead they take over the mind. Ampulex compressa, the jewel wasp. It stings a cockroach in the thorax, temporarily
paralyzing it. Quickly it moves to the roach’s head where
it precisely stings and injects a poison that blocks the neural area for decision making. Taking away the cockroaches free will. The wasp then bites off the antennae of the
roach, slurping out fluid from the open stems and leads the host to the Wasp’s burrow
and lays an egg on its abdomen. The wasp then closes off the burrow, trapping
the resting roach and egg inside. After 3 days, the egg hatches and begins to
feed on the still living cockroach. What started as an ectoparasite, external,
becomes an endoparasite, internal, the larva eats its way inside of it…slowly devouring
the roach’s organs in such a way that the cockroach will stay alive for as long as possible. After cocooning itself inside the roach it
emerges, fully grown. And the host has finally died. And there are many other kinds of parasites…like
cordycepts that sprout out of an ant’s head and rains pours down onto other ants. Ones that take over the tongue of fish. There’s even one that an estimated half
the human population has that you can get from cat feces. More than 1400 parasites prey on humans, and
those are the only ones we know about. With some you don’t even know the parasite
is in you. It wants to survive so it’s best tactic
is to be hidden. Or it takes you over completely. Which brings us to a parasite that most closely
resembles the one we are currently dealing with, Sacculina. Sacculina is a parasite that infects crabs. It finds a soft spot on the joints of the
crab, uses a sharp part of its body and injects itself inside. It then spreads throughout the crab, like
roots in the ground. Creeping into organs, the nervous system and
the crab’s eye stalks. It even grows a sac on the underside of the
crab where the crab’s eggs would be are now the reproductive part of the parasite. The crab stops malting, growing, it becomes
sterilized. It’s purpose now to continue the lifecycle
of this parasite. It loses its free will. It becomes a suit of armor, a robot being
controlled by an operator. From the outside it looks the same, it even
generally acts the same, but inside… Is the cockroach, the crab, even the snail
aware of the actions that are happening? Does it know that it no longer has free will? Just like the bacteria in our gut, which is
more plentiful than the cells in our own body, can dictate our diets without us being conscious
of it…maybe a parasite could do the same. The difference being that the bacteria is
in a symbiotic relationship with us, it’s mutually beneficial, and in a parasitic relationship…it
is not really a benefit to the host however parasites are important to the overall ecosystem. And when we zoom out and think of this ecosystem,
it is easy to understand the philosophical idea of our relationship with the planet we
are all currently on. What started as symbiotic relationship with
us and Earth could be seen as becoming parasitic. I mean, even pregnancy could be thought of
as parasitism. Huh, I don’t know. My mind is all over the place. I think I’ve been out here too long. I don’t actually know how long. To me, the scariest part is…how do you know
your actions are your own? If you did have a parasite in you, and it
was a successful organism, would you know it was there? Are these words I’m saying even mine? How do I know that you aren’t infected? The parasite we uncovered at the lab could
become anyone, any living thing. I don’t think I am different but can I ever
be sure? How would you know your mind is lying? Maybe we should just sit here and wait. This is emergency control we received your
SOS please give us your exact coordinates for rescue. Just and watch the fire to die. Again this is emergency control please… And, as always, thanks for watching.

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41 thoughts on “Could You Be A Parasite?

  1. jesus christ that ending was terrifying like he's infected by the parasite?? like that's actually a plot twist that I didn't see coming??

  2. If you’re scared of drinking water be scared of food but not to worry! If you look it up there’s only less then 1,000 cases (In the US) The worm mainly lives on Africa it is only in containmanated food or water if it’s fresh you should be fine meaning you are all okay! The guinea worm will have a low chance of getting to you! There is 329.45 million people in the us so out of all those people you have a low chance of getting the guinea worm. Of course in people out of us I’m unable to say but you’re gonna be good Africa then. Get clean water or you are probably gonna get it. This is to relieve all who are starting to get a little uncomfortable drinking water sorry for spoiling it being in food but just get fresh food. Okay good luck.

  3. Youtube me recomendando coisas inglesas ??? Não pera essa fala e o q?? Ammmmm seila mas vou assisti so pra fala que sou diferente pros favelado da rua rsrs so q não

  4. I was Traumatized
    Bcuz the parasites
    Will Be born in your body
    And you will die And Blah
    Blah Blah And Im Super Aware
    On Some insects Larvae Slugs
    Snails and ETC

  5. This whole video is a reference to John Carpenter's The Thing.
    Which I must add that The Thing is a film you must watch before you die. So please, check it out.

  6. nature is as intelligent as we are.

    we just percieve things in a different way.

    nobody said it's a better way, just another.

  7. Dehumanizing human children by comparing them to parasites is just disturbing and gives some women the moral leeway they need to abort their children at higher and higher rates. Also, the Earth isn't a living organism, it's a ball of super heated rock and metal, so no, Humans and most of the rest of the complex life on Earth are not parasites.

    I do not understand why channels like Vsauce like to devalue human life and life in general, if existing is so bad, then keep it to yourself before some idiots take you too seriously and consider your beliefs to be factual (which they are not in any capacity).

  8. Wow, the suspension is really unsettling!! And that sensation…. Thanks Jake!!! Is that means some answer should stay unanswered?

  9. so the manipulation hypothesis is the reason behind antivaxxer? they manipulate the way antivaxxer think, thus creating more vulnerable host?

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