peaStrange things found living inside a human body sounds like a popular theme for horror stories and various urban legends and people seem to be fascinated by it. Aptly enough, there have been a few actual cases of people having some unwelcome guests reside in their bodies. From a spider living in a human’s stomach to a cockroach dwelling in a man´s ear, check out these 25 horrifying things found living inside a human body.
Botfly larvae in eye
Everybody has experienced the uncomfortable feeling of having a bug in the eye. Usually, after a bit of winking and tearing up, you just remove it and off you go. But what happened to a 5-year-old boy in Honduras is much worse. Actually, it’s a real nightmare. A botfly, a parasitic insect, not only got into his eye, but it even laid eggs. The larvae had to be removed surgically.
Squid spermatophores in mouth
After eating a partially cooked squid at a local restaurant, a 63-year-old South Korean woman felt like something was spreading in her mouth. Since this strange sensation persisted, she decided to visit a doctor. To her astonishment, the doctor found small white spindle-shaped bug-like organisms called spermatophores in her mouth.
A 92 year-old woman was found with not one, not two, but 57 maggots inside her ear! Medics treating her believe that a fly crawled into her ear and laid eggs which hatched into something straight out of a nightmare. And what’s worse, the maggots had apparently been inside her ear for two to three days before they were found!
Fly maggots in ear
If you thought 57 maggots was a bit much, you’re out of luck. A man in India visited a hospital complaining about a pain in his ear. After the doctor examined his ear, he found hundreds of larvae feeding on the man´s flesh. If the maggots hadn’t been removed, they could have burrowed into the man´s brain and killed him.
Pea plant in lungs
When Ronan Svedan from Massachusetts experienced a persistent cough, he suspected a tumor to be the cause. But when he went to the hospital, to everybody´s amazement, the X-ray and other laboratory tests showed a small pea plant inside his lungs.
Fir tree in lung
When 28-year-old Artyom Sidorkin from Russia complained of an extreme pain in his chest, doctors feared it was a tumor. But when they operated on him, they found a 5 cm (2 inches) long fir tree growing in his lung. It’s believed that Sidorkin inhaled a fir seed while training in the woods with the army.
Fully formed dandelion
Pea plants and pine trees are not the only plants itching to grown roots in our bodies, a young girl from Beijing was host to a “fully-formed dandelion” inside her ear.
Fish in a bladder
A little, 2 cm (0.8 inch) long fish got into an Indian boy’s penis when he was cleaning his fish tank. According to Professors Vezhaventhan and Jeyaraman, who treated the boy (and later wrote a paper on it), after it entered his urethra, it made it all the way up to the bladder where it had to be surgically removed. Um…ouch?
Fish in lungs
Another boy from India complained about breathing problems after playing with his friends in a river. Much to the doctor’s surprise, a 9 cm (3.5 inch) long fish was found in the boy’s lung. The seemingly mysterious case was quickly solved when the boy told the doctors he was playing the “swallow a live fish” game which was apparently very popular among local kids.
Eel in bladder
The odds of a fish finding your penis and making it all the way to your bladder are higher than you might think. In 2011, a Chinese man was having a bath with little eels that were supposed to nibble the dead skin off his body but he ended up just like the poor boy from India. However, there was a difference. While the Indian boy´s fish was just 2 cm (0.8 inch) long, the eel that entered the Chinese man´s bladder measured 15 cm (6 inches).
Eel in intestine
Having eels mistakenly travel into your body is one thing, but purposely putting one inside you, is another story. After viewing a pornographic movie, a Chinese man put a live, 50 cm (20 inches) long eel right into his anus. Trying desperately to escape, the poor creature chewed through the man´s colon, perforated his large intestine, and became stuck in his body cavity. Doctors managed to remove the eel but the man ended up suffering from severe internal bleeding.
Bugs in scalp
In 2007, a man from Colorado had a terrible itch in his scalp. Although he tried all kinds of special shampoos, ointments and other products, the itching got worse and worse until it turned into unbearable pain. When doctors finally examined his scalp, they found botfly maggots, each about the size of a penny.
Tapeworm in intestines
Tapeworms are long parasitic creatures frequently found in human intestines where they can live for up to an incredible 25 years. On average, tapeworms found in humans are several meters long with the longest tapeworm ever found inside a human body measuring 25 meters (82 feet) long.
Worm in brain
Finding a parasitic worm in a human body is disturbing enough but if the worm is discovered burrowing in your brain, that’s just absolute madness. But as revolting as this may sound, that’s exactly what happened to a 50-year-old Chinese man. After experiencing severe headaches, the man went to a hospital where doctors discovered a rare species of tapeworm known as Spirometra erinaceieuropaei in his brain.
Worm in eye
As if worms in your brain aren’t bad enough, in 2010, John Matthews from Iowa was complaining about hazy vision and seeing strange dark spots. After visiting his ophthalmologist, Matthews discovered that he had a parasitic worm in his eye that was eating away at his retina.
Worms in kidney
Last worm story, we promise. In November 2014, a 76-year-old woman from the Czech Republic complained of severe gut pains and blood in her urine. When doctors examined her, they found two worms about 10 centimeters (4 inches) long feeding on her kidney. It’s believed that the worms got into her body after she ate a fish that had not been properly cooked.
Moth and tick in ear
An unknown man from the US had to deal with the unfortunate coincidence of having both a tick and a moth alive inside the same ear. Fortunately, his friends managed to remove both creatures with a pair of tweezers.
Cricket in ear
An unidentified man from India found an almost 8 centimeter (3 inches) long live cricket inside his ear. OUCH! Doctors managed to remove the cricket with a pair of tiny tweezers.
Cockroach in ear
But wait, if you think a cricket in your ear is gross, think again. When Hendrik Helmer from Australia was experiencing unbearable pain in his ear, he thought a spider had gotten inside. But he was wrong. It wasn’t a spider but a 2.5 cm (1 inch) long cockroach. After an unsuccessful attempt to vacuum out the invader, Helmer had to visit a doctor who eventually removed the cockroach with a pair of tweezers.
Spider in ear
What Hendrik Helmer only thought was in his ear, actually came true in the case of Katie Melua, a Georgian-British singer. For a week, Melua was experiencing strange noises and feelings in her ear. When doctors examined her they found a little jumping spider dwelling in the singer´s ear canal. After the doctor removed the spider via a suction device, Melua decided to set the arachnid free in her garden.
Mrs. Lee and the hairy spider.
Ms. Melua got off easy, in August 2012 a Mrs. Lee checked into a hospital complaining that her ear was itchy. After looking inside, doctors discovered a decently sized, 4-eyed, fur-covered, and barbed-feet spider that had apparently crawled into Lee’s ear for shelter five days earlier.
Spider in stomach
Speaking of spiders, after Australian Dylan Maxwell returned home from his holiday on the Indonesian island of Bali, he found a strange red scar-like trail leading from his navel up to his chest. He originally thought something had bitten him but when he went to a hospital, the shocked doctors found out the trail was burrowed by a little tropical spider that got in his body and survived there for several days.
Amoeba in nose
Also known as the “brain-eating amoeba”, naegleria fowleri is a free-living, thermophilic excavate form of protist found in warm fresh water such as ponds, lakes, rivers, and hot springs. In humans, the amoeba enters the central nervous system through the nose, from where it migrates to the cranium and eventually to brain. Once there, it starts eating the brain cells, causing primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a disease with a fatality rate of greater than 95%.
This thing is neither an animal, nor a plant but it can be regarded as a living thing in a way. Colloquially known as “The Monster Tumor”, the teratoma is a very specific type of tumor with tissue or organ components resembling normal derivatives of more than one germ layer. The tumors have been reported to contain hair, teeth, bone and sometimes even more complex organs such as eyes, torsos or limbs. Allegedly, there have even been cases of the teratoma trying to possess the host and attack its brain.
Your own twin
Probably one of the most disturbing things to live inside a person’s body is their own twin. In June 1999 Sanju Bhagat discovered that his abnormally sized belly was not due to a lack of an exercise routine, but rather his twin parasitically living off of him. The horrifying operation involved removing this half formed creature which had even developed hands and feet.