Sunday, November 15, 2009

Invasion!! Well, not entirely...

The need to control others be primal, part of our primate ancestry and hierarchy. Human domination over all life, is an extension of this behavior. And I am no exception. Besides the fact that I am slowly but surely overtaking the population.

Lets assume a nervous system is all about control. The human brain is the greatest and arguably the most advanced emergent component of all nervous systems. The most complex. Like parasites we become more mobile, and conversely more stationary. Here are a few that well, dont want to sit around and wait that long.

The Ant Parasite: Mind control at it's finest!

The Ant Parasite has a pretty interesting life. First, well there is no first it just goes around and around, I'll just start with the snail part of it. Yeah, snail, not ant. When a snail eats some cow poo (yes they do), it ingests little fluke eggs. When these eggs hatch, they burrow through the intestinal wall of the snail, lodging in a gland and producing a second generation of flukes. Then they piss off the snail by acting like chunks of slime balls. As if snails weren't slimy enough already.  Yadd yadda, it spits them out leaving them everywhere!

But guess what, the Mr. Ant loves snail slime balls. They're kinda like cheese puffs if you want to think of them that way, although you problably don't. This is when it gets interesting, the fluke burrows it's way around the ant. Assuming they are either really good with direction, or they have a map, they find the brain! Then the ant feels compelled to hang out on a blade of grass all night long, waiting for, that's right, a cow to eat it. See how that works? I knew that already, but did you? Yeah I didn't think so. If the ant does not get eaten by a cow, then it goes on about it's day. But during the night, like some kind of righteously backwards fucking super hero, it goes back to wanting to be eaten.

Then there is Toxoplasma gondii: The "Cool" parasite

Above: A total zombie.

Ok so it's pretty much harmless to humans. If you could consider skydiving, bungee jumping, or shooting yourself in the face completely harmless. It's from cats, and most of us  have it. So we're self destructive and arrogant, got a problem with that? Anyways, this thing comes from cats, effects around 3 billion people, and makes you more outgoing and prone to "reckless behavior" as those stuffy lab guys call it. They studied it in rats, and the rats wanted to hang out near cat piss. I'm sure that's a common trait with a lot of people in New York too, but they're not admitting to anything.

Who could forget about The Bodyguard Parasite!

These guys aren't really bodyguards, but they make their victim into one! The parasite in question here is a wasp, I know what you're thinking, "Why would a wasp want protection?" It's for the babies! The wasp lays eggs in a caterpillar (yeah, dick move) and then the eggs hatch and all that jazz. Then they crawl out of the caterpillar, going right next to it on a branch or leaf or whatever. The caterpillar just hangs around waiting for bad bugs to try and eat the cocoons. When a bad bug does come around, the caterpillar just swings its head wildly around trying to knock the bad bug off the leaf. Technically the wasp isn't an actual parasite, because it only spends part of its life cycle in the caterpillar, but it's still a pretty big dick. After the panzy wasps hatch, the caterpillar just dies. I'm assuming it's because he has no more purpose in life, and decides it isn't worth it anymore, and hangs himself or something like that.
Tough as nails.

Any way you cut it, parasites are just assholes, big ones. It's not a far stretch to think that humans one day could be deceived and "hijacked" by some crazy parasite. So a little bit of advice... Don't drink the water in Mexico, or have ice, or go to Mexico in general.

-Ari Racz

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