Maggots. They are pretty darn disgusting. As the larva of a fly, these small slimy creatures, seek out dead animals, rotten food and they show up in garbage cans which is, luckily, usually the only human interaction they have.
That is of course unless they manage to get inside one of your orifices.
One very unlucky elderly woman from China discovered she had 30 living maggots in her ear canal. Evidently, a fly somehow got into her ear, laid eggs, and then they hatched into worms.
It all started when the elderly villager started having chronic suppurative otitis media, which is an inflammatory disease of the middle ear. The symptoms started 60 years ago, however; since it didn’t affect her daily life and because the family lacked the funds for a trip to the hospital, it was left untreated for decades. The disease causes a pus-like discharge which is evidently very attractive to flies.
After all these years of suffering from the disease, a fly made its way into her ear just a week ago. While attempting to dig it out, the woman injured herself. A few days later, her ear started to hurt and she actually found a maggot crawling out of her left ear.
As soon as she saw the maggot, she went to the local clinic and the doctor confirmed that there was, in fact, a live fly larvae infestation inside her head. She was immediately transferred to the provincial capital for treatment.
The case was given to Doctor Ma, an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist based in Changsha, the capital of central China’s Hunan Province.
“The fly was most likely attracted to the putrid discharge in her ear canal,” said Dr. Ma, who retrieved more than 30 maggots from the woman’s ear, some of which were already dead inside. “And then it laid eggs, which hatched into maggots.”
Nurses at the Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University managed to take a video of the maggot extraction done by Dr. Ma. Using a pair of tweezers, the doctor removed the maggots one by one with a steady hand.
While her ear was cleared of the maggots, that wasn’t the end of her journey with the critters. She was given a sterilization in the ear to manage the swelling caused by inflammation and she was scheduled to undergo a surgical operation for further treatment.
While maggots aren’t the most pleasant creatures to have around, they are useful in estimating the time of death in a corpse. While this sounds pretty morbid, the presence of maggots offers forensic entomologists answers that help them determine the approximate time of death, if found within 24 hours.
They are also used as bait for anglers and they are known as the most popular bait in Europe. Anglers throw handfuls of them into the water in order to attract fish to the area. They are making a living for those who supply them to the anglers.
As to be expected, commenters were disgusted with the graphic video…
“There goes my morning coffee… I didn’t read the article but REALLY….I was enjoying my 4am coffee.”
“Gross!! I couldn’t even watch that video! That’s one of my worst fears…having a bug crawl in my ear!”