Many a dangerous worm exists in this world, many of which are overestimated, but just as many of which are severely underestimated. This article will outline some of the worms that you may encounter that pose some level of threat toward yourself and others. For the sake of organizing the content of this article, we will split this up into three categories, namely parasites, venomous worms and marine worms (many of which you will never have to actually worry about).
Before getting into the bulk of the article, it is important that we point out that this article might target or mention certain areas that may be sensitive to certain readers, such as blood and sexual organs.
First off, let’s start with parasitic worms. This is the category of worms that will potentially be most likely to affect you as parasitic worm infestations are actually quite a common occurrence. At least at AllAboutWorms.com. In order to keep this somewhat brief, we will only go over the most common of parasites, and to be clear, we are specifying on internal parasites that infest humans. Most of the commonplace parasites infest the intestines of their human hosts, and there are quite a few of these. It should be noted that if any of our readers have any concerns about their health, such as parasitic infections, they should seek professional medical help immediately.
•Tapeworms – these worms are flat and segmented and infest one by means of consumption of their eggs. Most of the time they eat the food that the host eats, and have even spawned a dangerous diet trend where people consume tapeworm eggs on purpose in order to go down in weight (a topic which a future article will cover). When secreted, tapeworms come out in small bits. However, it is possible for tapeworms to spread to other parts of the body and attach themselves to other organs in the body and cause serious damage.
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•Pinworms/Threadworms – these are small, white worms that infest the anus or vagina and cause itching and/or even weight loss. They too live in the intestines, and just like tapeworms, they get into the body by means of consumption of the eggs. The spread of pinworms is easier than one might think. This is because if one who is infested with pinworms scratches the infected area, the eggs of the pinworm (which are laid around the rim of the anus) can stick to one’s fingers. Thus, if one then touches other things that the eggs can stick to, which others then also touch, it can easily end up in others’ mouths. This goes to show that washing one’s hands is always important!
•Whipworms – these worms get their name from their whip-like shape. Although they are most common in domestic pets (mostly dogs) there have been cases of human infestation. Just like the previous two worms, these also infest the intestines of their hosts. They can cause multiple problems, such as diarrhea, painful poops, nausea, weight loss and intestinal disease.
Secondly, we get to venomous worms. Two of the most prevalent discussed venomous worms are centipedes and flatworms. However, it should be noted that not all species of centipedes and flatworms are venomous, and even those that are, are not always necessarily dangerous toward humans. Firstly, the centipede. Although most centipedes possess some level of venom which they use to render their prey inoperative, usually it is not enough to give a human victim more than an itch. However, certain species of giant centipedes can be harmful toward humans. One example is the Vietnamese centipede, whose bite is regarded as being worse than that of a snake in terms of the pain it inflicts. Although the venom is still not enough to kill a human (given the ratio of a giant centipede’s body mass to a human’s), the pain they inflict can last for several days, and the venom can cause swelling, bruising and breathing difficulties. On the other hand, certain species of flatworms have been known to cause concern among scientists, who have found that two species in particular, namely the Bipalium adventitium and the Bipalium kewense, can carry Tetrodotoxin, a paralysis-inducing toxin. Furthermore, other species of flatworms, such as the planarian flatworm, can carry harmful parasites.
Thirdly, we come to the dangerous marine worms. However, you are not likely to actually encounter many of the marine worms that are extremely dangerous. This is because many of them live on the bottom of the ocean floor, a region largely unexplored. Unfortunately, there is a dangerous marine worm that waits for its prey in shallow waters, and is one that we hardly believed actually existed when we first heard tell of it. Its sheer size is one out of legend, reminding us of the Mongolian Death Worm, a topic we have covered previously. The Bobbit Worm can reach a monstrous length of 10 feet. Their bodies are covered in bristles, which can cause permanent nerve damage if touched. The Bobbit Worm will grab hold of their prey in strong jaws and pull them under the sand, even if the prey is far larger than them. Other worms, such as the methane ice worm and the Antarctic proboscis worm, reside on the bottom of the ocean floor and thus you do not have to be worried.
To conclude, there are a multitude of dangerous worms on our fine planet, and this article covered only a fraction of them. However, we reasoned that these were some of the most relevant, if not some of the most interesting ones to cover. We hope that this article provides some insightful information and is interesting to our readers!