These Hairworms Eat a Cricket Alive and Control Its Mind | Deep Look

These Hairworms Eat a Cricket Alive and Control Its Mind | Deep Look

The day starts normally enough. You give
your pet some food and water. But later … … in your pet’s water dish, you find this. A hairworm. It didn’t get here on its own. It came out of a little cricket. Don’t believe me? OK. These hairworms are gnarly parasites. They actually control a cricket’s mind to get to their home: the water. The hairworm’s journey starts innocently enough, in a river, as an egg … one of many in this long string. The eggs grow into squiggly larvae, which get eaten by a mayfly larva that also lives in the river. And inside the mayfly is exactly where the hairworm needs to be. The hairworm uses this pointy part to
burrow into the mayfly’s flesh. Then it curls up and waits. Because, really, it’s not after a mayfly. It’s after a cricket. So it sits tight, while the mayfly larva turns into an adult and heads to dry land … where it just might get eaten by a cricket … that has no idea what it’s in for. Inside the cricket the hairworm goes at it, eating all the cricket’s stored-up fat, for about a month. The cricket loses its chirp, but
the hairworm doesn’t kill the cricket … … because the worm needs a lift back to
the water. Crickets usually avoid bodies of water.
They’re not great swimmers. So the worm takes over, boosting chemicals in the cricket’s brain, which make the cricket walk around mindlessly until it happens
to reach water. Scientists in France watched this infected cricket make a beeline for the pool. The hairworm makes a break for it. Still going. Ugh, that’s just … ugh. But don’t worry. They don’t target humans. Ready for more? This one at the University of New Mexico … … has a whole lot of hairworms inside it. They don’t waste any time, curling around each other to mate … even before they’re fully outside the cricket. But it’s more than a gruesome spectacle of nature. Learning about these hairworms could help scientists … understand parasites like toxoplasma … that make us very sick. As for the crickets, don’t feel bad. If they don’t drown, most of them survive their ordeal. At least that’s what scientists have seen in the lab. They go back to being crickets and hopefully stay on dry land. Hi, it’s Lauren. Who’s hungry for more after that? We’d love to make more videos of amazing critters up close all year round. But we need your help. We’re a member-supported PBS show from KQED, in San Francisco. That means to grow, we need you, our YouTube fans, to support us on Patreon. Are you in? Link is in the description. Thanks.

Comments (73)

  1. Hi Deep Peeps! I produced this episode of Deep Look. To find out more details about the strange relationship between the hairworm and cricket, you can read the article I wrote: Thanks for watching, and consider supporting us on Patreon so we can go film some episodes in Oaxaca, Mexico. -Gabriela

  2. I dont want to think about it controling humans.

  3. Boyfriend: I’m gonna be as gentle as possible

    Also him: 3:00

  4. so that's why i love taking showers …

  5. Sees hairworm in dogs bowl

    Packs bag

    Me:Here's the keys to the house worm

  6. Hair worms are fascinating

  7. Grabs flame thrower.

  8. Time to throw my lake away. Because I saw a cricket in the lake

  9. Crickets are cute. I MEAN LOOK AT THAT FACE

  10. looks at spaghetti

  11. W I G G L Y B O I

  12. Ok, so all life on earth should have a purpose.. then we have these Hairworm, what are they good for ?
    – nothing I guess .. it is just an endless lifecycle of nothing !

  13. He attacc..
    He Protecc

    But most importantly,

    He exit from his bacc..

  14. oH gOD, that mind controlling scene is actually pretty satisfying… am I the only weird one?

  15. Who felt some weird tingling in theor body while watching the video.
    As if you know ?

  16. The worm named him Cricket Bennington. Why?


  17. Insect world is the most fascinating on earth

  18. I witnessed these emerging from a cricket when I was a kid. It was the most mesmerizingly horrific thing I've ever seen. Then, years later, upon watching the emergence scene in "Alien", I was like, meh…

  19. Hans… Get ze flammenwerfer

  20. How they get all this evidence ??how they get so close

  21. Eeww gross

    finishes the entire video


  23. But how does it fit inside? Where is it? It's like the whole cricket.

  24. that cricket got assraped by a hairworm inside out

  25. Who else is traumatized ?‍♀️

  26. Throw out the dish and burn the house

  27. Burn them. Burn them all.

  28. I’m afraid to drink water now

  29. cricket: Im skippin mayflies back to french flies i dont want to end up like my bro

  30. they will evolve to make crickets mechs

  31. I always find this in my bathroom ???

  32. Reminds me of that story on John Carpenter's Body Bags lol

  33. 1:23 what you are looking for

  34. Wiggle wiggle wiggle

  35. The hair worm picked a wrong place because humans are gonna notice it then grab it out and stomp it

  36. controlling mind is real?

  37. They have the same thing but a fungus version that makes people b-line to jail. It's designed for political opponents and pretty much any business that has any future.

  38. Me: when I see hair worm on my hand
    Hair worm: hi
    Me: takes pistol aiming myself

  39. Now imagine a tapeworm coming out of a human. Yikes.

  40. They won't target humans.

    Me in the pool with a hairworm: Screams and gets out

  41. Always drink filtered water people

  42. what if the cricket got eaten by a bird? or something

  43. Sure its not nano morgellans manmade to do us all over .

  44. How did a ride go? Did u have fun?

  45. Even you said it won't target Human, still look creepy wen you see them in your own pool. ??
    Luckily I don't have pool in my apartment ?

  46. this is so gross..

  47. I don't even wanna look at it coming out

  48. “Cricket, more like grasshopper”

  49. Probably a bad time to be eating spaghetti right….

  50. Now i feel i don't wanna drink anything lol

  51. it is 2:00 am,why am i watching this

  52. Please don’t tell me there in the uk

  53. Ouuchh my stomach hurts pls stop

  54. How did that long string like creature fit in that cricket?

  55. The forbident spaguetti

  56. Looking For BEANS
    Again For This
    OH NO!!!

  57. Science: do not eat them or you will get infected
    Mongolians: lets eat some crickets

  58. Watching the worm escape and shake the cricket around as it slid and squirmed into the pool made me uncomfortable on so so many levels

  59. i thought the internet had me desensitized…nope! apparently not!
    im so glad i live in a boring non exotic country that doesnt support freak mutations of life.

  60. Anyone willing to help me sleep today?

  61. Ohhh boy I believe you I just saw some exit a grass hopper

  62. Hehe. Mind conroling hentai

  63. I used to catch these things lol. I call them Horse Hair Worms

  64. Welp time to Alt F4 all water on the planet.

  65. I had to get up off the toilet

  66. I'm never swimming in an outdoor pool or lake etc again , that's disgusting

  67. Scientist are probably creating one that does target humans….

  68. OH MY GOD that’s goooooooooooosssssssssss???????????

  69. I meant gross but still ????????

  70. IF I EVER SEE THAT IAM GOING TO CALL THE GOVERMENT OR USE A TANK TO DESTROY IT????????????????????????????????????????????????☠️☠️☠️☠️☠️☠️☠️

  71. Now where I'd put that flame thrower

  72. i freaking found 2 hairworms in my bathtub

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