1. African eye worms.
Botflies ain’t nothin’.Think of an eye worm as a maggot, stretched out real thin and wiggling inside your eye!! On second thought, think of something else.”
2. Naegleria Fowleri.
“Naegleria Fowleri….It’s an extremely rare bacteria that crawls up your nose and eats your brain. Fatality rate is 99%. You die in a week….”
“There is a drug called krokodil (pronounced crock-o-deel) that literally melts your skin off but it is so highly addictive that you have to keep using it. So people who have used it have exposed bones and just keep using it anyway. That’s a level of addiction that is terrifying.”
4. Prion diseases.
“Prion diseases. A protein that is folded in a funny way gets into your brain. It convinces other proteins in your brain to fold in that funny way, too. Eventually, they all do and you die. Mad cow disease, kuru, a disease where you literally can’t sleep anymore until you go nuts and die– all prion diseases.
Animals get them, and they die in the woods. The misfolded proteins from their decaying bodies get into scavengers or just lie dormant in plants or soil until the next animal — or person—touches them, and then off we go again. Chronic Wasting Disease, a prion disease affecting deer, is endemic in the US and starting to spread internationally. The only cure is to burn the forest down.”
5. Tarantula hawks.
“Tarantula hawks are a species of wasps that hunt fucking tarantulas. They are also one of only three genus of animals who’s toxins receive the highest rating on the Schmidt pain index.”
6. Outer space.
“Outer space. Either we are alone out there or not—both are equally terrifying.”
7. Gympie-gympie leaves.
“The gympie-gympie leaves that have small, hollow, toxin-filled hairs on them. The pain from touching them is said to feel like your skin is being burned off with acid and can last for months and even years if all the hairs don’t get removed. Allegedly, one guy used the leaf as toilet paper and the pain was so bad he killed himself.”
8. The manchineel tree.
“The manchineel takes the cake on ‘scary fucken trees.’
Literally every part of the tree is toxic, some of the toxins we haven’t even identified yet, they’re brand-new to us and only found in the manchineel. It has little apples that look delicious and taste delicious, and slightly peppery. The peppery feeling very quickly proceeds to a severe burning sensation and anaphylactic shock, as your esophagus, trachea, and bronchial tubes all begin to swell shut. The sap blisters skin and can permanently blind you. It grows all over the Caribbean, in Florida, in Mexico, in Central America, and the northern parts of South America. Historically, the Carib Natives would use manchineel leaves to poison the water supplies of rival tribes. There are now signs and markings at most manchineel trees, indicating in various languages that you don’t touch it, eat things from it, get near it, pick up the leaves that have fallen, nothing.”
“It can really seem like a horror movie at times. I have a relative who has Alzheimer’s. My cousin takes care of her and she told me one of the most unsettling stories I’ve ever heard:
Alzheimer’s relative walked into a room in her own house. She comes back into the living room telling my cousin how scared and frightened she is. My cousin asks what happened. Relative says she’s afraid of ‘the woman’ in her room.
The ‘woman’ was her own reflection in the mirror all along.”
“I’d have to say the opposite of Alzheimer’s—ALS. You lose all bodily function but maintain your brain. You are essentially a prisoner in your own body while you watch everyone around you watch. My grandpa had it and within months was speaking to me by pointing to letters on a board using a straw in his month. Lost that last point of communication after a month where he would just stare.”
“My elderly cousins Joe and Bette lived in a nursing home in a small town. Bette passed away. Joe had dementia. Every morning he’d wake up and see Bette wasn’t beside him. He’d search around the whole nursing home asking everyone he saw if they had seen his wife, then eventually someone would tell him she died, and he’d break down crying, essentially reliving his wife’s death everyday for the rest of his life. He died only a few months later, perhaps for the best considering his situation.”
12. The unknown and ‘extinct’ diseases buried in the permafrost.
“The unknown and “extinct” diseases buried in the permafrost (which is melting and releasing them). The fact that the areas where these diseases are buried is increasingly disturbed as the climate warming makes the areas accessible to mining and so on 😳”
13. Space rocks.
“The sheer amount of space rocks (comets, asteroids etc.) that are undetectable. It’s even more terrifying that we could have a decent program to counter a % of these, but all the kids with the space programs can’t get along and play together.”
14. The ocean’s abyss.
“Ocean abyss. It’s beyond dark and pressure is impossible. Yet there are things down there. Some of them we can’t even comprehend because of how utterly alien their habitat is. If there are gods, they live in that impenetrable darkness.”
“Rabies. It’s exceptionally common, but people just don’t run into the animals that carry it often. Skunks especially, and bats. Let me paint you a picture. You go camping, and at midday you decide to take a nap in a nice little hammock. While sleeping, a tiny brown bat, in the
rage stages of infection is fidgeting in broad daylight, uncomfortable, and thirsty (due to the hydrophobia) and you snort, startling him. He goes into attack mode. Except you’re asleep, and he’s a little brown bat, so weighs around 6 grams. You don’t even feel him land on your bare knee, and he starts to bite. His teeth are tiny. Hardly enough to even break the skin, but he does manage to give you the equivalent of a tiny scrape that goes completely unnoticed. Rabies does not travel in your blood. In fact, a blood test won’t even tell you if you’ve got it. (Antibody tests may be done, but are useless if you’ve ever been vaccinated.)
You wake up, none the wiser. If you notice anything at the bite site at all, you assume you just lightly scraped it on something. The bomb has been lit, and your nervous system is the wick. The rabies will multiply along your nervous system, doing virtually no damage, and completely undetectable. You literally have NO symptoms. It may be four days, it may be a year, but the camping trip is most likely long forgotten. Then one day your back starts to ache… Or maybe you get a slight headache? At this point, you’re already dead. There is no cure.”
“Humans. Humans are scarier than any other thing found in nature. We invent nuclear weapons, we engineer diseases to kill each other, we murder, rape, pillage, we overexploit the planet, we torture its animals, we go postal and shoot our coworkers, we beat our children, we kill and torment each other in creatively hideous ways, and then we watch all that kind of shit on TV, read about it on the internet and in books & papers, write popular songs about it, all willingly. Willingly, we do these things to each other and the world we live in, and all the while we know better.
Human beings are fucking horrifying.”
17. Nuclear weapons.
As a species we have managed to build and stockpile something that can eradicate us. Other things exist beyond our control, created by nature and we have to find ways to counteract them. But the fact that we chose to use our intellect to create something that can devastate our own kind is terrifying.
I’m also worried about the stockpiling of cyberweapons that I am certain is going on in every major country from China to Germany to the US. Eventually one of these things is going to get out and wreak havoc on some critical financial, satellite, or energy infrastructure.”
“Every day you wake up one day closer to dying.
Everything you love could be consumed in a fire.
You could have the genetic potential for a debilitating disease and never know until it strikes you down.
A brain injury could make you a completely different person.”
19. Sea creatures.
“A lot of creepy ass creatures in the sea. Goblin sharks and such that are living nightmares. We don’t even know the full depth of the terrors under the sea either. There could be humanoid fish down there as well. Not like cute mermaids but real freaks of nature. The sea is home to many horrifying creatures that could easily be mistaken for true demons.”