“Prions, hands-down. They’re tiny, highly infectious particles that occur when protein molecules found in the nervous system misfold. Once a single bad prion enters a healthy person or animal, it causes all of the properly-folded proteins around it to misfold as well, causing a slow, but irreverible chain reaction that literally eats holes in the brain until the infected person withers away and dies. The diseases that prions cause are called Spongiform encephalopathies because infected brains have so many holes in them that they resemble a kitchen sponge.
One prion disease, Kuru, kills by robbing the infected of the ability to chew and swallow, causing death by starvation. Fatal Familial Insomnia kills otherwise healthy 30-somethings by suddenly disabling the body’s ability to sleep, which leads to psychosis, coma, and death within months. CJD causes dementia and muscle tremors. All known prion diseases are untreatable and 100% fatal, and you can contract them in three main ways: by coming into contact with infected nervous tissue (this can happen via surgery or by eating infected meat), by inheriting the misfolding protein gene, or, most frighteningly, sporadically—meaning that one day, your brain makes a mistake during protein synthesis. Scientists have also successfully aerosolized prions in the lab, creating a lethal spray which infected the brains of mice.
You wanna know the scary part? Prions are extremely infectious, with a same-species infection rate of 100%. In other words, once a prion from another human makes its way into your nervous system, you will contract a prion disease — and there’s even a very real possibility of infection from animals after eating infected meat, or, possibly, by coming into contact with the infected animal’s urine or feces (scientists don’t know yet).
But, although prions infect people like a virus, you can’t kill them because they aren’t alive. They easily ‘survive’ being autoclaved, which means that they can hitch a ride on ‘sterilized’ surgical instruments from one patient to another. If your hamburger meat contains an infectious prion, you won’t be able to ‘cook it out.’ You can boil a prion, dip it in acid, soak it in alcohol, and expose it to radiation, and the prion will still be infectious. They can even maintain their infectious properties in the environment for decades—infected brain specimens that were stored in formaldehyde 30 years ago are still just as ‘hot’ today as they were 3 decades ago.
One last thought to keep you awake at night: It typically takes many decades after infection for there to be enough prions in your body to create symptoms, so you could be infected with prions right now and not know it. It is estimated that as many as one out of every 2,000 people in the U.K. carry infectious prions in their bodies with no signs of disease.”
2. BRAIN-EATING AMOEBA
“We would do a lot of case studies in my parasitology course, and Naegleria fowleri (brain-eating amoeba) was by far the worst to read about. It was the same terrible story over and over. Healthy individual in early 20s is out enjoying life, and goes wake boarding, jet skiing, cliff diving, etc., in warm fresh water. A little water gets up their nose, but other than that, they’re fine. The next day they get a bad headache. They notice their sense of smell fades away completely. Then they slip into a coma and are dead before the week is out. It’s absolutely the stuff of nightmares.”
“Botflies tend to lay their eggs in the fur of animals. When the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow into the flesh for protection and food until they reach maturity. Often times, instead of animals, they’ll lay their eggs in articles of clothing and then hatch into the flesh of a human.”
“I’d rather be bitten by 10,000 mosquitos than a few hundred chiggers. They are the most awful, itchiest little bastards that ever broke skin. It’s like horse flies dipped their cutting stylets (mouth parts) in poison ivy before biting you. And the chigger bites aren’t just one or two or several. Oh, NO! If you get into where they are, you’ll have several hundred or thousand bites. After the pain part passes, then comes the itching on a unbelievable scale. Then there’s the scabbing of the bites, then the itching which opens the bites, then the scabbing, then the itching…pisses me off just thinking of the little hell spawn. I mowed, plowed and burnt the weedy area where they last got me and the revenge was sweet.”
“When my parents first got married they lived in a dingy apartment that was badly infested with cockroaches. One night my dad had a cockroach crawl into his ear while he was sleeping. It got stuck and couldn’t back itself out, so my parents went to the emergency room. They had to pour something in his ear to kill it/suffocate it and then wait for it to break apart and fall out. He said it hurt like a bitch while it was still alive because it was frantically trying to escape his ear and scratching up his ear canal in the process. He also said the sound was enough to drive anyone insane. A bug crawling into my ear has been one of my biggest fears ever since my mom told me that story.”
“I’ve had about 20 ticks in my life. I suffer from tons of anxiety problems, weird sensations, limbs falling asleep randomly, sudden bouts of dizziness, blood pressure spikes, etc. No doctor has diagnosed me with anything other than idiopathic versions of all of the above. My tick bites occurred in western Massachusetts, and although I never got the trademark red bullseye, I’ve often thought about Lyme disease. I have had bad experiences with the medical community and hearing how most doctors treats Lyme, I’m averse to talking to one about Lyme. I often wonder if it could be the culprit, though.”
“Around 8 years back I lived in Northern Mozambique, a coastal southern African country with quite a warm climate. My mother at the time was going through a ‘health nut’ phase and only buying foods she deemed healthy enough. One of these was coconuts. She would buy several coconuts a week to use in food from the local market.
Anyway, being a horny teenager I fapped in regular intervals. Unfortunately there was some severely stressful examinations coming up for me and as such my fapping reached a higher peak than usual and I was feeling pretty sexually frustrated. One day I hear that my mother is going to be out for pretty much the entire afternoon. Horny me decides that it would be a fantastic idea to fuck a coconut. Honestly to this day I can’t fathom why I thought that would be a good idea, but my train of thought back then was clearly somewhat clogged.
I end up grabbing the coconut drill and through 20ish minutes of concerted effort end up creating a hole large enough for me to stick my porker into. I decide it requires some lube and grab the nearest slippery thing (some butter) before shoving it into the coconut followed shortly by my meat. I fuck the coconut and it actually feels pretty damn good, so I blow my load, shove the coconut under my bed and continue about my day.
For the next week the coconut is my savior. Whenever I want to get off I simply take it out and fuck it in its delightfully tight hole made better each time by accumulating volumes of my semen and butter acting as a lubricant. It’s heaven. Now before I continue I’d best mention that at the time our area was experiencing quite humid, muggy weather which exacerbated an already existing fly problem. Disgustingly fat, bloated flies were commonly found around our house and the exterminators couldn’t really do anything because it was a localized area problem that would ‘go away in the winter. ‘
About a week and a bit after the initial coconut fuck (I had been using it pretty much every day since then), I begin to notice a few more flies than usual as well as an odd, unpleasant smell about my room. Must be the coconut, right? So I decide that I’ll fuck it once more before I throw it out and get a new one.
Worst mistake I have ever made.
You see, the reason for the increased number of flies was that the coconut was evidently, in hindsight, a nearly perfect place to lay eggs. As I penetrate the coconut one last time I begin to feel a strange wriggling sensation. Puzzled, I pull my cock out to discover that it is COVERED in rotted and moldy butter and semen and TEEMING WITH TINY FUCKING MAGGOTS. They were wriggling all over my dick head and some were even trying to force their way up into my urethra.
I screamed, and threw the coconut against the wall which made the situation worse by spilling the contents. Hours of vigorous cock scrubbing, vomiting, and cleaning the remnants were spent reflecting on what the fuck I was doing with my life.”
“Pinworms are my favorite parasite. They live in your butt, and are very sneaky. When you fall asleep, they will crawl out into your anal folds and lay their eggs before retreating back to the warm safety. These eggs would fall off throughout the day. The Scotch Tape test is how to diagnose this infestation, and as you can expect it uses Scotch Tape. Yummy.”
“So I have a degree in biology, and did extensive research on tapeworms. The problem with tapeworms, and most parasites in general, is that their reproduction is notoriously difficult. A tapeworm usually takes house in an organisms intestines. Now every single segment of a tapeworm’s body, apart from the head of course, contains a full set of reproductive organs. The more mature segments known as ‘gravid proglottids,’ contain thousands of fertilized eggs (tapeworms are hermaphrodites and self-fertilize). These segments break off and are excreted with the feces. So if you look in your toilet one day and see a wriggling little rectangular white thing, go to the damn hospital.
At any rate the eggs sit around in a pile of feces until something eats them, which is known at the intermediate host. This is usually a pig or a cow, or even a fish (sushi lovers beware). The digestive enzymes in the stomach of the animal break the shell of the egg and allow it to penetrate the digestive tract and go straight into the blood stream. They then lodge themselves in a blood vessel and form a cyst. Occasionally, yes, this can also happen in the host’s brain tissue.
Now I am fairly certain however, that only the pig tapeworm can do this in humans. Someone is welcome to correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the cow and fish tapeworms can’t do this, or have not been known to do this in people. So the tapeworms this article refers to, are solely PIG tapeworms. And only tapeworm EGGS do this. Which means you somehow have to eat something contaminated with the eggs. Which basically means someone somewhere touched human feces infected with tapeworm eggs.
Anyway, the story after that is simple. Someone eats undercooked meat with these cysts lodged in it, and the cysts make their way into your digestive tract. Your digestive enzymes break open the cyst, releasing the larva that now has an in tact head. The head attaches to the wall of your intestines, and the cycle begins again.
Now with food and livestock regulations, occurrences of tapeworms are very low in developed countries. They are mainly a problem in poorer nations. And if you cook your meat before eating it, the chances of contracting a tapeworm in your lifetime are extremely slim.”
10. RABIES VIRUS
“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 he 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.
(The sole caveat to this is the Milwaukee Protocol, which leaves most patients dead anyway, and the survivors mentally disabled, and is seldom done.)
There’s no treatment. It has a 100% kill rate.
Absorb that. Not a single other virus on the planet has a 100% kill rate. Only rabies. And once you’re symptomatic, it’s over. You’re dead.
So what does that look like?
Your headache turns into a fever, and a general feeling of being unwell. You’re fidgety. Uncomfortable. And scared. As the virus that has taken its time getting into your brain finds a vast network of nerve endings, it begins to rapidly reproduce, starting at the base of your brain…where your ‘pons’ is located. This is the part of the brain that controls communication between the rest of the brain and body, as well as sleep cycles.
Next you become anxious. You still think you have only a mild fever, but suddenly you find yourself becoming scared, even horrified, and it doesn’t occur to you that you don’t know why. This is because the rabies is chewing up your amygdala.
As your cerebellum becomes hot with the virus, you begin to lose muscle coordination and balance. You think maybe it’s a good idea to go to the doctor now, but assuming a doctor is smart enough to even run the tests necessary in the few days you have left on the planet, odds are they’ll only be able to tell your loved ones what you died of later.
You’re twitchy, shaking, and scared. You have the normal fear of not knowing what’s going on, but with the virus really fucking the amygdala this is amplified a hundredfold. It’s around this time the hydrophobia starts.
You’re horribly thirsty, you just want water. But you can’t drink. Every time you do, your throat clamps shut and you vomit. This has become a legitimate, active fear of water. You’re thirsty, but looking at a glass of water begins to make you gag and shy back in fear. The contradiction is hard for your hot brain to see at this point. By now, the doctors will have to put you on IVs to keep you hydrated, but even that’s futile. You were dead the second you had a headache.
You begin hearing things, or not hearing at all as your thalamus goes. You taste sounds, you see smells, everything starts feeling like the most horrifying acid trip anyone has ever been on. With your hippocampus long under attack, you’re having trouble remembering things, especially family.
You’re alone, hallucinating, thirsty, confused, and absolutely, undeniably terrified. Everything scares the literal shit out of you at this point. These strange people in lab coats. These strange people standing around your bed crying, who keep trying to get you ‘drink something’ and crying. And it’s only been about a week since that little headache that you’ve completely forgotten. Time means nothing to you anymore. Funny enough, you now know how the bat felt when he bit you.
Eventually, you slip into the ‘dumb rabies’ phase. Your brain has started the process of shutting down. Too much of it has been turned to liquid virus. Your face droops. You drool. You’re all but unaware of what’s around you. A sudden noise or light might startle you, but for the most part, it’s all you can do to just stare at the ground. You haven’t really slept for about 72 hours.
Then you die. Always, you die.
And there’s not one…fucking…thing…anyone can do for you.
Then there’s the question of what to do with your corpse. I mean, sure, burying it is the right thing to do. But the fucking virus can survive in a corpse for years. You could kill every rabid animal on the planet today, and if two years from now, some moist, preserved, rotten hunk of used-to-be brain gets eaten by an animal, it starts all over.
So yeah, rabies scares the shit out of me. And it’s fucking EVERYWHERE. (Source: Spent a lot of time working with rabies. Would still get my vaccinations if I could afford them.)”