Video: Gordian worm leaves its cricket host

Gordian worms are parasites that live inside the likes of beetles, cockroaches, and crickets. The worms can be as long as one meter and 3 millimeters in diameter. Here is a video of a gordian worm emerging from its host in a swimming pool. Gordian worm (YouTube, via 37 Signals, thanks Sean Ness!)


  1. isn’t this like the third time this video has been posted on boing boing? (or if not, then you guys are like waaaay behind in internet time)

  2. Gross, but not as bad as it could be.
    You want disgusting? Be glad this isn’t one linked on Fazed a few months ago – in it, the host is a grasshopper or something like that. The person taking the video had crushed the host and showed the worm(s?) wriggling out in all its horror. Not linking because I have no intention on finding it again.

  3. wtf is internet time?
    anyway, chewing on that first mouthful of jerk pork roti and I see this god damn worm crawling out! Gets me thinking I should floss.

  4. “There have been reports of humans and dogs excreting Gordian Worms. Accidental ingestion of the worms, perhaps in drinking water, is the most likely explanation for these observations. Although Gordian Worms can resemble some of the parasitic round worms (Phylum Nematoda), but there is no danger of humans becoming parasitised by them.”

    Until they evolve . . .

  5. Do you wanna know the best part? The worm forces the cricket to go to the water. There is where it completes the life cicle

  6. OK, next horror movie critter: the larval form eats from within just long enough to make you have to admit its there, and then it emerges as a snake-form with teeth that starts dining on the outside of you with half of it still inside you. Huh? huh?

  7. I did a whole post on mind controling parasites including Gordians on my blog a while back.

    The terrifying flatworm of Doom is my fav, and included

    “Leucochloridium paradoxum are a parasitic flatworm that prey on birds.
    The worms begin their lives as eggs in bird droppings, and are consumed by snails along vegetation floors. Once consumed, the worms infect the snail’s brains, take control of their mind, then “hypnotize” them into climbing just high enough to become bird food – where the cycle repeats.”

  8. What happened to the cricket after the worm left…? Cricket to therapist: “I have this horrible empty feeling inside me…”

  9. Yeaaahh, and it’s posts like these that make glad I have noscript/flashblock on. Being able to read the comments before even being tempted with a teaser image is a *good* thing.

  10. #!2, because it grows as it consumes the insect’s innards. It leaves when the insect is near water, and the host is left dead.

  11. OMG, lately I have been drawn to large bodies of water. Been feeling constipated too. Could it be….NAW..

  12. Accompanying the original Nature article is an even more disgusting video of the worm emerging from a frog’s mouth after the frog has eaten a cricket, which hosted the worm. The frog is not very happy about this.

    I expect that you need a Nature subscription to watch the film.

  13. Another example of a parasite controlling the hosts behavior, in this case causing suicide, as the worm needs water to emerge (although considering the size of the worm, I believe the host would be dead anyway once the worm left).

    The wikipedia page has another longer video that explains the process.

  14. That, my friends, is fucking disgusting. And, disgustingly awesome. With the transitive theory of awesome, it’s: fucking disgustingly awesome.

  15. I read the comments carefully and no one has asked the most obvious question: WHERE DOES THE WORM GO NEXT!!! It’s in a swimming pool for God’s sake. Warn the children!

  16. there is a barnacle…or is it a limpet?….any way it adhers to the top side of a crab and bores through into the head and becomes the crab.

    I know it’s like a giant Mech Appleseed style thing but with a zombie theme.

  17. Zombie crab! Oh goodness. I guess it’s extra sleeping pills for me until that image passes.

  18. In a swimming pool, eh? I think my kids trips to the local public pool are over for this lifetime.

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