One of our species’ most beneficial evolutionary tools is our tendency to ignore the innumerable horrifying aspects of the world we live in. Imagine an existence where every moment was spent contemplating the very real monstrosities that surround us – flesh eating bacteria, the ebola virus, Natural Light beer … no, don’t imagine that. That way lies madness. Thankfully, we seem to have the ability to push those things deep down into the dark recesses of our subconscious and make our way through our lives blissfully unaware of the vile hellishness that surrounds us.
Every once in a while, though, we’re reminded of what lies beneath. And so it was last week when I saw, in my kitchen … an earwig. Lest we forget the pure evil that is the earwig:
These insects are quite insidious, the fertilized female will attach herself to hair, clothing and/or skin, and under the cover of darkness wend her way into the ear canal, burrowing then through the middle and inner ear to the brain. Upon reaching the brain, the earwig first severs the cranial nerve, which serves as both a blessing and a curse to the victim. Whereas the victim suffers no pain thereafter, the victim is also unaware of the progressive degeneration of cerebral tissue.
Over the course of several days, the female burrows a network of tunnels through the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain, implanting her eggs as she digs along. After she has deposited her entire brood of approximately 1000 eggs, she emerges in the sinus cavity where she expires. The eggs hatch after about 4 days of incubation. Immediately after they pass through the pupae stage, about 2 days later, each larva burrows further into the brain, shredding brain tissues and consuming it for nourishment. The victim will usually die a horrible and debilitating death about a week later as the larvae reach maturity.
This is truly Satan’s insect. Trust me, it’s no fun wearing earplugs 24/7, and my feet hurt from wearing my cowboy boots all the time (in case I need to kill one in a corner.) I don’t know how much longer I can go on.
Somebody hold me …