I like a little tongue…

In my ongoing efforts to find the absolute worse images that the Internets have to offer I think I might just have hit the jackpot.

Unlike Photoshopped images of washed up psuedo monsters from the depths this one is real, so you have no excuse not to lose sleep.

Without further ado I would like to present you with…

This cute little fellow is Cymothoa exigua, more commonly known as the tongue-eating louse

I’d like to think that we can cue the Vincent Price laugh from the end of Thriller right now.

The Cymothoa exigua, more commonly known as the tongue-eating louse is a parasitic crustacean. The isopod enters through the gills of the fish and attaches itself to the base of the fish’s tongue. Using its claws, the louse extracts blood from the tongue, gradually causing it to atrophy from lack of blood. Then, the parasite replaces the fish’s tongue by attaching itself to the muscles of the exposed tongue stub. The fish uses the louse just like it would naturally use its tongue! This is the only instance where a parasite functionally replaces a lost organ (thanks featuredcreature.com).

I think that the worse thing about this is the fact that it lives in the fishes mouth and acts as a substitute tongue, that’s just aweful.

In the words of my daughter “this is a creepy, creepy creature, yuk”.

Oh no. In keeping with my propensity for not leaving well enough alone I’ve now given myself nightmares by entering the word ‘Isopod’ into my favourite search engine. I’d rather have my tongue digested than have this snuggle up to me in the middle of the night.

Deep Sea Giant Isopod – up to 2.5 feet long

Let me know if you’ve heard of anything from the natural world that you think might be worthy of inclusion in Steve’s House of Horrors.

Sleep well.

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