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  1.  (6769.1)
    Dario- check the I did not need to see imagethreads :D hahaha.
  2.  (6769.2)
    Yeah, suffice to say folks — this thread is likely to be NSFW and NSFYCMH (Not Safe For Your Continued Mental Health).

    You have been warned.
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2009
    lets have more giant birds less icky diseases
  3.  (6769.4)
    After that HPV tree-skinned fellow and the poor 10-year-old chainsawed in half, my most strident reaction to the scabies hands was "How very interesting."

    Is that a good sign or a bad?
  4.  (6769.5)
    lets have more giant birds less icky diseases
    This is me voting you off the island.

  5.  (6769.6)
    Alright. This one ain't for the weak of heart.

    A terminated fetus with a parasitic twin fused to its face.

    This is not for the squeamish. Seriously. Don't look at it unless you're prepared to see something very visceral.

    To refresh your memories:
    A parasitic twin (also known as an asymmetrical or unequal conjoined twin) is the result of the processes that produce vanishing twins and conjoined twins, and may represent a continuum between the two. Parasitic twins occur when a twin embryo begins developing in utero, but the pair does not fully separate, and one embryo maintains dominant development at the expense of the other. Unlike conjoined twins, one ceases development during gestation and is vestigial to a mostly fully-formed, otherwise healthy individual twin. The undeveloped twin is defined as parasitic, rather than conjoined, because it is incompletely formed or wholly dependent on the body functions of the complete fetus.
  6.  (6769.7)
    Armoured crickets have a bizarre and striking way to avoid being eaten.

    To become unpalatable, the insects squirt toxic blood out of gaps in their body and make themselves sick by throwing up food they've just eaten.

    • CommentAuthorDario
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2009 edited
    Actually, this talk of parasitic twins has reminded me of Armand Leroi's documentary, featured on Channel 4 and (apparently) Discovery, entitled "Human Mutants"; more specifically, a section in which he visits the Vrolik Museum. Discusses Cephalothoracoiliopagus "Janus faced" twins, whereby the two halves of each twin's face join up to make up two separate composite faces, on the sides of each head, rather than the front.

    Conjoined twins

    One episode mentions the condition "Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva", whereby bone does not stop growing, resulting in joints locking in place, and extra bone growths jutting out from the body.

    medical picture

    Additionally: unsure as to whether this deviates from the topic considerably, but V.S. Ramachandran's "Phantoms In The Brain" documentary is certainly worth a look.

    Phantoms In The Brain Episode 1

    Phantoms In The Brain Episode 2
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2009 edited

    Parasitic micro-organism that infects the brains of its hosts and modifies their behaviour to increase its chances of being transmitted.

    Mice and rats infected with Toxo actively seek out light, are attracted by the smell of cat urine and attack cats and other predators.

    Between 25 and 30% of humans are infected with toxoplasmosis and there do appear to be statistically signifcant differences in their behaviour - they're more likely than the uninfected to get into fights, to commit criminal offences, to be involved in accidents and to have multiple sexual partners.
  7.  (6769.10)
    “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client got toxoplasmosis from cleaning litterboxes at the SPCA. It is not at all his fault that he snapped and choked Tila Tequila.”
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2009
    "who knew you could get toxoplasmosis from cat-shite?"
  8.  (6769.12)
    "Health warning: parasites in your brain may increase your likelihood of being eaten by a cat."
  9.  (6769.13)
    Talking of Parasites: have a look at the charming bottom-dwellers belonging to the Order Lophiiformes, the Deep-Sea Anglerfish.

    Anglerfish can live at depths of 200-600 fathoms;

    As with other deep-sea fish, they can have antennas with bioluminescent ends to lure prey;

    There are various types, all of them hideous;

    And in most of them the male of the species is one-tenth of the female's size and is permanently attached to her body.

    Back when Anglerfish were first discovered, Icthyologists were unable to work out how they kept alive when all they could find were hideous females with hideous skin cancer. Further examination, however, found the 'tumours' to in fact be the remains of the male Anglers, originally mistaken for an entire separate species. When a male has initiated Mating, he clamps himself onto the female with his mouth and fuses his blood system with hers. Having used up his purpose in life, most of his vital organs drop off until he is nothing but a penis and two testes jutting out of the female's body.

    Hence, a female is able to swim around with great collections of fused partners all over her body, re-injecting her with fresh sperm every hour on the hour and thus ensuring continual genetic variability. The minimum of males attached to a female before her death is, on average, six.

    Someone have the decency to douse me in oil when they find out how to replicate all that with humans...
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2009
    My word!

    Snake with foot found in China

    and here is a pic!
  10.  (6769.15)
    I like to think that snake ate the poultry equivalent of Bruce Lee, and using it's last measure of strength the chicken tried to kung-fu kick it's way out of the snakes belly, leaving that impression.
  11.  (6769.16)
    Those angler fish are killer.
  12.  (6769.17)
    It's pretty old news now on many accounts but this tongue eating parasite is just lovely.
    more at wikkkeeepedia
  13.  (6769.18)
    @ Kosmopolit — I should point out that there are gender differences in the behavioral changes linked to toxoplasmosis. Men are said to become more aggressive, suspicious and jealous, while woman are the ones more likely to be promiscuous, as well as more caring and outgoing.

    @ Easelfish — I love anglerfish. They're the only example of what scientists call "parasitic chimaerism." (Chimaerism is when an organism has two or more separate sets of cells in their bodies.)
  14.  (6769.19)
    I see @Kosmopolit removed the inline version of the Norwegian Scabies image.

    So, here it is again.

    Seriously, folks. If you're squeamish, a thread named "It's A Sick World" probably isn't going to be for you. Proceed with caution.
  15.  (6769.20)
    I was aware that some inherited blood diseases like sickle-cell disease and the Thalassaemias probably evolved because they're a good defense against malaria.

    But in reading Epidemic by Dr. Robert Baker tonight, I found out something I wasn't aware of — people with the genes that make them vulnerable to auto-immune disease also have increased resistance to tuberculosis. As Baker says, "In other words an epidemic of auto-immunity is the price we have paid as a species for resistance to infectious epidemics."