These Hairworms Eat a Cricket Alive and Control Its Mind | Deep Look

These Hairworms Eat a Cricket Alive and Control Its Mind | Deep Look

The day starts normally enough. You give
your pet some food and water. But later … … in your pet’s water dish, you find this. A hairworm. It didn’t get here on its own. It came out of a little cricket. Don’t believe me? OK. These hairworms are gnarly parasites. They actually control a cricket’s mind to get to their home: the water. The hairworm’s journey starts innocently enough, in a river, as an egg … one of many in this long string. The eggs grow into squiggly larvae, which get eaten by a mayfly larva that also lives in the river. And inside the mayfly is exactly where the hairworm needs to be. The hairworm uses this pointy part to
burrow into the mayfly’s flesh. Then it curls up and waits. Because, really, it’s not after a mayfly. It’s after a cricket. So it sits tight, while the mayfly larva turns into an adult and heads to dry land … where it just might get eaten by a cricket … that has no idea what it’s in for. Inside the cricket the hairworm goes at it, eating all the cricket’s stored-up fat, for about a month. The cricket loses its chirp, but
the hairworm doesn’t kill the cricket … … because the worm needs a lift back to
the water. Crickets usually avoid bodies of water.
They’re not great swimmers. So the worm takes over, boosting chemicals in the cricket’s brain, which make the cricket walk around mindlessly until it happens
to reach water. Scientists in France watched this infected cricket make a beeline for the pool. The hairworm makes a break for it. Still going. Ugh, that’s just … ugh. But don’t worry. They don’t target humans. Ready for more? This one at the University of New Mexico … … has a whole lot of hairworms inside it. They don’t waste any time, curling around each other to mate … even before they’re fully outside the cricket. But it’s more than a gruesome spectacle of nature. Learning about these hairworms could help scientists … understand parasites like toxoplasma … that make us very sick. As for the crickets, don’t feel bad. If they don’t drown, most of them survive their ordeal. At least that’s what scientists have seen in the lab. They go back to being crickets and hopefully stay on dry land. Hi, it’s Lauren. Who’s hungry for more after that? We’d love to make more videos of amazing critters up close all year round. But we need your help. We’re a member-supported PBS show from KQED, in San Francisco. That means to grow, we need you, our YouTube fans, to support us on Patreon. Are you in? Link is in the description. Thanks.

Comments (100)

  1. Hi Deep Peeps! I produced this episode of Deep Look. To find out more details about the strange relationship between the hairworm and cricket, you can read the article I wrote: Thanks for watching, and consider supporting us on Patreon so we can go film some episodes in Oaxaca, Mexico. -Gabriela


  3. imagine these growing on your head.

  4. Note:

    Never feed ur pet outside

  5. 3:11
    This cricket has a very severe case of diarrhea, doctor

  6. Why am I watching this?

  7. Saw this in a korean movie,

  8. Dont watch this before having lunch.

  9. Criket is haveing a dance party xD 2:59

  10. Ahh from the movie “ VIRAL”

  11. Cricket: aimlessly walks around
    Hairworm: raves

  12. Isn't there a movie on this rope worm ??

  13. After seeing this I don't want to step in the river😐
    Anyways! Thank you for this video it was really helpful!

  14. Hair worm larva: gets eaten

    All according to keikaku…

  15. I feel like im not safe right now

  16. THEIR JUST TINY NOODLES!! T. I. N. Y. N. O. O. D. L. E. S.!!!

  17. Plankton's First Cousin

  18. sees hairworm in pet’s water bowl

    invites entire usa navy over

  19. hey, does this worms targets pets such as: dogs, cats etc.?

  20. Best idea watching this in the night am i rite

  21. That's why I don't own a dog or cat

  22. Where TF did it come out of tho?? & How is that cricket okay??

  23. Once the hairworm hatches out of the cricket and it swims in the water… what's it's next mission? Lays eggs?

  24. What happens if a human eats a hairworm larvae 🤔

  25. 3:02

    This is me after watching the video

  26. Me: wondering why crickets are in the water dead

    Watches this video

    Also me: oh poop poor cricket🤧

  27. Its called a parasite

  28. Cricket see's hairworm not this time pulls out cricket gun

  29. oh lol that explains why i saw a cricket at the toilet–

  30. Ima get some scissors

  31. Uhhh why do my foot feels like there is a worm in it

  32. oh my gosh ew that’s disgusting

  33. Alright time to buy a flame thrower

  34. looks like the parasite at plague inc

  35. Water dish
    Hmm thats new.

  36. Invasion of the body snatchers

  37. When she said "don't worry, they dont target humans" I was like, Phew! 😅

  38. This was truly educational.

  39. Flu 2 think they use this worm

  40. Who people eating crickets for survive in the wild and watching this video:
    Oh my goossshh my body!!!!

  41. Oh, reminds me of Deranged movie.

  42. Me : Sees hairworms inside the pet's water bowl.
    Also me : prepare a pair of chopsticks

  43. Me:See's a hairworm in my bathtub


    Also me:Fbi do you want to add a extra nuke fire power to that?

  44. if i ever find a dead cricket in my pool i’m gonna start screaming

  45. Girls: kill it!!!!

  46. I feel relieved when the narrator said that those parasites didn't target humans😂 how about u?

  47. Wait hold up.
    The crickets can live?

    So, theoretically they could become infected multiple times?

    I'm imagining the worlds most unluckiest cricket that's been infected like 5 times.

  48. i just cant help but ask, why does the hair worm live in the water then leave the water then go back again to the water through controlling crickets..haha.. why cant they just stay at the water..well.

  49. Good for me, I give my dog water INSIDE the house

  50. The background music is taken form a horror movie …

  51. Enough internet for today

  52. Hey guys in shine this we don't have any food or drinks and we eat bugs so would you eat the cricket or a mantis to survive cause million year ago us humans had to hunt for our food and kill pigs and cows in the forest so cricket. Or mantis

  53. why did i watched this i have a phobia from all kind of bugs i'm even scared of butterflies 😨

  54. Ok it's 3 am why I am watching this I have school in 5 hours

  55. Thanks for spoiling street food for me

  56. No way, imagine you are in a pool and one of these things get into your uretral cavity 😣😣

  57. lol imagine a cricket consume thousands of fireflies and all those hairworms control that cricket all in once

  58. does hairworms survive in salt waters too?

  59. Finally professor x trick revealed

  60. Crickets are kinda cute

  61. So this is the reason I often see crickets in my bathroom?!??!

  62. What happens if a dog eats one?

  63. While I was watching this- I felt there were tiny little worms on me ;w;.. and tiny ants.

  64. I knew it but still , watched it

  65. I was drinking some hamburger smoothie

    Don't want it no more

  66. Is it weird that i find these almost everyday and thought they were natural extentions of crickets?

  67. Yep that is disgusting

  68. They could make a horror film out of nature

  69. Narrator: Don't believe me?
    Narrator: Okay!

  70. Hairworm: "hello can i get a hitch?"
    Cricket: "Sure, where to?"
    Hairworm: "just to the pool over there"
    Cricket: "ok then, Hop in!"

  71. Everybody gangsta till it starts raining

  72. Bro some people eat crickets.
    If these worms where inside it when the person eats it, this could actually happen to you

  73. The hair worm leaves the water to go back to the water bruh

  74. So aliens are invading secretly

  75. Video: Shows worms going out the cricket.
    Me: :<

  76. me: sees hqairworm in pool
    me: enemy spotted

  77. do the crickets get ptsd?

  78. Me: sees a hair worm walking by

    Also me: pulls out the extra boom-boom molotov

  79. "deranged" korean movie😅😅😅

  80. I'm eating spaghetti while watching this 😣

  81. If I saw that thing I would burn down the whole place.

  82. Her: But Don't Worry HairWorms Don't Attack Humans

    Me: peace was never an option

  83. You picked the wrong house fool!

  84. I literary killed every cricket and grasshoppers outside my backyard with a torch and my perfume (when i see it on the water, I will pour a liter of chlorine or gas and then burn it)

  85. I'm scared of crickets now 😬😖😖 😖

  86. Watches cricket roaming around near water

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