Every week, television documentaries present us with so many unusual people, so many strange and/or disturbing problems, you might find it hard to keep up with all of them. That's where I come in! Here's an unflinching look back at TV's Week in Freak Shows.
Monsters Inside Me (Animal Planet)
Who Is This Now? Tara.
Why Are We Watching Her? She's sharing the tale of the time a botfly larva ruined her Christmas.
How Did She Get Here? She's not entirely sure, but her best guess is that the problems started when she was traveling in Belize and was bitten in the scalp by a mosquito. Botflies reproduce parasitically via mosquitoes, which carry the teeny larvae on their abdomens that then fall off onto whatever organisms the mosquitoes bite, and burrow their way into those organisms, sometimes through the mosquito bite holes. So what happened was, when she got these mosquito bites, two botfly larvae burrowed into the holes and started living in her head.
What's the Grossest Thing We See? Since the couple have quit their jobs to travel, they don't have health insurance, and decide to try a home remedy they've read about online: Tara's husband Andy smears the bites with Vaseline. The larvae are then forced out of their home in Tara's head so they won't suffocate, whereupon Andy has to pull them out, verrrrrrrry carefully, with tweezers; they're covered with barbs, and if he breaks the larvae, any bits left in Tara's scalp will definitely get infected. The part where we see Andy working the larvae out of her head is reenacted (but still horrible); the actual photo of what was living in her head and causing agonizing pain for several days is not. And it's awful. That little bugger really got fat off her blood and flesh.