Everyone knows there are certain creatures on this earth that are parasitic by nature. These creatures live off their hosts by consuming nutrients from their hosts’ bodies. Some examples include leeches, ticks and intestinal worms.
Now imagine a parasite that infests someone for weeks, causing an infection of pus-full proportions. Then imagine it to be the unlikeliest creature to ever live off a human body.
Seven-year-old Paul Franklin from Orange County, California took a trip to the beach with his family for the summer. As little boys often do, he had lots of splashing fun in the surf and loads of shoveling fun on the sand.
Little Paul Franklin has an interesting story to tell.
In the course of his rambunctious play, Paul incurred a small gash on his knee and promptly forgot about it. However, the wound became infected a few days later, so his mother Rachel took him to the doctor.
The medical practitioner sent them home with some antibiotics and instructions not to pop the infected growth.
Despite all their precautions, when Paul’s wound turned black and started to ooze pus, Rachel got really worried.
She decided to take matters into her own hands, and squeezed the growth out of her son’s knee, hoping to remove whatever was giving him grief.
The growth turned out not to be so much an infection as a living creature!
“I realised it wasn’t a rock. It has whirls on it. I turn it over and I think – I might have laughed out loud. I said, ‘Paul. This is a snail. It’s a freaking snail.’”
Paul, Rachel, and their new “pet” ended up on the show “Monster Inside Me” where they described Paul’s parasitic experience.
Paul, his family, and his new parasite “pal.”
The snail, identified as Littorina scutulata, happens to be a resilient sea creature described as being able to “live outside of water for several weeks by retreating into its shell.” In fact, it can live through a wide variety of temperatures and salt levels even in the harshest inter-tidal zones.
This creature came out from inside that knee.
The tiny mollusk began as an egg which entered Paul’s knee gash at the beach. Sufficiently incubated against the elements, it hatched inside the little boy’s skin and promptly began feeding off him!
While most people would gag at this incident and call it “gross,” Paul thought it was “cool” to have a creature live inside his knee even for just a while.
The cool little boy and his new “pet.”
H/T: IFL Science
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