Try not to cringe when you watch this video from the New England Journal of Medicine website.
Being a medical journal, the article is staidly titled “An Unusual Auricular Foreign Body.” But what it really means is: “Yuck. There’s a bug in your ear.”
In this case, it’s a live fruit fly larva — a.k.a. a maggot — found living inside a 48-year-old woman in Taiwan who had been complaining of an earache. She also wore a hearing aid, which the paper’s authors believe created the perfect conditions for the little bug.
First, it made the skin in her ear less sensitive so she wouldn’t necessarily feel it wriggling around. And second, it created some extra warmth, making the inside of the ear an especially attractive place for a bug to thrive.
NBC News reports that the bug was removed and the ear healed within two weeks; however, the case was so unusual the doctors wanted to share the video.
“Most cases of animals in the ear canal are the flying objects and cockroaches,” Dr. Cheng-Ping Shih of the Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei wrote. “The fruit fly larva in ear canal is relatively unusual.”
WARNING: This video has images which some people may find disturbing.