A friend of mine just emailed me a very interesting video, showing a remarkably large parasitic worm emerging from a dead spider. The video was shot by a YouTube user named Brent Askwith. Warning: Don't watch if your stomach is easily disturbed!
According to Harvard University entomologist Dr. Brian Farrell, the worm is a species of parasitic nematode. However, a YouTube user commented that it is a species of Nematomorpha. Commonly known as horsehair worms or Gordian worms, Nematomorpha are a phylum of parasitoid worms that look much like nematode worms, thus their scientific name. I am no expert in these things, so I rest my case on the worm's true identity.
If you are like me and enjoyed the video then you will surely like the little bonus I included. This time, a worm emerges from a dead praying Mantis. Similarly, not for the faint hearted:
Worm begins to emerge at 00:50
Not bizarre enough? Hopefully, the parasitic fungus that turns ants into zombies will do the trick.