The Real Life Monster From Alien
I’m a major lover of horror films, and I still cringe every time I see the baby alien burst forth from John Hurt’s chest in Alien. That is just plain disturbing. Well, guess what? There is an organism that does pretty much the same thing…and it glows green. Luckily for us humans its victims are insects.
The bacteria Photorhabdus hangs out in the gut of a tiny worm called a nematode. When the nematode finds a suitable victim such as a nice fat caterpillar it worms its way into the victim’s bloodstream and spits out the bacteria. This is where the fun really begins. The bacteria spits out toxins that kill the insect before spewing enzymes that then liquefy it, and it finally releases antibiotics that prevent anyone else from being able to enjoy in the meal. In this new gooey habitat the nematode and its bacteria reproduce until there are so many tiny worms inside the insect that they literally burst forth out of its body. Hence the comparison to Aliens.
Did you think there was a creature in this world that actually burst out of an organisms body like the baby alien in Alien? Isn’t it kind of awesome, though?