weird biology 20 Parasites That Could Ruin Your Next Vacation  

Laura Allan
193 votes 65 voters 29.0k views 20 items Embed

List Rules Vote up the parasites you'd absolutely hate to get while traveling.

Traveling is so much fun, right? Getting to see different parts of the world, immersing yourself in new cultures and languages, it's all so incredible. Your biggest worry (until now) has probably been losing your passport or something. That's only because you've probably never had to deal with many of the horrific and disgusting parasites you can get while traveling. They can range from annoying, but harmless to so deadly you'll never know what hit you.

But you only get parasites if you go to really unsanitary little villages in the middle of nowhere, right? Unfortunately, that's a huge no. Both local and international travel parasites are problematic, so even if you're staying close to home, you might not be completely safe from their... intrusions. If you're itching to know more, come take this distressing little tour and explore parasites around the world. 

Just a brief warning: Some of these images are pretty graphic and very gross. Fascinating, but really, really gross. So read on, if you dare. 
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Ascaris is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 20 Parasites That Could Ruin Your Next Vacation
Photo: SuSanA Secretariat/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
Lets get a really gross one out of the way early, shall we? Ascaris is the most common type of roundworm, and it more commonly effects children rather than adults. It passes into your system when you drink unsafe water that is infected with human fecal matter, or come into contact with infected soil. Once inside you, these worms start at your lungs, then move to your intestines where they multiply until they can literally spill out of your butt, and sometimes your mouth or nose. While many countries have this friendly little worm, it is most commonly found in tropical and subtropical areas, such as Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.
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Hookworm is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20 Parasites That Could Ruin Your Next Vacation
Photo: SuSanA Secretariat/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
You can get this parasite through touching infected soil and then touching your mouth. The hookworm larvae then get into your body, and can go to your lungs, intestines, and even esophagus. Then, they head yo your small intestine and drink you blood, which can sometimes cause pain and anemia, all for up to a year.  Hookworm usually shows up in developing countries that have poor sanitation, but it does sometimes infect people in the United States. So be sure to wash your hands, even when you travel domestically. 
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Bot Fly Larva

Bot Fly Larva is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20 Parasites That Could Ruin Your Next Vacation
Photo: Internet Archive Book Images/flickr/No known copyright restrictions
The good news is that there's only one kind of bot fly larva that effects humans. The bad news is that they do nasty things to human flesh, by eating it from underneath the skin. A fly lays the larvae on the skin, and once the little guy senses warmth, it burrows underneath and begins eating. Once they get big enough, they come back through the skin and go off to become horrible egg-laying flies on their own. This happens in Central and South America, so bring layers if you travel there.
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Naegleria Fowleri

Naegleria Fowleri is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20 Parasites That Could Ruin Your Next Vacation
Photo: 2.0
The most frightening thing about Naegleria Fowleri is that there's no way to detect it, there's no way to cure it, and it kills you 97% of the time. What happens is this: when you swim, sometimes water gets in your nose, and sometimes a particularly horrible amoeba can come with it. This amoeba travels to your skull, where it eats your brain, and eventually kills you. You cannot get it by drinking water, but swimming in hot springs, rivers, lakes, and even natural pools in tropical environments can put you at risk.