Although there have been quite a few astounding animal discoveries in recent years, such as the giant rat-eating plants found in the Philippines, this one takes the cake.
The Cymothoa Exigua, or the tongue-eating louse, is a parasitic creature that enters the body of a fish through its gills and then latches itself to the base of the fish’s tongue. It not only attaches itself to its tongue, it becomes the tongue.
After eating the hosts’ tongue, this parasite lives inside the fish’s mouth (among other things).
Fortunately for the fish, it doesn’t seem to suffer any severe impediment from its new tongue. It also is not a threat to humans but it is reportedly really vicious, as it will deliver quite the bite if you try to pick it up.
One of the fisherman who stumbled upon this freaky finding described it like this: “Really quite large, really quite hideous – if you turn it over its got dozens of these really sharp, nasty claws underneath and I thought ‘that’s a bit of a nasty beast’.”
And it apparently isn’t too fond of people, either. “It doesn’t affect humans other than if you do actually come across a live one and try and pick it up–they are quite vicious, they will deliver a good nip,” said the fisherman.
There’s most definitely a very strange horror film just waiting to be made because of this crustacean.