Ticks are creepy enough to begin with, being tiny little eight-legged vampires and all. But recently a scientist came across a particularly nasty new species that likes to crawl up your nose to feed... and he found out about it the hard way.
According to a story in Science Magazine, veterinary epidemiologist Tony Goldberg was on an expedition to Uganda to study how parasites might be able to jump from apes to humans, but he found himself the unwitting subject of his own research. When he returned home, an itching sensation in his nose led him to a tick that had been living up in there for days. Not only was Goldberg not freaked out by the experience, he took it as a great opportunity to study the parasite more closely.
Photo: Gabriel L. Hamer
“I was in a position to preserve it for DNA analysis,” he told the magazine. It was just lucky that the timing was right.” Those tests revealed that the specimen is unlike any species previously recorded.
“I can’t think of a better way to do that than hide in an anatomic site that is difficult to access with the fingers,” the scientist added. “There are several of those... some of which we won’t discuss.”