Meet The Tongue Parasite

Van Mensvoort
September 11th 2013

In our culture, nature is generally depicted as a beautiful spectacle that is romanticized as a positive force. Time to shed some light on its darker sides. Meet Cymothoa exigua, aka the tongue parasite. You'll never be alone again once it crawls into your mouth (if you're a fish). This parasitic crustacean will eat and replace your tongue:

When one of these crustaceans encounters a rose snapper, it enters the fish's mouth and steadily devours the fish's tongue. Once it has done this, the crustacean uses hooks on its underside to attach itself to the floor of the fish's mouth and thereafter serves as a replacement tongue.

Cymothoa exigua is strictly speaking off-topic as it is an old nature rather than a next nature phenomenon. Nonetheless it is a good example of the extreme crudeness of old nature, which we hardly ever encounter among the biomimic marketed products in the supermarket.

Readers question: Does a next nature equivalent of Cymothoa exigua exist and if so, what would it be?

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Jim
Posted 12/09/2013 – 01:02

@arnoud seriously?

Arnoud
Posted 11/09/2013 – 14:05

I have this box, it is black and has a shiny logo in the shape of an apple. It crawls into my pocket every day and when it's gone or missing I feel disconnected - as if I were missing my tongue...

Should men be able to give birth to children?


Lisa Mandemaker: Using an artificial womb could lead to more equality between sexes, but also between different family layouts. If men would be able to give birth to children, it would maybe be easier for male same-sex couples to have a child together.

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