A skin-crawling video showing a creature emerging from the corpse of a praying mantis is disturbing viewers who suggest the only way to deal with the situation is “a flamethrower”.
The clip, which has gone viral on Reddit, is like something out of a horror movie as those filming find the dead body of a praying mantis and notice something appears to be moving around inside.
As a knife is pressed on the back of the insect, three small tentacle-like shoots slowly wriggle their way out of the head.
The slithering creatures continue to emerge as the video rolls on, getting longer and longer until they are many times the length of the host they had been living inside.
It was shared with the caption: “Better call the Men In Black” as it racked up hundreds of comments comparing the video to something from another planet.
One explained that they are horsehair worms, saying they are “pretty common parasites in insects”.
Another said: “They do not always kill the host. They’ll highjack the brain and make the insect lust for water, then the insect goes to water and the worms hop out there to continue the cycle. The bug can still be alive at this point depending on which insides the worms ate.”
But many viewers had no interest in the knowledge surrounding the horsehair worms, which can reach up to two metres in length, and simply never wanted to see one again, as one person wrote: “Thank you very much but I’d like to return these nightmares please.”
A second said: “I hated every single second of that.”
A third replied: “I could’ve gone my whole life blissfully unaware that these worms existed.”
And another added: “This is the reason we created flamethrowers.”