The Tongue-eating Parasite: A Biological Case Of “Create A Problem, Sell The Solution”

in Proof of Brain3 months ago

In my previous post, create a problem, sell the solution I explained how some great businesses (made examples of two tech giants- apple and samsung) implore this marketing strategy to boost sales and make more money off of customers.

The talk about creating a problem and selling the solution reminds me of a bilogical case of the scenario. A symbiotic relationship between the tongue-eating louse (cymothoa exigua) and fish. Maybe I should go nerdy in my next post and talk about this. It’s a disgustingly interesting relationship. (Quoting myself from create a problem, sell the solution

At the end of the post, I mentioned how that kind of reminded me of a certain toxic symbiotic relationship between Cymothoa exigua and fish. Oh yes, we’re diving into the sciences today.

My love for weird shit, leads me to discovering very intriguing stuff from tech, to sciences, to even ancient myths and mythical creatures, and stuff like that. The most recent weird and interesting creature I stumbled upon this week is the Cymothoa exigua.

In my last post, I remember vaguely telling you the symbiotic relationship was a disgustingly interesting relationship, but I didn’t tell you the exact nature of the symbiotic relationship because I didn’t want to give spoilers of the next post lol. Well today, that and more is what I’ll be telling you in this post.

Cymothoa Exigua- The Tongue-eating louse.


You already know what a louse looks like, but if you didn’t here’s a picture to give you a visual. The normal louse, or louse in general, are ectoparasites(meaning they live outside the body) on the skin of mammals and birds. They feed off of the blood of their hosts.

Like the name kinda implies, the tongue-eating louse, is a class of louse, but this one’s parasitic way of living is what makes it unique and interesting to learn about.

tongue-eating louse

Unlike the normal lice that live on bird and mammals, the tongue-eating louse attacks fish in a rather amusing way. It is the only known case of a parasite capable of functionally replacing a host’s organ(the tongue in this case).

Creating a problem for the fish

It enters the fish through the openings of the fish’s gills, and severs the fish’s tongue by clawing deep into it, causing destruction of the blood vessels of the tongue. This cuts off blood supply to the tongue, killing the tongue, which eventually falls out.

Just like it is to us humans, the fish’s tongue is a very essential component of the fish’s feeding. They need it to swallow food. Without a tongue, they’ll choke on their food.

Selling the solution

After ensuring that the fish is tongueless, the tongue-eating parasite attaches itself to the fishes remaining tongue muscles and becomes the fish’s new tongue. Yeah that’s right.

If you want some more details on this intriguing creature, you can check here where I did some in depth reading myself to understand more.

Who Authored This Post?

Designed by me in canva

I am @depressedfuckup. The story behind my weird username is in my intro post if you have the time to read. I am a newbie and a content creator on Hive and a Biochemistry student outside of Hive. I write about my present, generally things going on with or around me. Please give this article an upvote and a reblog if you liked the content and leave a comment if you have something to say about it. Thanks for visiting my blog, have a great day!

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Holly F, that's uncomfortable to think about. Very interesting though. Nature, please stop.

Yeah nature just goes fucking crazy with the creations sometimes, and this toxic little fella, happens to be one product of nature’s fuckery lol.

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After ensuring that the fish is tongueless, the tongue-eating parasite attaches itself to the fishes remaining tongue muscles and becomes the fish’s new tongue. Yeah that’s right.

That’s pretty smart. The way nature works is just incredible

Right? That’s the thing for parasites, being “smart” is not an option for them. It’s a survival requirement, adaptations they need to have to ensure the survival of the species.

I saw this but once in a discovery channel show it is crazy lol

It is. The more crazy thing is, they can just detach themselves from the fish anytime and leave to find another host, and the fish will now be truly left tongueless at this point and will choke on food if it tried to eat without without a tongue or the louse.


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