Today’s Fork-Tailed Yet Truly Morbid Fact!
Human settlement helped disease to settle in, attracting disease-spreading insects, while worms took up residence within the human body. Parasitologists and palaeopathologists have shown how the parasitic roundworm Ascaris, a nematode growing to over a foot long, evolved in humans, probably from pig ascarids, producing diarrhoea and malnutrition. Other helminths or wormlike fellow-travellers became common in the human gut, including the Enterobius (pinworm or threadworm), the yards-long hookworm, and the filarial worms which cause elephantiasis and African river blindness. Diseases also established themselves where agriculture depended upon irrigation – in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and around the Yellow (Huang) River in China. Paddyfields harbor parasites able to penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream of barefoot workers, including the forked-tailed flood fluke Schistosomawhich utilizes aquatic snails as a host and cause bilharzia or schistosomiasis (graphically known as “big belly”), provoking mental and physical deterioration through the chronic irritation caused by the worm. Investigation of Egyptian mummies has revealed calcified eggs in liver and kidney tissues, proving the presence of schistosomiasis in ancient Egypt. (Mummies tell us much more about the diseases form which Egyptians suffered; these included gallstones, bladder and kidney stones, mastoiditis and numerous eye diseases, and many skeletons show evidence of rheumatoid arthritis.) In short, permanent settlement afforded golden opportunities for insects, vermin and parasites, while food stored in granaries became infested with insects, bacteria, fungoid toxins and rodent excrement. The scales of health tipped unfavorably, with infections worsening and human vitality declining.
And the worst part of that paragraph? They had no medications to get rid of any of those things!!! As someone who once had the misfortune to suffer from one of the milder disorders – pinworms – I cannot even imagine! Of course, unfortunate people in under-developed nations still suffer needlessly with many of these diseases.
Morbid Art Du Jour!
These L.A. gang member “rugs” are just amazing! Bullet holes, anus – no detail is forgotten. And those heads! My only criticism is… do you think L.A. gang members would really have speedo tans?
See more images at Dangerous Minds. (Thanks to Rob for the link.)