Female ticks swell 200 times their initial size after a good meal. Then they lay eggs and die. This and other fun facts (and close-up video) come from zefrank1’s excellent YouTube series “True Facts.” It covers animals both cute and creepy. The scientific deep dives come with plenty of innuendo and snark. Let’s learn more about ticks, or as the narration says, that “swollen a** thing you really want to pop like a zit.”
Learning about Lyme disease while listening to sophisticated orchestral background music definitely makes you smarter. And more fun at parties. For example, it turns out deer ticks don’t get Lyme disease from deer. Lizards, cows, and deer have immune systems that kill the bacteria that causes it. Rodents, however, carry it. Ticks that bite them can transfer the bacteria to its next meal.
Perhaps the most unsettling things about ticks is their ability to stay stuck once they bite. Anyone who’s ever had to remove one knows it’s no simple task. And now we can see why. Their mouthparts include backwards facing barbs (a great porn name as the video points out). “This is what toilet paper looks like in hell” is a particularly astute observation.
Even more unsettling is video of those mouthparts at work. Pulled from recent scientific papers, they show the female tick up close and personal while feeding. Videos of ticks molting, mating, and laying eggs are also a sight to see.
All of the facts in the “True Facts” series are indeed true. They even cite sources! If you recognize the narrator’s voice, it could be from the popular “Dear Kitten” videos. Which are always a delight to re-watch.