Mango Worms: How to Strike Fear into an Otherwise Semi-Logical Person

“Have you guys ever heard of a volunteer getting mango worms?” Was the sentence I used as I went around asking authoritative-type figures who might know the answer. 

None of them had ever heard of it. 

“Cause, Levi, who was here last week, apparently has them and she has to have surgery to remove them”

As the words “surgery” and “remove them” were brandished about, other volunteers moved in closer – at first hoping for juicy gossip, and then, when they learned what a mango worm was, just hoping to escape with their body intact. 

I was spreading paranoia as easily as one spreads margarine, and just like maragrine – this paranoia was saturated in lies.

Why was I spreading paranoia? Because I was paranoid. 

Paranoid that flies dropped eggs in my clothing, and that those eggs would grow into giant parasitic worms and eventually burrow exit tunnels out of my skin.

I spent last night rubbing Vick’s Vapor Rub all over my body in an effort to be an inhospitable host who murders guests via suffocation. For those of you that have never rubbed Vick’s Vapor Rub all over your body – it stings, for about an hour, you lie there, on fire and sticky, smelling like a hospital ward. 

lotus pod: if this picture disturbs you, so would mango worms

What was the cause of this paranoia?

A 19yr old in the UK. 

A week ago she was here, with an infected cut. A week ago, she was here telling everyone that they must remember her. 

A 19yr whose legacy was to give me nightmares, the kind where my whole body ends up looking like Freddy Krueger’s face – a landscape full of worm-exit potmarks. 

Potential future dating profile picture

“I’m having a minor op tomorrow, the doctor says I have mango worms” came a Snapchat, about six hours earlier. 

Our first reaction was skepticism, obviously she must be pulling our legs, mango worms (which, coincidentally we had Googled two days before) are common in Central Africa, mostly invade dogs and are generally among the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen on YouTube, could not have worked their way into Levi’s infected cut.

“The doctor says he has seen cases in Thailand”

“It happens through cuts or they can lay eggs in hanging laundry”


Jess and I tried to Mulder and Scully the issue. We asked reasonable questions, “is it possible she was there for our mango worms Google session” “No”, “did someone tell her about it?”, “Don’t think so.”

Immediate itch set it. 

Jess, the Scully in this situation, remained level headed and just let it roll off her shoulders, she said “it’ll be fine, you’ve dealt with bot flies”

For the record, mango worms make bot flies look microscopic. 

I went full Mulder and sounded the alarms that aliens had landed and an invasion by body snatchers had started. 

I tossed and turned all night, imagining scenarios where I went into a non-English speaking hospital and explained the situation using emojis.

Only to wake up to this confession.

Levi, you’re a legend 

Brad, you’re terrible. 

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