Man dared to eat slugs gets rat lungworm parasite

Danger lurks around every dare, a fact easily forgotten when young.

The impulse to immediately swallow such a delicious morsel must be weighed against the risk of worms devouring your brain.

The impulse to immediately swallow such a delicious morsel must be weighed against the risk of worms devouring your brain. (Image from

A 21-year-old Australian will likely be more cautious after accepting a dare to swallow garden slugs infested with rat lungworms and spending a month in intensive care.

The parasites, found in uncooked snails and contaminated water and even vegetables, invade the central nervous system and cause a form of meningitis, a serious condition that can lead to death or permanent brain damage. Hawaii had a spate of infections from veggies in 2009.

The unidentified Sydney man is expected to recover, and will surely start cooking his food, The Telegraph reports.

Monsters Inside Me, an Animal Planet TV show that will make you burn your passport, calls the rat lungworm “one of the most feared parasites on the planet.”

The lifecycle of the rat lungworm is so gross it bears repeating. Adult worms live in the lungs of rats, who cough up and swallow the parasites’ eggs. Rat feces, which harbors lungworm eggs, is then eaten by snails or slugs. Once the larvae is in a human, the adult worms take up residence in the brain and begins burrowing around looking for a way to the lungs. They are trapped and die in the brain, but more larvae are on the way. Eventually, the brain swells to the point of death.

If that doesn’t make you boil your slugs, nothing will.

24 comments Add your comment


October 11th, 2011
11:24 am

It’s apparent the bulk of our political leaders must have taken a similar dare and ingested this type of slug containing the particular parasite. When I look at the bulk of legislation passed by these out of touch people, it’s obvious they have suffered “permanent brain damage.”


October 11th, 2011
11:37 am

“Monsters Inside Me, an Animal Planet TV show…”

The guy’s fortunate, he could’ve been featured in that other TV show, 1000 Ways to Die.


October 11th, 2011
1:00 pm

Tell that guy to come to my house. I’ve got pleny of slugs I need to get rid of.

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October 12th, 2011
1:34 pm

I’m with you Sluggo.


October 12th, 2011
2:29 pm

and the price the restaurants charge for escargo…some will eat anything. I guess for the slugs, it was the last act of defiance………EAT THIS!!!


October 12th, 2011
4:38 pm

That’s insanely gross! Who would take that risk or even if you didn’t know about it why would you eat raw slugs? They are slimy things moving about picking up nasty stuff along the way. Not one part of that sounds smart or safe! He is lucky, but that’s pretty stupid! ICU for snails & worms??


October 12th, 2011
4:43 pm

aside from peanut I dont like anything that sticks to the roof of my mouth.


October 12th, 2011
6:42 pm



October 12th, 2011
8:19 pm

Why did they save him from this fate? Oh yeah, so he could have children and contaminate the world.


October 13th, 2011
8:44 am

Enter your comments here :what a goof ball,his family must be very proud of this ability to do the wrong things at the wrong time


October 13th, 2011
8:50 am

What a goof ball,his family must be really proud of him.Who on earth dared him to do such a thing ???? Did he get paid ? If so maybe it will help pay the hospital bills !!!


October 13th, 2011
9:15 am

Dude you are no Zimmern ok? knock it off!!


October 13th, 2011
9:51 am

@CARMEL: Speaking of 100 Ways to Die, too bad he didn’t perform the Ozzy classic of snorting ants. And make them FIRE ANTS, please! (As those 2 knuckleheads who snorted fire ants). YOU CAN’T FIX STUPID-Ron White

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Diane Cruz

October 13th, 2011
6:02 pm

He should have added a little salt. They would have melted and he would be ok, because he couldn’t eat them. Of course he is stupid enough to sop them up with bread. Yum Yum


October 17th, 2011
7:55 am

having read your comments it is clear that you have all missed the point. my nephew did a very silly thing 17 months ago having ‘fun’ with his friends. he is only just off life support and has a long long way to go. he and all those who know him will never be the same. what is important to all those who read this is that the rat lungworm is in sydney, in suburbia and has only recently infected 2 more people, one lost their life.


October 24th, 2011
1:18 pm

You are so funny! I got a good laugh and wonder maybe what you say may have some truth to it.


October 24th, 2011
1:21 pm

Funny is about what a comment of someone saying this could be wrong with some in our public office of our country not what happened to this young men. We need to cook most things all the way as you never know what could be in them or what food came from.


October 24th, 2011
1:35 pm

AnY thing that Crawls is a turn off to me and I will no put in my mouth. that includes..snakes, worms, this Creature(first I ever heard of. but Nothing I would put in my mouth. I dont do insects, roaches, flies etc, I dont do reptiles..I dont eat anything slimy Period. I dont eat anything that even remotely that resembles a worm or snail. I guess I am what you call a picky eater. I dont eat anything that has a bad smell or dont look ateable. I guess thats why I am not a big fan of Chinese or Asian foods. hmm..chicken, beef, pork, some fish. certain veggies. Nope. nor do i eat bleeding meat of any kind. so much for the Rare prepared meats!


October 24th, 2011
1:36 pm

Forgot to mention, dogs, rodents, or cats nor Humans for god sakes(Jeffery Dahimer) are also missing from my menu.


November 13th, 2011
4:13 am

YYou will find this man spent 420 or more days in intensive care and js now permanently brain damaged and is care dependant.

Alfred Lee Loomis

November 18th, 2011
12:00 am

Better to hunt in fields for health unsought, Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught. The wise for cure on exercise depend; God never made his work for man to mend.


November 22nd, 2011
9:03 pm

how rude what if it was u being dared and u accepted it and got rat lung worm u bloody bullies