Tuesday, 31 October 2017


10 Ghostly Encounters with Electronic Voice Phenomena
By Shannon Quinn,
Toptenz, 30 October 2017.

Electronic Voice Phenomena, or “EVP” for short, is a sound that is unintentionally captured on tape. For those who believe in the supernatural, these sounds are interpreted as voices of ghosts who are trying to contact the living. Here are 10 particularly intriguing stories of people who claim to have spoken with the dead…

10. Friedrich Jurgenson

In 1959, a man named Friedrich Jurgenson was a regular “ornithologist,” or someone who is interested in bird watching. He wanted to record the sounds of nocturnal birds to include in a documentary. He set up his tape recorder, and allowed it to tape the birds’ songs. When he went back to listen to the tape, he heard a strange, distorted noise. He became convinced the noise was the voice of his dead mother speaking to him, calling him by his childhood nickname, “Freidel.” This shocked him, and inspired him to continue the studies. He began recording thousands of different sounds, and the same strange sounds came up again and again. They were called “Electronic Voice Phenomena.”

Jurgenson published a book on his discoveries, called My Friend on the Other Side, and it inspired many other amateur ghost hunters to see if they, too, can get in contact with the dead.

9. Konstantin Raudive

In 1969, Dr. Konstantin Raudive claimed that he had recorded the voices of famous dead political leaders like Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini. He recorded over 72,000 tapes in rooms that were totally silent, and still managed to pick up the sounds of “ghosts.” In the background of his recordings, you could hear the soft static whispers of what sounded like voices.

Raudive wanted the world to know about EVP so badly that he traveled to England from his home land of Latvia in order to publish his book, which was called Breakthrough. If you’re interested to see the extent of his research, the entire book is available to read online.

When Dr. Raudive died, his publisher took possession of the tapes. They are all recorded in a variety of different languages. In one tape, Dr. Raudive can be heard speaking in Russian very loudly, summoning a ghost in a séance. The majority of what ghosts have apparently said in these recordings don’t actually hold any meaning, like in the apparent recording of Adolf Hitler, the “ghost” says, “You are a girl here. Or else, you’re thrown out.”

Raudive was so convinced that he found scientific evidence of the existence of the afterlife that he even brought his findings to the Vatican in Rome. Pope Pius XII was excited by this research, claiming that, “This experiment may perhaps become the cornerstone for a building of scientific studies which will strengthen people’s faith, thereafter.”

8. Sarah Estep

In the 1980s, Sarah Estep pored over the work of Raudive and Jurgenson. She became convinced that EVP was real. Sarah was so enthusiastic about these experiments that she founded the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomenon. By the year 2000, she had over 25,000 recordings. She claims to have spoken with ghosts, supernatural beings from another dimension, and aliens. The most important message she ever claimed to receive was, “Your soul is not defeated.”

One of the more controversial discoveries Sarah made was apparently the voice of the late Dr. Konstantin Raudive, who she claims called her on the telephone. His voice is low and gravely, but it is clearly audible. Oddly enough, he felt it was necessary to repeat over and over, “This is Konstantin Raudive speaking.” The major difference in Estep’s work, compared to Raudive and Jurgenson, is that her recordings contain full sentences and conversations, rather than small blips of noise captured on tape.

7. Marcello Bacci

A man named Marcello Bacci owned a small shop in Grosetto, Italy selling household appliances. He heard of Friedrich Juergenson’s breakthroughs in communicating with the afterlife through EVP, and visited him so they could begin working together. One day, they began to pick up on spiritual messages over the radio. He would even ask the voices questions, and they responded.

Once he retired from running his appliance shop, Bacci decided to devote his life to EVP research. Together with other researchers, he started the Psychophonic Center of Grosetto, where he invited people over to his house so that they could witness the communication with ghosts. He truly believes that if people were convinced in the afterlife, they would be kinder to one another while they are still on Earth.

Bacci has been included in multiple documentary films on EVP, including one that is entirely on him called Marcello Bacci - Direct Radio Voice. In the film, one woman claims that she truly believes Bacci has a gift. She said that she recognized the voice of her dead son, even down to the specific way he pronounced his syllables. Speaking to her son in this way has helped her cope with her grief.

6. The Big Circle

The death of a child is one of the most tragic things that can happen to a person. For many parents, it helps them go through the grieving process if they can believe that their child’s soul still exists in Heaven. A group of parents came together to form an organization called The Big Circle, where they all participate in EVP séance sessions. Instead of saying their children passed away, they say that their souls have merely “transitioned” to the afterlife. This group still holds meetings face-to-face, and they also have an online forum as a support group for grieving parents.

Some of the recordings, like those apparently from the ghost of a teenage girl named Cathy, truly do sound like the voice of a young woman. However, many of the messages are gurgled, and do not sound like a human voice at all. If these were actually words, the voices can only be described as deep and demonic. Some of these “voices” are quite frightening, and couldn’t possibly sound anything like their child’s voice. However, many of these mothers excitedly continue to have “conversations” through tape recorders, listening for anything that sounds even remotely close to words. Sadly, the communication they claim to have is rarely in complete sentences, and they sometimes do not make any sense at all.

5. George Meek and Bill O’Neil

Two men - George Meek and Bill O’Neil - claimed to communicate with the dead through a machine they called the “Spiricom.” Bill O’Neil would speak to the “ghost” of a man he claimed to be Dr. George Jeffries Mueller. The voice that replied sounded very robotic. It responded perfectly to everything that Bill had to say. If you listen to the video footage, included above, you will notice that Bill’s voice echoed in a similar robotic tone as he spoke. This suggests that the source of the second voice was in the room, too. The two men shared their schematics with other researchers. Unlike other types of EVP using tape recorders, no one was able to replicate the experiment with the same results, even when they built their own “Spiricom.”

Even as early as the 1980s, many EVP researchers believed that the Spiricom was a hoax. It may not be a coincidence that both Bill’s partner and this apparent ghost were both named “George,” so there would never be a slip-up in names over the course of 20 hours of recording. If you wanted to attempt to talk to your relatives just like O’Neil did, they were offering to sell a Spiricom for US$10,000. With inflation, that would make it more like US$26,000 today.

4. Monique Simonet

In 1979, a French woman named Monique Simonet founded the French EVP Association Infinitude. The group grew to 1,700 people who were all trying to get in contact with dead loved ones. Part of her success in recruiting so many people to her group was that she spent a great deal of time teaching others how they could capture Electronic Voice Phenomena in the comfort of their own homes with a simple tape recorder.

Voices of “ghosts” on every recording will change languages to match whatever the medium is speaking. Part of this theory is that in the afterlife, ghosts apparently continue to learn and grow as spiritual beings, and part of that is becoming multi-lingual. Simonet could still speak to ghosts in French, even if the person she was trying to contact never spoke French a day in their lives. Many people would see this language switching as confirmation that anything that is “heard” through EVP is, indeed, the equivalent of an auditory Rorschach test, or some sort of local radio interference.

3. Jali Wright and Monet Lamertina

Nearly every modern-day ghost hunting TV show nowadays includes forms of EVP. One of the ways to guarantee scaring the pants out of a non-believer is to take a tape recorder into an abandoned house or building, “summon” the ghosts, and play back the noises picked up on the recording. The vast majority of people do not know that this phenomenon happens almost 100% of the time, and yet it’s used to convince people that a house is haunted.

In Columbia, Maryland, two professional psychics named Jali Wright and Monet Lambertina claim to pick up ghostly voices on a regular basis. In a 2016 interview with the Baltimore Sun, they claimed to mentally communicate with a ghost first, and wait for a “sign” to begin recording. They record their conversations, and listen back for anything that sounds like a third voice. They suggest words that they claim to hear, and ask the client to listen for those same words in the recording.

When the interviewer asked Wright how she feels about skeptics, she responded by essentially saying that her astounding psychic powers might not make sense to mere mortals: “Being a medium myself, there is no way to fully describe how I hear things and how I convey things in a reading.” Wright and Lamertina are paid by visitors who are looking to communicate with their dead loved ones through EVP. Or, if you want to phrase it a little differently, they take advantage of grieving people for profit. Classy!

2. Steve Huff

A man named Steve Huff claims to talk to the dead through a custom-made radio that he calls the “Wonder Box.” He uploads his apparent interactions with ghosts on his YouTube channel. He claims to speak to dead celebrities. One of his most popular videos is a claim that he spoke to the late Robin Williams, capturing the words, “F-, I must have got it wrong.”

A certain subsection of the Internet is into “creepy pasta,” and many people don’t mind if something is fictional, so long as it is scary. However, Huff seems to be taking this very seriously, and is profiting from the people who truly believe his claims. Huff claims that in order to get in contact with the dead, one needs to use his specially designed “Wonder Box.” He sold one on eBay for US$5,000. In the videos where he is using the “Wonder Box,” the voice is very robotic, similar to the Spiricom voice made by Meek and O’Neil. However, these videos are laughably fake, since it would be very easy to insert these “ghost” voices during the video editing process.

1. Dan Drasin

Dan Drasin is a photographer and documentary filmmaker living in the New York area. In his personal life, Dan is completely fascinated by everything and anything paranormal. He became especially interested in the claims of EVP researchers, and created a documentary named Calling Earth, which compiles interviews of first-hand accounts, and recordings of alleged ghost voices. You can check out the entire film for free on Vimeo.

Along with communicating with the dead, Drasin claims to have had precognitive dreams as a child. He also gives lectures on near-death experiences and other paranormal topics delving into the existence of the afterlife. Since he has a background in filmmaking and video manipulation, he is even called in to confirm the validity of paranormal videos, including some that were claims of alien crop circles.

Top image: Electronic Voice Phenomena. Credit: Video screenshot DJ CJ/YouTube.

[Source: Toptenz. Top image added.]


Strange labor (or employment) laws often arise from unusual occurrences. Someone decides to test the limits of the uniform dress-code by wearing a funny hat, and before you know it, there’s a law saying you can’t do it. The following infographic by Legacy Citizenship takes a look at some of the stranger employment laws around the world.

[Post Source: Legacy Citizenship.]

Monday, 30 October 2017


10 Toxic Bodies Of Water
By Cassie Leigh,
Listverse, 30 October 2017.

The sight of a calm, pristine lake, river, or beach is enticing to many. Whether it’s for fishing, swimming, boating, or just relaxing, bodies of water have always drawn people in. Sometimes, however, dipping one’s toes in that water isn’t at all recommended.

Lakes, rivers, and lagoons can become a threat to both animal and human populations. Causes include industrial pollution, human waste, bacterial growth, and even Mother Nature’s temper. Here are ten bodies of water that can cause some serious damage.

10. Blue Lagoon Not Suitable For Swimming

Photo credit: Yadniloc

Looks can be deceiving, even when it comes to water. This is the case with the Blue Lagoon of Buxton, England. The “lagoon” is the disused Far Hill Quarry, which flooded and became a popular swimming spot. People are drawn to the brilliant blue water that looks as if a Caribbean oasis sits in the middle of Derbyshire. But in reality, the blue water is extremely toxic.

The turquoise color comes from chemicals leaching into the water from the limestone rocks. Calcium oxide, used as a part of the quarrying process, gives the lagoon a pH level roughly comparable to ammonia. One of the many signs warning visitors not to enter the water cautions that the high pH levels can cause skin and eye irritation, stomach problems, fungal infections, and rashes. On top of the chemicals, the lagoon has also been used as a dumping ground. Another sign posted near the area reads: “Lagoon known to contain: Car Wrecks, Dead Animals, Excrement, Rubbish.”

Despite warnings about the toxicity and unsanitary conditions, families continue to flock to the Blue Lagoon. Children are allowed to swim with the simple warning not to dunk their heads or swallow any water. Locals wanted to drain the flooded quarry but were told that doing so would pose a threat to their water supply. In June 2013, the town council dyed the lagoon black to deter swimmers, but by 2015, the water had reverted to its turquoise color.

9. Lake Titicaca Kills Endangered Frogs

Photo credit: AP/Juan Karita

South America’s largest lake has become contaminated by human and industrial waste. Lake Titicaca lies between Peru and Bolivia. It was one of the most sacred sites for the Incas, who believed the lake was the birthplace of the Sun. Now, heavy metals such as lead and arsenic pollute the water. Many of the industrial toxins come from El Alto, where 70 percent of factories operate illegally and are not monitored for pollution.

In addition, more than half of the people living on the shores of Lake Titicaca do not have plumbing.

In 2015, an estimated 10,000 endangered frogs were found dead on the shores of Lake Titicaca and its connecting river. The Titicaca water frog is one of the largest aquatic frogs in the world. Because of its baggy skin, the frog is often referred to as the “scrotum frog.” The cause of the massive die-off is thought to be the sewage and heavy metals that pollute the lake.

8. Pinto Lake Kills Sea Otters And More

Photo credit: Krista Almanzan

Located in Watsonville, California, Pinto Lake has been referred to as the most toxic lake in the state, thanks to an abundance of blue-green algae.

The algae, also known as cyanobacteria, feed on nitrogen and phosphorus. These chemical elements exist in sediments at the bottom of Pinto Lake. Bottom-feeding fish such as carp stir up the nitrogen and phosphorous, which release into the water, feeding the algae blooms. These blooms produce a toxin called microcystin.

Touching or ingesting microcystin can cause nausea, fever, and even liver failure. The toxin has been linked to the deaths of birds, fish, sea otters, and dogs in the area. Signs are posted warning that any direct contact with the water is dangerous, and people are also cautioned not to eat any fish caught in Pinto Lake.

7. Buriganga River Suffocates Fish

Photo credit: P.K. Niyogi

The Buriganga River in Bangladesh flows though the capital city of Dhaka and is their primary water source. It is also the primary dumping ground for waste from the tanneries in Hazaribagh, a neighborhood in Dhaka. Hazaribagh is home to 95 percent of Bangladesh’s leather tanneries. These tanneries dump an estimated 22,000 liters (5,300 gal) of toxic waste into the Buriganga each day.

Tannery waste contains animal flesh and hair as well as numerous chemicals, dyes, oils, and heavy metals. Bangladesh does have environmental regulations, but there has been a complete lack of monitoring and enforcement. Samples of wastewater taken from tanneries contain chemicals and toxins that greatly exceed the permitted amounts. In 2002, the government ordered Hazaribagh tanneries to relocate outside of Dhaka within three years. The deadline has been extended for over a decade.

Trash collects in heaps along the shores of the Buriganga, and the water is so polluted that all the fish have died. Especially in the slums of the city, many residents use the river for bathing, cooking, and even drinking. People who depend on the river’s water often suffer from health problems such as headaches, diarrhea, and jaundice.

6. Karymsky Lake Boils Its Inhabitants

Photo credit: Mikhail Zelensky

The Kamchatka Peninsula is located in far-eastern Russia. It contains a number of active volcanoes, as well as geysers and hot springs.

One of the most active volcanoes is called Karymsky, which lies about 5 kilometers (3 mi) north of Karymsky Lake. The lake was created when a massive eruption of the volcano emptied out a magma chamber, leaving behind a caldera that filled with water. The caldera was thought to be dormant, until it erupted in 1996.

The Karymsky volcano erupted first, around midnight on January 2. Later that afternoon, the lake began to explode. The underwater eruption caused steam and ash to spew into the air for about 18 hours. The erupted material landed back in the lake, creating a soup of sodium, sulfate, calcium, and magnesium. The water in the lake was actually boiling. The extreme temperatures and additional chemicals killed all life in the lake.

Before the eruption, Karymsky Lake was filled with clear water that had a pH level of 7.5. After the eruption, the water turned a yellowish-brown color and had a pH level of 3.2. The freshwater lake had become the biggest natural reservoir of acid water in the world.

By 2012, Karymsky Lake had regained a pH of 7.54, and the water was once again clear. However, new hot springs that appeared during the eruption keep the lake three times saltier than it was before.

5. Matanza-Riachuelo River Poisons Residents

Photo credit: Alejandro Kirchuk

The Matanza-Riachuelo, which literally translates to “slaughter brook,” runs through Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina. Having been used as a dumping site for waste and sewage, the river has become one of the most polluted waters in the world.

The Matanza-Riachuelo is lined by urban slums that house close to five million people. Tanneries, chemical plants, and factories dump an average of 82,000 cubic meters (2.9 million ft3) of industrial waste containing hard metals and pesticides into the river each day. As a result, 25 percent of children living in these slums have lead in their bloodstreams.

There is a lack of plumbing in the riverside slums. Some homes have outhouses with drainage pipes that lead directly into the Matanza-Riachuelo. Residents suffer from undiagnosed skin conditions, respiratory problems, and gastrointestinal illnesses so severe they can lead to death.

In 2005, an Argentine environmental minister vowed to have the Matanza-Riachuelo cleaned up within 1,000 days, adding that she would be the first to drink the water. Neither of those things happened.

4. Berkeley Pit Mass-Murders Snow Geese

Photo credit: Jurgen Regel, Marian

On November 28, 2016, a large flock of geese landed on a small body of water in Butte, Montana, known as Berkeley Pit. It is estimated that roughly 10,000 geese landed in the water, and thousands of them died.

Berkeley Pit is a former mine where nearly 300 million tons of copper were extracted between 1955 and 1982. The process created a deep pit that eventually filled with 275 meters (900 ft) of water. The water is full of arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper, iron, and other compounds.

2016 was not the first time Berkeley Pit became a massive snow goose grave. In November 1995, 342 dead geese were discovered floating in the pit. Postmortem examinations revealed that the cause of death was due to the water, which is acidic enough to liquefy the steel propeller on a motorboat. The birds had burns and sores on their trachea, esophagus, and digestive organs.

As the water level in Berkeley Pit continues to rise, so do concerns about contamination. The water is scheduled to reach the level of Butte’s groundwater by 2023. If a successful treatment plan is not implemented before then, the pit pollution will enter the local water source.

3. Yamuna River Dies In Delhi


The Yamuna River begins as crystal-clear water that comes from a glacier in the Himalayas. North of Delhi, the river is home to turtles, fish, crocodiles, and numerous aquatic plants. But the Yamuna that enters the city is not the same river that emerges.

River water is diverted north of Delhi to supply one-third of the city’s drinking water, and it is also siphoned off to irrigate rice fields. This leaves nearly dry riverbeds, which are replenished with pollution and sewage.

Data from a 2011 water quality report showed that water leaving Delhi contained over one billion fecal coliform bacteria per 100 milliliters. The standard for bathing is 500 coliform bacteria per 100 milliliters. More than five million Delhi residents live in illegal settlements that lack sewer service. They defecate in places that drain directly into the river. Industrial waste containing heavy metals and other pollutants are dumped into the river daily.

In Hinduism, the Yamuna is not just a river but a goddess. The sad state of the Yamuna bothers some believers, who say that the goddess is dying and in need of help. Others maintain that because the river is a goddess, she can never be polluted, no matter how bad she is physically mistreated.

It might be debated whether or not the goddess is dying, but there is sufficient proof of the river harming mortal entities. The 23-kilometer (14 mi) stretch of the Yamuna that runs through Delhi has no aquatic life. The tainted river is responsible for numerous cases of typhoid fever as well as an unusually high infant mortality rate. Heavy metals in the water leach into local fields and contaminate vegetables, causing children in the area to suffer and even die from arsenic and lead poisoning.

2. Lake Natron Mummifies Its Victims

Photo credit: Nick Brandt

Lake Natron is a salt lake located in Northern Tanzania near the Kenyan border. The lake is named for a chemical it contains, natron, which is a naturally occurring mix of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda).

Lake Natron’s chemical makeup is due to a unique nearby volcano. Ol Doinyo Lengai, or “Mountain of God,” is the only active volcano on the planet that spills natrocarbonatites instead of silicates. The lava from Ol Doinyo Lengai is not as hot as lavas from other volcanoes. It also has a different appearance, resembling an oil spill more than flowing magma. When the lava cools, it turns into a whitish powder. Rainfall runoff collects the ashy residue and deposits it in Lake Natron. This gives the water a pH level that fluctuates between 9 and 10.5. Temperatures in the lake can reach 60 degrees Celsius (140 °F) during warmer months.

Photographer Nick Brandt came across the lake while on a photo shoot for a book about East Africa. Brandt was “blown away” when he saw the hundreds of carcasses the littered the shore. The remains consisted largely of bats and migratory birds. Birds often crash into the shallow lake, which is less than 3 meters (10 ft) deep. It is thought that they become confused by the lake’s highly reflective surface. Once the birds die in the lake, their skeletons are preserved by the sodium carbonate in the water. The chemical, which was used in Egyptian mummification, prevents the carcasses from decomposing. When water levels recede, the remains wash onto shore in their preserved state, which is what Brandt came across. With the help of locals, Brandt collected a variety of corpses and posed them in life-like positions to create an eerie photo series.

Despite the corrosiveness of Lake Natron, one species uses it as a popular breeding location. Flamingos have very leathery skin on their legs, which allows them to tolerate the salty water. Lesser flamingos, the smallest of their kind, build nests on top of salt crystal islands that appear when the lake is low enough. The nests are protected by their location in the middle of the lake. Predators such as cheetahs and baboons are deterred by the caustic water, which keeps the baby birds safe.

1. The Jacuzzi Of Despair Is An Underwater Menace

The Jacuzzi of Despair (also called the “Hot Tub of Despair”) is an underwater lake located in the Gulf of Mexico. The lake lies 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) under water, on the seafloor.

Underwater lakes, also known as brine pools, form when salts leach from ancient seabeds. The salt makes the water in one area extremely briny, until it is so dense that it doesn’t mix with the surrounding seawater. This results in an underwater lake that has its own surface, shoreline, and current.

The Jacuzzi of Despair is a crater-like pool that rises 3.7 meters (12 ft) above the ocean floor. It was named for its warm temperatures. The water in the lake is around 18 degrees Celsius (65 °F), while the surrounding seawater is only 4 degrees Celsius (39 °F).

Mussels thrive along the shoreline, but the extreme amounts of salt and methane in the lake itself are toxic to most sea creatures. The warmth of the lake attracts marine life, such as crabs, looking for food. If they fall into the Jacuzzi of Despair, they die.

While most sea creatures cannot survive the lake’s conditions, researchers have found proof of microbial life in the Jacuzzi of Despair. Scientists believe these creatures that adapted to the underwater lake may resemble life-forms that thrive on other planets.

Top image: The Jacuzzi of Despair in the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: Video screenshot EVNautilus/YouTube.

[Source: Listverse. Top image added.]


Some of us feel as if there's just not enough hours in the day. We're constantly rushed and struggle to keep our heads above water. People who are always busy may appear to be accomplishing a lot. But are they actually being productive? The fact of the matter is busy does not equal productive. Just because someone is constantly performing tasks does not necessarily mean they are moving closer to any major goals. This video by After Skool explains some of the fundamental differences between busy people and productive people.

[Source: After Skool/YouTube.]

Sunday, 29 October 2017


8 Awful Parasite Infections That Will Make Your Skin Crawl
By Cari Nierenberg,
Live Science, 27 October 2017.

For doctors, trying to figure out whether a person has a parasitic infection is like solving a mystery with few clues or only vague ones.

In the following eight cases, parasites wreaked havoc inside a person's body before being detected. Some of these nasty organisms were picked up by people in strange ways, while others wound up in unusual locations.

All of them caused trouble until their mysteries were solved.

1. Roundworms camp out in a woman's stomach


A Japanese woman who liked eating raw fish ended up in the hospital after eating raw salmon that was contaminated with parasitic worms, according to a 2016 case in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The roundworms hitched a ride on the uncooked fish and eventually tunneled their way into the walls of her stomach. Within several hours of the meal, the 36-year-old developed stomach and chest pains, along with nausea and vomiting.

But she didn't go to the hospital until two days later. There, doctors inserted a small camera into her stomach and noticed something fishy: 11 anisakis larvae, which are a type of parasitic roundworm. Anisakis worm infections are more common in countries where people eat raw fish or undercooked seafood. But typically, when these parasitic infections happen, one or two worms are usually to blame - not 11 of them, her doctor told Live Science in 2016.

After the worms were fished out of the woman's stomach, her symptoms went away.

2. Fungal spores infect transplanted organs

Photo credit: CDC

Three people who received transplanted organs from the same donor developed brain problems shortly after the operations due to a rare parasitic infection that originated in the organ donor's body.

One man, who received a kidney, experienced behavior changes. He later died, and his doctors wondered whether the transplanted organ might have been responsible.

Indeed, the man's autopsy revealed his tissue tested positive for a tiny parasite known as Encephalitozoon cuniculi, which belongs to a group of single-celled organisms called Microsporidia.

Doctors tracked down the person who received the donor's liver, and this individual had tremors and difficulty walking. A third person, who received the donor's heart and her other kidney, had been hospitalized with a type of brain inflammation known as encephalitis.

Test results showed that both recipients were infected with Microsporidia. They took medication to treat the parasite and no longer had neurological complaints.

The case series was presented in 2015 at IDWeek, a meeting of several organizations focused on infectious diseases.

3. Teensy parasite grows on contact lens

Photo credit: Anuj Chauhan via Live Science

A young woman in Florida developed a serious infection in her left eye from a parasite that grew on her contact lens, a TV news report from 2013 revealed.

The parasite, called Acanthamoeba, is found in water and soil worldwide, and can enter a person's body through cuts on the skin, contact-lens solution or inhalation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Anyone who wears contact lenses can become infected with the parasite, though it is incredibly rare, affecting only about 1 in 33 million contact-lens wearers, the CDC estimates.

If the teenager had not sought help for the pain, swelling and redness in her left eye, the infection may have led to permanent vision problems or blindness. She was treated for several months with medication to clear the infection, and said she would be more diligent about cleaning her contacts and not leaving them in her eyes too long.

4. Beef tapeworm lives in man's small intestine for two years


A man in China got a 20-foot-long tapeworm by eating raw beef, a 2016 case report in The New England Journal of Medicine revealed.

Based on the size of the tapeworm, his doctors suspected the parasite had attached itself to the man's small intestine and lived there for more than two years. But the infection may have gone undetected because the parasite doesn't always cause immediate symptoms or may cause mild ones, such as an upset stomach.

The 38-year-old man was diagnosed when he went to his doctor's office complaining of stomach pain, vomiting and a 20-lb. (9 kilograms) weight loss in three days. He also brought with him a fragment that he had found in his poop, which eventually was identified as the species Taenia saginata.

The man took a medication that caused him to expel the long tapeworm from his body, and several months later, his appetite and weight returned to normal.

5. Hookworm creeps into woman's knee

Photo credit: Courtesy of Elsevier Inc via Live Science

A woman returned from her Caribbean vacation with more than just a great tan: She also came home with a nasty parasite in her skin, according to a 2017 report of her case published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Two weeks after the woman's trip, her knee developed an itchy rash that left a snake-like pattern on her skin. The rash turned out to be a "textbook example" of an infection called cutaneous larva migrans, a hookworm infection in which a trail is left behind as the worm burrows through the skin, her doctor told Live Science.

Hookworms are a common parasitic infection, typically found in warm, moist environments. But in this woman's case, her infection was caused by a worm that usually doesn't bother people, and is more likely to infect dogs and cats instead.

It's not clear how she picked up the hookworm, but because humans are not the normal hosts for this parasite, the worms can't reproduce and complete their life cycle in the human body. So, after the worm enters the skin and creeps around for a while, it eventually dies.

A person's immune system can attack the hookworm, which causes intense itching and leaves behind the curvy, inflamed rash found on the woman's knee known as a "creeping eruption." She was given an anti-parasitic drug to treat the infection.

6. Pork tapeworm curls up in a man's small intestine


Doctors in India removed a 6-foot-long (1.8 meters) pork tapeworm through a man's mouth - while he was sedated, of course - after they spotted the lengthy parasite curled up in his small intestine, according to a 2017 report of the man's case published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors discovered the worm nestled in the man's small intestine when they inserted a small camera into the man's mouth and down to the stomach and upper part of the small intestine.

The doctors had also performed a colonoscopy to look at the man's large intestine. There, they found a smaller segment of the worm.

People can get pork tapeworms by eating raw or undercooked pork, and the worms can live in a person's gut for a while before causing any symptoms.

After removing the lanky tapeworm through the man's mouth, doctors treated him with anti-parasitic medication to kill any remnants of the worm.

7. Tapeworm inside a Colombian man develops cancer

Photo credit: CDC

The tumors found on a Colombian man's lung came from an unlikely source. They were not made up of human cells. Rather, they were composed of cancer cells from a tapeworm living inside of him, according to a 2015 report of the man's case published in The New England Journal of Medicine. In other words, the worm got cancer inside of the man.

The authors of the report describing this extremely rare case suspect that the 41-year-old man, who had HIV and was not taking his medications for the virus, probably had a weak immune system. As a result, his body couldn't fight the tapeworm infection.

As the parasite grew inside the man, the tapeworm got cancer, and those cancer cells spread to the man, causing tumors that formed in his lungs. The doctors who treated the man sent the tumor cells to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where health officials identified the parasite as a tapeworm called Hymenolepis nana, which is the most common tapeworm found in humans.

However, the man died just three days after learning his tumors were caused by the parasite.

8. A "fluke" worms its way into a teen's eye


Doctors determined that the reason a teen boy in Mexico could barely see out of his right eye was because a parasitic flatworm was "moving freely" in his eyeball, according to a September 2017 case report in The New England Journal of Medicine.

An eye exam revealed that the worm had burrowed holes in the boy's eyeball and was wriggling in and out of it. And his cornea (the translucent layer of the eye that covers the iris and pupil) was dotted with blood.

Doctors needed to surgically remove the worm, which was identified as a trematode or "fluke." During the operation, doctors noticed that the parasite had also badly damaged the retina, the tissue lining the back of the eye.

Parasitic-worm infections in the eye are extremely rare, the teen's doctor told Live Science in September. Six months after the fluke was removed, the teen still had vision problems in his eye.

Top image: Close-up (cropped image) of the Anisakiasis larvae found in a Japanese woman’s stomach in 2016. Credit: New England Journal of Medicine.

[Source: Live Science.]


Top 10 Violent Crimes Tied To Video Games
By James Cahill,
Listverse, 28 October 2017.

Video games are a favorite pastime of children and adults alike, and with the expansion of the Internet, gaming has become bigger than ever. It’s hardly an obscure hobby enjoyed only by a fringe group of potentially dangerous weirdos.

With that being said, video games have a long and disturbing history of being tied to violent criminals and have even been touted as the direct inspirations for some of the most heinous crimes that the world has ever seen. These are some of the most infamous crimes tied to video games.

10. New Hyde Park Crime Spree - Grand Theft Auto IV


In New Hyde Park, New York, on June 26, 2008, a group of teenagers went on a crime spree. First, three of them violently mugged a man in a grocery store parking lot. After that, the gang marched through the streets of New Hyde Park until they encountered a woman in her car. After stealing a pack of cigarettes from the woman, they proceeded to smash a van using one of the baseball bats they had brought to the crime scene.

The woman called the police, and the teens were apprehended. When asked about their motives, the teens stated that it was the video game Grand Theft Auto IV that led them to commit these crimes.

9. Nathon Brooks - Loss Of Game Consoles


In 2013, 14-year-old Nathon Brooks was grounded and prohibited from playing video games after receiving a detention in school. He decided to do something about it.

The night after he was grounded, Brooks acquired his parents’ .22 Smith & Wesson revolver and shot them as they slept. Fortunately, both of his parents survived, and Nathon was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his violent and senseless attack on his parents.

8. New South Wales Youth Crime Spree - Multiple Games


Unlike other entries on this list, this entry does not deal with a specific crime but a multitude of crimes, all which have been tied to video games by police. In 2012, New South Wales in Australia was dealing with a sharp increase of teenage violent crime. Knife crime in particular was of concern to police after teens were killed, injured, and arrested as a result of carrying knives.

Police commissioner Andrew Scipione stated that he believed that video games where the player is rewarded for killing, raping, and causing mayhem were at the root of the problem. He also believed that a lack of proper parental skills were to blame, as when parents were called to pick up their children, they were completely unconcerned at the situation their kids were in.

7. Devin Moore - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Photo credit: Murderpedia

Devin Moore is an American murderer who is believed to have been inspired by the game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. On July 7, 2003, Moore was brought into an Alabama police station on suspicion of car theft. At the time, Moore had no criminal record, and he cooperated with the police. After being booked by officer Arnold Strickland, Moore jumped him, grabbing his gun and firing three shots, one hitting Strickland in the head.

Officer James Crump heard the shots and responded. Moore, however, fired three shots at Crump, hitting him in the head, similar to officer Strickland. Finally, Moore ventured down the hallway and encountered 911 operator Ace Mealer and shot him in the head like his other victims. Moore then proceeded to steal a police car and flee the station, only to be apprehended four hours later in Mississippi.

At the trial, Moore’s lawyers argued that he was led to commit murder due to a life full of physical and mental abuse as well as his affinity for violent video games. Moore was a fan in particular of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In this game, players can steal cars, murder police officers, and commit acts of torture against fellow criminals. After his arrest, Moore made statements such as, “Life is a video game. You’ve gotta die sometime.” On October 9, 2005, Moore was sentenced to death by lethal injection. He is currently on Alabama’s death row.

6. Daniel Petric - Halo 3

Photo credit: Sharenator

Daniel Petric was an American teenager who shot both of his parents in 2007, killing his mother and severely wounding his father. This was after they confiscated his copy of Halo 3, which was forbidden in the household. Petric used his father’s 9-millimeter handgun to commit the murders. The handgun was looked in the same case as the game, and when Petric took the gun, he also took the game. After he shot both of his parents, he fled with the game after his older sister and her husband arrived to watch a Cleveland Indians game. Petric was arrested in the family van shortly after, with Halo 3 still in the front seat.

At trial, Petric’s defense attorneys argued that due to a snowboarding accident that had left Petric bedridden, he developed an addiction to the Halo franchise after playing it at friends’ houses, leaving him unable to go without the game, which caused him to snap. This strategy did not work, and Petric was convicted and sentenced to 23 years to life in prison.

5. Evan Ramsey - DOOM


Evan Ramsey’s childhood reads like a “How to Make a Killer” manual. When he was seven years old, his father was imprisoned after an armed standoff with police inside a local newspaper office. As a result, his mother became an alcoholic, and Evan and his siblings were sent to various foster homes. Evan was sexually abused in at least one. He was also heavily bullied in school due to lack of intelligence and was often called names such as “spaz,” “braindead,” and “retard.”

Two weeks after his father was paroled, Evan committed his own crime. According to police reports, 20 people knew of his plan, and two helped Evan by teaching him how to use a shotgun and by telling him about how famous he would become. On February 19, 1997, he went to his high school armed with a shotgun. Ramsey killed the school principal and a student before wounding two others. He then attempted to kill himself by a shotgun blast to the head. He was unable to pull the trigger and surrendered to police when they arrived.

It has been largely believed that Ramsey had been imitating the video game DOOM when he committed the murders. He was a known player of DOOM, and his weapon, a 12-gauge shotgun, is one frequently used in the game. Evan’s father, Don, told the media that he believed that his son was mimicking the game at the time of the shooting. Finally, in an in-prison interview, Evan stated that he blamed DOOM for the shooting. At the trial, Ramsey was charged as an adult and sentenced to roughly 200 years in prison with a chance of parole in 2066.

4. Dawson College Shooting - Super Columbine Massacre RPG!

Photo credit: Murderpedia

The Dawson College shooting was the third fatal school shooting in the city of Montreal’s history. On September 13, 2006, Kimveer Gill open fired on the street outside Dawson College and made his way into the school, continuing to fire. When he arrived in the cafeteria, he began shooting at random and taking hostages. After a standoff with the Montreal Police, in which Gill was shot in the arm, Gill committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. The only other fatality was an 18-year-old woman named Anastasia Rebecca de Sousa, with 19 others injured in the chaos.

In response to hearing that Gill played his game, Super Columbine Massacre RPG! creator Danny Ledonne allegedly threw up. Ledonne then proceeded to remind the public that his game was not meant to train shooters. Despite the reports, Gill did not write about Super Columbine Massacre specifically in either his journal or online web pages when he spoke of video games.

3. Adam Lanza - Multiple Games

Photo credit:

Adam Lanza was the man who massacred 27 in the Sandy Hook school shooting on December 14, 2012. Lanza first shot his mother while she was asleep and then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School armed with his mother’s guns and butchered 20 children and six adults. Lanza was described by all who knew him as a socially awkward loner who spent most of his time playing video games such as Call of Duty and Gears of War in his bedroom at his mother’s house, where he lived.

According to some sources, Adam racked up 83,000 kills playing online, with 22,000 being head shots. He also spent large amounts of time researching school shootings going back to 1981 and practicing shooting using pellet guns. In addition to his strange behavior, he barred his mother from entering his room and would only communicate with her through e-mail.

2. Columbine High School - DOOM

Photo credit: Pinterest

This one needs no introduction. On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered Columbine High School and opened fire on students and teachers, killing 12 students and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves. When the carnage was over, many people asked why these two teens had committed such a heinous act. From anger and isolation to mental illness, there were many different theories. One of the most prevalent to this day is the effects of the video game DOOM on Harris and Klebold.

Both Harris and Klebold were avid fans of the game, with Harris using it as a basis for a creative writing school project and creating his own levels of the game and posting them online. These levels were later named “The Harris Levels” after the shooting. With the game’s intense violence, it was a clear connection for most to tie DOOM to the massacre. In a cruel twist of fate, a video game based off of the shooting called Super Columbine Massacre RPG! was released by independent developer Danny Ledonne and was tied to the 2006 Dawson College shooting, as detailed above.

1. Anders Breivik - Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Photo credit: AP

Anders Breivik is the deadliest mass shooter in human history, claiming the lives of 69 young adults at a youth political camp in Norway on July 22, 2011, after killing another eight by bombing a government building, making the total death toll 77. Breivik was politically motivated by what he believed to be the “Islamization” of Norway at the hands of the Norwegian Labor Party. This rage is what led him to attack their youth camp, believing that the next generation of the Labor Party had to be eliminated.

According to his Manifesto, Breivik was an avid player of the games World of Warcraft and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Breivik wrote that he played World of Warcraft for relaxation, while he used Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as a training simulator, having played the game using a hologram device in order to make the gameplay appear three-dimensional. This version of Call of Duty had previously fallen under controversy due to its level “No Russian,” in which players commit a terrorist attack at an airport against innocent civilians.

Breivik was sentenced to containment, which is a minimum of ten years in jail and a maximum of 21 years but can be extended indefinitely based on the offender’s danger to the public. This is the maximum sentence available under Norwegian law.

Top image: Columbine High School shooting (left) and cover art of DOOM II video game (right). Credits: Video screenshot txmobchaos/YouTube (left) and Wikimedia Commons (right).

[Source: Listverse. Top image added.]