Sunday, 22 March 2015

The results of a personal parasitic infestation.

I've been working intensively since the last article on a fascinating series of discoveries. I'm ready to present this on my blog for your enjoyment. Back in late February I was plagued by an attack of itchyness. In case you dont know much about me or haven't looked at my 'more about Bosci' page in the top sidebar area, do so and it'll be evident that I am significantly hairy. All over. All beings suffer with parasitic infestation from time to time and I speculate that factors such as the clement weather and the confined nature of my box abode may have proved to provide favourable conditions for increased parasitic manifestations to occur, on me! After enduring for a while I decided it was soon enough time to examine myself by which I mean to examine my fur, to discover what might be causing all the annoying itching. 
A simple close inspection revealed a plethora of little creatures. Should one be disgusted by this? I'll leave that for you to decide. What I really want to blog about though is what was to follow on from this initial discovery. With a small jewelers loupe, I took a close look at the tiny critters plucked from my surface and even under such minor 10 fold magnification I was entranced by the complex nature of the beasts which were feasting on (I presume) my blood. There were definitely three distinct animal shapes all between 0.5 to 1.2 mm in length.

I made initial drawings at this stage.....

Spurred on to see in more detail I constructed a simple compact electron microscope. I will describe this endeavour another time in a separate blog post. I was very happy with some of the results. 

It was immediately apparent that there were in fact five different species of creature. This one is a crab-like beast with large pincer/jaws used to cling firmly onto hair strands. These were exclusively in my armpit area and very difficult to remove.

This image shows two other species together in the same shot. These creatures were remarkable tough and when plucked off and crushed between fingers with all my mite, the longer scorpion like beasts still wriggled away in search of a safe haven seemingly totally unharmed.

Here is a shot of a much rarer creature. This image was made before refining some of the microscopes settings, hence its lacking colour. These mites were eating skin flakes and other fleshy surface debris I believe. 

Then there are these remarkable little things which seem fully hairy rather like myself. During one closer inspection I discovered that these creatures did themselves bear their own even tinier parasites. You can just make one out on the right hand most critter. I was able to tweak the gamma condensing lens and add secondary scanning coils to increase magnification to around 750x and lo and behold in amongst the hairs of the creature (I have named ichius pilosus) were many of its own six legged parasites scampering around at great speed, shown here.

I have presented my findings to a local naturalist at the Horniman Museum and he assures me that all six type of animal are seemingly new to science having never before been recorded. Its possible I may get to officially name all six species but in the meantime I have temporarily given them the names;

 scabius maximus (located mostly around the genital area)
 morsus prolixus (this one causes the most pain of all)
 ichius pilosus (the little hairy two armed beast, living mostly in and around my ears)
 phlangy (the miniscual parasite living on ichius maximus)
 plob (with enormous pincers and tentacles, found in the armpit area)

The story doesnt end here. 

I was so thrilled with my discoveries that I decided to use these newly discovered critters as the subject for another batch of Bosci based rubber model products. My earlier development of a flying Bosci toy is documented in an older post on this blog (below). Using the same I approach I crafted moulds which enable the mass production of highly accurate rubber representations of the parasites. Having noticed that these minute monsters were able to endure shockingly violent force i.e. squishing, pinching and crushing and still survive remarkably well, I was particularly keen to mimic this property in the toy versions. I have exaggerated the colouration of some of the bug toys to add variety and intrigue for the potential purchaser. The bugs are sold in packs of four.

The humans whose house I have my abode in are busy preparing for an open studio this coming weekend and I plan to try to sell these products to public visitors who are keen to buy.