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Nightmarish footage of an alien-looking creature emerging from the corpse of a praying mantis has horrified the internet.
The video, which is going viral on Reddit, looks like a scene straight out of Hollywood classic Alien.
It begins with with a man slicing open the backside of a dead praying mantis.
As soon as he does, what look like several long, slender tentacles wiggle their way out of the hole.
By the end of the video, the creature (or creatures) is more than twice the size of the insect it had just come out of.
It was shared online yesterday (November 22) by user @jediwithanm4 with the appropriate caption: “Better call the Men In Black.”
And viewers were understandably shocked at what they had seen, with the clip being upvoted more than 24,000 times.
“I hated every single second of that,” one said.
Another joked: “I don't see a proper amount of fire in this video.”
“I f***ing hated this,” a third said.
The chilling creature is in fact a collection of horsehair worms and their story is just as horrifying as they look.
They start out as larvae in the gut of small insects that the mantis preys on.
As soon as the unwitting mantis eats them, the parasites begin to grow.
When they hit maturity, the worms then secrete protein that take over the host’s nervous system.
Incredibly, they manage to direct the mantis to a body of water to jump in so that the worms can be excreted.
They then break free to reproduce, leaving the mantis carcass in their wake.
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