The third season of Stranger Things drops this week, but one Texas woman may find the sci-fi series is now too close to home.
According to KHOU, Marranda Ganucheau of Pearland, Texas found slimy, Demogorgon-esque worms feeding on snails on her porch. Ganucheau described the worms as “slender, black, slimy.”
“They are just strange looking,” she told KHOU.
After a Google search found that the creature was most likely a New Guinea Flatworm, Ganucheau reached out to the Texas Invasive Species Institute, who confirmed the identification.
According to the TISI website, the New Guinea Flatworm feeds on snails, but it also poses a threat to other animals and humans because it has the potential to carry dangerous parasites.
The TISI explains that the worm is a potential host of the Rat Lungworm parasite. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the parasite, also known as Angiostrongylus cantonensis, can “cause severe gastrointestinal or central nervous system disease in humans,” as well as eosinophilic meningitis.
Even though the website states that the worm is not a parasite itself, the TISI warns against picking up or touching the animal with bare hands due to the possibility that it could be carrying a parasite.
Ganucheau hopes that her experience can be a warning to others who live in habitats where the worms are present. (According to the TISI, in the United States this includes Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, though all of the southeastern U.S. is susceptible.)
“Make sure that you are aware that these little critters might be in your yard, and make sure that your kids and your dogs aren’t possibly eating these,” she told KHOU.
Stranger Things season 3 will see the crew dealing with sci-fi scares including the creepy Demogorgons and the Upside Down, but they’ll also be facing something even scarier: adolescence.
“We’re not kids anymore,” Mike says in the first full-length trailer that dropped back in March. “I mean, what did you think? We’re just going to sit in my basement all day?”
Stranger Things 3 drops Thursday.
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