This animation by Hadley Witt, a student in my invertebrate zoology course in 2013, describes the life cycle of Dracunculus. This parasitic worm is endemic to Africa, and is also known as guinea worm and the fiery serpent. While in the human host, this worm can grow up to one meter long, leading to extreme suffering. However, because it is easily preventable by filtering contaminated drinking water, this worm may be the next human pathogen to be eradicated.
Music: “Sonata in C minor for Harp” by Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812), played by Hadley Witt