Kritsada Ratprachoom had just dropped his kid off at school when he felt the urge to "drop his kids off at the swimming pool", if you know what I mean. For those of you who don't know what I mean, that is a British euphemism for defecating.
The 44-year-old headed to a toilet and concluded his business (another British euphemism for doing a poop) when he felt something was wrong. He could still feel something going on back there.
"I had just finished dropping my child off at school and ran some errands when I had to go number two," he explained to Khaosod, according to a translation in the Metro. "Afterward, I felt like I wasn’t finished defecating, like something was left. So I got up to see what it was. Turns out there was something sticking out of my bottom."
The freelance photographer from Udon Thani in northeastern Thailand initially assumed that it might be surgical string from an appendectomy he had had the previous week, but it was far worse than that.
He pulled at it and kept tugging until all of what he estimated to be a 9.7-meter (32-foot) worm came out.
He described the worm as stretchy, and said it shrank back down after being drawn out. After showing his girlfriend, who is a nursing assistant, she informed him it was a tapeworm.
He shared photos and videos of the worm on Facebook, where people have repeatedly said it looks like udon noodles in a way that makes me never want to eat Pad Thai again for as long as I live.
Tapeworms are parasites that live in the intestines of certain animals. Animals can become infected by the worms by grazing on pasture or drinking contaminated water, though in humans the source of the infection is usually consuming undercooked meat.
Before toilets and running water became commonplace (in certain parts of the world), tapeworms were much more prevalent. Largely, though horrifying to think about, they don't cause too many health problems even if you are host to the parasites. A study of 2 million children in India – where people regularly have them – found that mass deworming didn't improve health outcomes such as body weight and survival.
However, they can cause anything from diarrhea and tummy pains to weight loss and vomiting. Worse, they can cause serious damage if they migrate to other parts of your body, such as your brain and liver.
In short, if you think you have one of these, don't just post the photos to Facebook – seek medical attention.