What the Heck Is This?

I love this one. Well, actually, I can't stand it. Cool image, awful reality.

No more clues. Take a guess.

OK, clues: This thing was named one of the top new species discovered in 2010. It was found feeding from the nasal mucous membrane of a little girl in Peru. I don't make this stuff up, I promise. Scientists said it is unusual "because it is the only known species of [this sort of creature] with a single armed jaw with such large teeth." See the full image and more about this thing below…

It's a leech. The new species was named Tyrannobdella rex, which means "tyrant leech king." Scientists have fun, don't they? There are about 700 known species of leeches, but researchers say there could be as many as 10,000 yet to be described. Heck, you could make a career out of looking up people's noses in search of them.

I said I can't stand it because, well, I can't stand the thought of leeches. Some people can't handle spiders, some can't handle snakes. For me, it's leeches. [Top 10 Phobias]

Did you know leeches are back in vogue for medical purposes? Along with maggots, they're being used to suck the life out ofotherwise incurable infections. OK, that's enough.

Check out the other Top 10 New Species.

Got a strange or interesting photo related to science, nature or technology? What the Heck, send it to me, and maybe I'll use it. Or follow me on Twitter, or Facebook.

The leech Tyrannobdella rex is less than 2 inches long. It has a single jaw and huge teeth compared to other leeches. It was was discovered attached to the nasal mucous membrane of a young girl.
The leech Tyrannobdella rex is less than 2 inches long. It has a single jaw and huge teeth compared to other leeches. It was was discovered attached to the nasal mucous membrane of a young girl.
Credit: Anna J. Phillips et al., PLoS ONE