I was watching a Nature special on PBS about “The Beauty of Ugly”.


There was a mention of two of the grosses things I have ever heard about,  Tapeworms and Hag Fish.

1) The worst, grossest, job in the world.  Being a volunteer in a experiment about tapeworms.  I found an article about biologist Mike Leahy who volunteered to have a tapeworm grow in his gut.  I doubt you could pay anyone enough money to do it.


“As part of a University of Salford experiment to develop a diagnostic test for beef tapeworm, biologist Mike Leahy volunteered to grow this gruesome parasite inside his own gut.

Mike swallowed the immature tapeworm cyst with a glass of red wine and the worm started to grow at an initial rate of four centimetres a week.

Twelve weeks later he had to call a halt to the unusual experiment because he was getting married!

After a dose of anti-worm pill Mike passed out an intact tapeworm three metres long.

Imagine giving up on growing a tapeworm in your gut just because you are getting married.

What are the worst jobs you have heard about?

2) Worst cooking ingredient I have heard about.  Cooking with Hagfish slime.

What are some gross foods you have heard about.

For your viewing pleasure a video showing Hagfish slime, from Animal Planet:

From the Museum of Awful Food blog, http://ewewgross.blogspot.com/

“I should clarify for the sake of journalistic honesty that the matte white bits surrounding the black slimy bit are actually the gloves of a researcher, and only the black slimy bit is actually the hagfish. If you would like to know what a whole hagfish looks like, mentally picture an earthworm that has slime-secretion glands running along the length of its body, magnify it by like twenty, and put on the creepy head evidenced in the above images. Yum, hagfish. Actually there are some decidedly awesome Fun Facts about hagfish, such as: they get their own slime up their noses, and then they sneeze it out. No joke.

So you will have noticed by now that the hagfish secret tons of slime, because I mentioned it in the previous paragraph. As I learned from my vast hagfish research (this one site, pretty much), the slime is a sugar and protein solution that coagulates when it’s secreted into water, forming a slime that is similar in texture and chemical composition to egg whites.”

“I’m going to posit that a scone is significantly more appetizing than a hagfish. The, um, fearless students who made a hagfish-slime scone didn’t include the recipe in their lab report, so here is my personal recipe for excitingly flaky and not at all dense cheddar-gruyere scones, which receive rave reviews whenever I bake them. Except that I’ve changed what would have been “eggs” to “hagfish slime.” I trust you to adjust accordingly.”

Hagfish-Slime Cheddar-Gruyere Scones

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (two sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups (packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese (about 9 ounces), or a mix of 6 ounces cheddar and 3 ounces gruyere.
1-1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons hagfish slime

Preheat oven to 375F

In a food processor, blend flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter using quick pulses until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheese and cut in using quick pulses. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and hagfish slime. With the food processor running, add cream mixture through feed tube. Process until dough just holds together – don’t overmix!

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gather the dough together and divide into quarters. Pat each quarter into a round just short of 1 inch high (it should be about 6-7 inches in diameter). Using a clean, sharp knife, cut each round into six wedges. Transfer half the wedges to ungreased baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake the first batch of scones until the edges just start to brown and a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer them, still on their parchment paper, to a wire rack to cool at least 10 minutes, during which time put in the second batch of scones.

Serve warm or at room temperature. The scones will stand for about 8 hours. Do not refrigerate. If you want to reheat them, warm them in a 350F oven for about 5 minutes.