MUST READ: Ant munches on brain!

7:39 PM

<WARNING: The introduction is lengthy. Skip to the non-italic part to get to the main content>

Kisah Sang Semut (Photo from Disney's A Bug's Life)

Pada satu hari, ada seekor semut telah bersiar siar mencari makanan. Si semut telah memasuki suatu gua yang besar. Si semut pun berkata "Di dalam gua ini pasti ada habuan yang lumayan".

Si semut pun masuk ke dalam gua tersebut. Dia menemui satu dinding yang menghalang jalannya. Dia pun menggali dinding tersebut sehingga dia menemui satu tempat yang dipenuhi objek yang lembut dan berlendir. Si semut pun cuba memakan objek tersebut dan ianya rasa sedap teramat sangat.

Si semut pun memanggil rakan rakan nya yang lain untuk berkongsi habuan. Oleh sebab usahanya itu, si semut telah menanambat hati Permaisuri semut dan mereka hidup bahagia di tempat itu bersama semut semut yang lain dan anak anak dan cucu cicit mereka berdua.

This is how I imagine the origin story of this viral Whatsapp message to be like.


If the ant enters the ear, how is it possible for it to wind up in the brain? As far as I know, there is no direct connection with the brain. There is a tympanic membrane (TM) separating the middle ear from the external ear. Even though there is a puncture, there are many other structures in the inner ear obstructing an ant's path. The furthest an ant can go may be the throat, via the Eustachian tube. Just look at this diagram. Do you see any brain matter?

Diagram from

Has anyone ever experienced an insect burrowing in your ear? I assure you that you will feel indescribable pain and irritation as the ant moves around. You will be seeing doctors the same day to get it removed. When I was working night shifts in ED, there will be at least one case of insect in the ear per shift. Most of the cases are children.

Image from


X rays to see ants? Are you kidding me? What is the barrier between the brain and the external environment?......Yeah, bagus. Pandai pun. Its the skull! We can see the bone structures with X rays, but not the brain. OK la, we try use CT scan and MRI...but really? Can see ants ah? I have seen susuk though, but not insects. Even a tulang tercekik can be hard to find in X rays...You think ants can seen easier?


When a person has ants biting chunks off a brain of a living person, do you think the presenting complaint would be JUST a headache? I assume, if it was even possible, a seizure, severe vomiting and loss of consciousness would be more fitting (pun intended?).


Yes, you shouldn't leave food lying around where you sleep. But its mainly because you don't want ants to be infesting your sleep area. A small bite can leave you severe urticaria. Redness and itchiness all over the place.

Sekian kisah dongen kita harini. Maybe I can start a TV series - PEMECAH MITOS PERUBATAN (Medical mythbusters). I can be like that Uncle Seekers guy.

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