‘Monsters Inside Me’ Host Biologist Dan Riskin Discusses The New Season

Biologist Dan Riskin has hosted a lot of intriguing stories over the previous seasons of Monsters Inside Me, and Season 8 is no exception. In this exclusive interview with the Inquisitr, he shared that there will be plenty of new stories guaranteed to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Monsters Inside Me recently shared on their Facebook page a trailer for the new season, revealing plenty of parasites in all their gruesome glory.

Riskin provides the scientific perspective for every episode regarding the stomach-turning creatures that seem to enjoy making themselves comfortable within the human body. He explained that for the new season, stories involving new and very rare invasions from various parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and foreign objects will be showcased.

Two cases in particular stand out for Riskin and the first one has to do with roundworms, which can be found almost anywhere in nature. This isn’t a typical roundworm, but a rare creature that specializes on inhabiting the mouth. Not only does it set up residence inside the mouth, but it has the ability to move around freely under the skin. Dan revealed that this story “blew him away” and even he found it disgusting.

“I did not even know this thing existed,” Riskin said. “I sort of thought I had seen it all.”

The second story involves a 13-year-old girl on vacation in Colombia with her family and after spending time at a water park, she gets what she thinks is a painful sunburn on the side of her head. The next day when they are flying home, she’s not feeling well and lays her head in her mother’s lap. As her mother is stroking her head, blisters begin to break open. Upon examination, they discover a New World screwworm larvae, which was eating and digging around in her head and could eventually come out of her eyes.

These stories involve unusual circumstances, and Riskin stresses that the most effective way to avoid becoming a host is good hygiene, both at home and while traveling. When traveling, he recommends researching and reading up on the local flora and fauna. He shared a personal story about being tempted to drink from what he describes as a beautiful, crystal clear river in Madagascar.

Although hot and thirsty, Dan knew from his own research to avoid the water, which saved him from being exposed to parasitic flatworms called schistosomes. If left undiagnosed or untreated, the parasite can burrow into the skin and then travel into the blood stream. Schistomiasis, also known as snail fever, can cause serious, long-term damage to the human body. Although studying bats will always be Riskin’s first passion, he admits to having a soft spot for parasites due to the fact that they are so ingenious and successful.

“They’ve got us figured out.”

When asked how they find these rather gruesome, fear-inducing cases Riskin stated that they use a wide variety of resources including people reaching out to them directly. Facebook, Twitter, physicians, and even the CDC all provide new material as well, and it looks as though researchers for Monsters Inside Me may never run out of new stories for the show.

As Riskin talks, it is obvious he has a real passion for what he does, and the next logical step was for him to write a book, which is exactly what he did. Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You: A Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World is full of interesting, if at times disgusting, stories, including Riskin’s own personal encounter with a botfly lodged in his head. That botfly now sits in a small jar on his desk at work. For those who would like to keep up with Dan, he is on Twitter as @riskindan.

The main point Riskin would like fans of Monsters Inside Me to remember is that everything they see on the show, no matter how bizarre, can occur.

“The big thing is it that all of it is real, and we don’t have to make up any details, we don’t embellish the stories, we just tell it the way it is and that’s what makes it so powerful, we don’t have to exaggerate stories. Nature is more disgusting than anything you can think of and it’s not embellished.”

Are you a fan of the show? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions below. Season 8 of Monsters Inside Me premieres on Sunday, October 15 at 9 p.m. ET on Animal Planet.

[Featured Image by Animal Planet Channel]