*Warning: Some readers may find some images below disturbing.*
Bullying in schools is on the rise. Being a pre-teen in the twenty-first century is, in some ways, more difficult than in the past. Those statements apply to children in normal situations. For a 12-year-old girl from Deesa, India who has thousands of ants living inside her head, her classmates’ taunts have considerably more bite.
Shreya Darji’s problems began last August. For no apparent reason, her head felt weird. After a few days of ringing in her ears, along with redness, her parents took her to the hospital. Upon examining her, doctors found ants in her ear canal. At first, the physicians removed a few dead ants and figured that was the end of the problem. But for the family from the state of Gujarat, in western India, the issue was just beginning.
Even after the doctors removed the dead ants, Shreya was experiencing around ten live ants per day crawling out of her ears. More often than not, these insect appearances happened during school hours, leading her classmates to give her the nickname ‘Queen of the Ants.’ Despite this verbal abuse, and the awkward sensation of something moving around in her ear, Shreya felt no pain whatsoever related to the ants.
Subsequent trips to the hospital have resulted in doctors removing over one thousand ants from the young girl’s head. The lead Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgeon at the hospital in Gujarat, Dr. Jawahar Talsania, is at a loss to explain where the ants are coming from. He has conducted MRI and CT scans on Shreya, but they have all come back normal. He’s also used an endoscopic camera to investigate deep into the girl’s ear canal. Although he has found dead ants inside, her ear canals and eardrums are all unharmed. Nor has he been able to locate any eggs or a queen ant to explain the continued existence of new ants on a daily basis.
While doctors remain baffled about where the ants keep coming from, they are equally confused as to how the ants got into Shreya’s ears in the first place. Authorities checked on the family’s house and determined that it provided excellent living conditions. Nor are her parents, or her brother, suffering from any medical problems of their own. This is one medical mystery that does not appear to be close to a solution. Shreya’s parents even sought, unsuccessfully, the help of local witch doctors to cure their daughter’s affliction. At least the young girl at the center of this story is feeling no pain and suffering no physical effects so far.