The Mysterious Case of the Indian Ant Girl

February 9, 2016

12-year-old Shreya Darji, from the state of Gujarat in western India, is suffering from a bizarre case of ants. Giant ants crawl out of her ears every single day, much to the bafflement of her parents and doctors. They have no idea where the ants are coming from or how to make them stop.

The problem started in August last year, when Shreya complained of ear pain and her parents noticed ants coming out of both her ears. They rushed her to the hospital where doctors conducted scans and found a large number of insects living in her drum canal. They’ve removed hundreds so far, but to no avail – the ants just keep multiplying at a faster rate.

Dr. Jawahar Talsania, a leading Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon in Gujarat, tried suffocating the ants with ear drops, but they’ve continued to breed anyway. He also used a camera inside the ear to check for an egg chamber, but didn’t find anything. A video filmed using an endoscopic camera shows him removing dead ants from Shreya’s ear.

“The girl’s case is very challenging for me, as I have never seen such a case, nor found it in medical history,” Dr. Talsania said. “We don’t believe the ants are laying eggs inside the ear as we’ve not spotted a queen ant inside. We are completely perplexed.”

“We have conducted all possible scans on the child including an MRI and CT scan but they are all normal,” he added. “We cannot find any abnormality in her ears. She doesn’t experience any kind of pain – despite the ants biting her – and no damage has been found to the eardrums.” He also ruled out unhygienic living conditions as the cause, saying that Shreya’s family “live a normal life” in a “healthy environment.”

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