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Cockroach Burrows Into Sleeping Man's Ear
A man in Australia had to be rushed to hospital in terrible pain after a large cockroach crawled into his ear as he slept, and an attempt to suck it out with a vacuum cleaner failed.
Medical treatment initially only caused the inch-long insect to burrow further into the head of Hendrik Helmer.
The unwelcome invader was eventually extracted by a doctor with forceps, but only after Mr Helmer had endured the unpleasant sensation of it being in the "throes of death-twitching".
His ordeal began in the early hours of Wednesday morning when he was woken by a sharp pain in his right ear, according to Australian TV.
He said: "I was hoping it was not a poisonous spider ... I was hoping it didn't bite me."
As the pain got worse, Mr Helmer said he tried to suck the insect out with a vacuum cleaner before squirting water in his ear.
"Whatever was in my ear didn't like it at all," he told the broadcaster.
With the pain now excruciating, his flatmate rushed him to hospital where a doctor put oil down the ear canal.
But this only forced the two centimetre cockroach to crawl in deeper.
Mr Helmer, from Darwin, said: "Near the 10 minute mark ... somewhere about there, he started to stop burrowing but he was still in the throes of death twitching."
The doctor then pulled the insect out of his ear.
"She (the doctor) said, 'You know how I said a little cockroach, that may have been an underestimate'," he said.
"They said they had never pulled an insect this large out of someone's ear."
Mr Helmer said he would not be taking any added precautions when sleeping, although friends of his said they were so concerned over his experience that they had begun going to bed with headphones on.
Cockroaches are among the hardiest insects on the planet.
They are capable of surviving for long periods on little food and can even tolerate high doses of radiation.
They will eat almost anything, and some species can produce over 20,000 young in their lifetime.
Famous for their hissing, cockroaches can reach nine centimetres in length, although most species are much smaller.
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