In our current digital age, we often hear about the popularity of social media influencers and rightfully so. Typically, only the social media influencers who are involved in popular culture or celebrity gossip tend to get most of the focus but any subject or topic you can think of, there is a world of social media influencers with big followings and lots of fans. This brings us to Phil Torres, who is a world renown wildlife photographer and conservationist. He’s the social media version of Steve Irwin and has big followings on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For the month of March, Torres has used his popular YouTube vlog series “The Jungle Diaries” to detail and chronicle the maturation of the Botfly larvae that has been growing….inside his body. (Warning: Disgusting video below)
To explain this phenomenon, what generally happens is a Botfly will find and land on the back of a mosquito. It will attach it’s larvae to the body of a mosquito. When this mosquito finds and feeds on a human, our body heat will activate the larvae to hatch and then the larvae burrows itself into the human body until it has reached full maturity. The Botfly is native to South and Central America and has parasitic larvae and one of the only living creatures who can use humans as a host. It can take 20-60 days for the Botfly to mature if left in the human body. They can be easily removed at home or via a doctor depending where the larvae burrowed itself. As part of his social media brand, Torres, decided to keep the Botfly inside of him and let it grow to full maturity. Crazy idea but it is also a very smart and strategic social media presence for someone who works with wildlife and social media. Torres social media popularity also allows him to dabble in the cliche but profitable “sponsored ad” that social media influencers are known for.
As part of his vlog strategy, he jokingly made the announcement of having this Botfly larvae inside him, as if he was having a baby. Torres even confesses to his wife in a playful manner that he is due to have a Botfly baby. Torres like many other social media influencers and stars continue to show how people can use social media and digital technology to enhance and grow any of our passions and careers.