Silver Spring, MD (PRWEB) September 16, 2009
"The Botfly in My Head," the latest episode from the online wildlife video series NatureBreak, http://www.NatureBreak.org, went viral last week, earning over 130,000 views on YouTube and thousands more on other video sites in just one week.
The under-five-minute video documents wildlife filmmaker Vanessa Serrao's ordeal with a human botfly larva living under her skin on the back of her head. In the video, Serrao's husband, Greg Hiemenz, pulls the one-inch-long maggot from Serrao's head using a pair of tweezers. "I couldn't sleep because I heard the botfly crunching on my head," says Serrao. "That's when I knew we needed to take it out right away. I also knew I had to film this once-in-a-lifetime experience."
YouTube viewers gave the video a perfect five-star rating and fans reposted it on twenty-five other websites including popthatzit.com and boingboing.net. "She is really brave!!! I would have been freakin' out!" and "Awesome!" are two of the over 400 comments left by viewers on NatureBreak's YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/NatureBreak.
"The Botfly in My Head" fulfills NatureBreak's mission of providing entertaining and educational nature videos. Unlike other botfly extraction videos that simply showcase the gross act of removing the larva, "The Botfly in My Head" also conveys biological information about the insect like its incubation period and method of transmission. A BoingBoing member called it "a very well made and informative short video."
Serrao contracted the parasite while on a filming expedition in Belize, but only discovered it in her head one month later. As seen in the video, Serrao and Hiemenz first attempted to remove the larva by putting a smoke-filled beer bottle over the larva's breathing hole, a technique recommended by locals in Belize. When this did not work, a doctor shaved a patch of Serrao's hair and put medical tape over the breathing hole. Once the maggot died, Hiemenz pulled it out.
For additional information on the botfly extraction video, Serrao's personal story, and the wildlife video series and social network NatureBreak, contact Vanessa Serrao or visit http://www.NatureBreak.org.
NatureBreak is the online wildlife video series and social network for nature lovers. Started by award-winning filmmaker Vanessa Serrao, its mission is to harness the power of social media to build an online community of people interested in nature and the outdoors. The centerpiece of the site is the wildlife video series NatureBreak, which features Serrao's latest wildlife adventures. Additionally, members of the site can use video, photos, messaging, discussion boards and live chats to share stories about their own experiences in the outdoors. The site offers people a refreshing "break" from normal computer work to get in touch with the natural world.
About Vanessa Serrao
Vanessa Serrao is an award-winning filmmaker, naturalist and founder of NatureBreak. She won the 2009 People's Voice Webby for her series "Deadliest Catch: The Real Dutch" and was nominated for a 2008 Emmy for the same series. She has produced both on-air and online content for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and Investigation Discovery. In addition, she has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from Montana State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Entomology with a concentration in Wildlife Conservation from The University of Delaware. In 2009 she founded NatureBreak.org to follow her passions for nature, filmmaking and community building.
Vanessa Serrao, filmmaker, naturalist, and founder of NatureBreak