Punk Singer Gets A Brain Tapeworm From A Vegetarian Burrito

Never eat anything ever again. Seriously.

Singer Jay Whalley’s brain surgery scars

The singer of Australian punk band Frenzal Rhomb was diagnosed with a brain tumor after suffering seizures. After the tumor was removed, the doctors determined it was the result of an infection caused by a parasite. Specifically, a kind of tapeworm from Central America typically found in pork products. Which is extra weird since he’s a vegetarian.

Basically: he ate a tapeworm and it grew in his brain and caused a tumor.

The singer, Jay Whalley suspects it came from someone who prepared a vegetarian burrito for him without washing their hands while he was on tour in Central America a few years ago.

He describes on the band’s Facebook page:

So the tapeworm eggs live in pig flesh (most common in C America but found in loads of other countries too), the pig is killed and the meat undercooked and eaten by old mate.

Old mate grows a tapeworm in his intestine which eventually produces eggs.
Old mate goes to el baño, doesn’t wash his hands properly then busies himself cooking my vegetarian burrito. Gross.

Once in my stomach they never become tapeworms but they migrate into the muscle, most of the time causing no problem and you’ll never know it’s there, the only place you’ll have problems is if they make it to your brain or eyes.

Once in the brain the body reacts by sealing it in a kind of cocoon or cyst where it quite happily lived for 4 fucking years! It’s only when it dies that the body has some kind of inflammatory response resulting in swelling which in turn lead to the seizures.

Enjoy never eating anything ever again!

6. Whalley (second from right) before his de-worming brain surgery:

7. Frenzal Rhomb’s oddly prophetic album cover:


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Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about the intersection of tech and web culture.
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