Proportionately Ponderous Parasites
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.When there are monstrously large creatures roaming the country side, you can expect the things that live on them (be they parasitic or symbiotic) to be proportionally as large. The creepiest of Big Creepy-Crawlies. They may be annoyances for their host, but for humans, they can be deadly. Often they are often more monstrous or mutated just to be able to live on such gigantic life forms. Keep in mind that some parasites can get pretty large within human hosts (tape worms, etc.). This trope is for parasites that are larger than their normal (read: human and common animal preying) brethren due primarily to their host organism being larger. A common feature of a Womb Level and often featured living on Kaiju.
— Augustus De Morgan
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- After Guts from Berserk cuts his way through the insides of the The Sea God, he's attacked by a swarm of critters resembling long-legged Giant Spiders. According to Schierke, they protect the Sea God in exchange for nourishment.
- The comic book Godzilla Legends has Godzilla, again, afflicted with a parasite. This time, it's a bird making a nest amidst its spines. The radioactivity mutated the birds into razor-beaked, multi-eyed freaks.
- The Authority once encounters a beyond-huge pyramidal space entity that, as a scientist put it, created Earth as a Mordor-esque vacation home, and is not happy to find that life has developed to such a degree. Inside it, the team finds an entire civilization of parasitic lifeforms that build whole cities within the creature.
- Pacific Rim has many appear on screen. They look like isopods, but are the size of footballs—just larger than the deep sea isopods found on the ocean floor.
- The Return Of Godzilla started this trope in modern times possibly. Here, Godzilla is afflicted with 4 to 5ft long sea lice. They are called Shokilas.
- In Godzilla (2014) the Mutos life cycle apparently involves multiple larvae infesting a Godzillasaur and pupating inside its body, similar to a Tarantula Hawk and related kinds of wasp. This gives them and Godzilla a pretty good justification for fighting beyond the fact that beating each other senseless while knocking over skyscrapers is just what kaijus do.
- Cloverfield has its main monster, Clover, beset with extremely dangerous "Flea" like creatures living on its hide. Their bite is extremely dangerous. They're about 5ft long to boot.
- Land of the Lost has a scene where Will Ferrell's character gets a tick the size of a football.
- In the novel The Sky People, the dinosaurs on an alternate Venus have lice the size of crayfish; you do NOT want to get one on you.
- In a Brian Aldiss' short story "Poor Little Warrior", a time-traveling big game hunter kills a brontosaurus (sic), only to be killed by the vermin swarming off its carcass.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Kill the Moon", the characters find the abandoned Mexican mining base on the Moon and discover that the miners were all killed by Big Creepy-Crawlies. However, when the Doctor analyzes them, he concludes that they're not insects at all but merely parasites this large because they are living off the ginormous creature that's about to hatch out of the Moon.
- In Hindu Mythology, Earth was made from the remains a giant which the gods made and sacrificed to themselves. Some versions go on to state that the various parasites on his body became the creatures of the Earth.
- In Norse Mythology, the maggots that fed on the corps of Ymir, of whom the earth was made, become Dwarves.
- Dungeons & Dragons adventure EX1 Dungeonland. The PCs can encounter a giant dog the size of an elephant. If they search its body (e.g. after killing it) they will discover (and be attacked by) three Giant Ticks.
- Star Fleet Battles: Captain's Log #40 is a short story titled "The Nature of the Beast". A Federation starship encounters a huge monster called a Space Manta, which is infested with giant parasites. The Manta can "fire" them at targets as if the parasites were guided missiles.
- The gigantic behemoth corpse Juggernaut from Exalted plays host to enormous carrion maggots, about the size of a cart horse. These are actually of greater use to the Mask of Winters than Juggernaut itself; he plans to breed them to the point where they burst out of the corpse entirely, and then set them on devouring his enemies in the Underworld.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- The giant fish Jabu-Jabu from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Oracles of Ages serves as one both games' dungeons, and contains many monsters including a giant Electric Jellyfish.
- The first boss of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a Deku Baba mutated until it's mouth can easily swallow you whole, leeching off a particularly gigantic tree.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword's local Space Whale harbors a parasite the size of a building, defeated by throwing its attacks back at it.
- Solatorobo has enemies around your own size found inside the Titano-Machina which are basically its immune system, though there are some ulcer-like parasites.
- The giant monster Sin from Final Fantasy X is covered in living scales the size of a human called Sinscales, which it can fire in large quantities at small enemies. And that's not even getting into the giant monsters that live inside it.
- The inside of Jormundgandling in Wandering Hamster contains cells and bacteria that are about the size of Bob (who isn't an ordinary little hamster).
- Kingdom Hearts has the Parasite Cage, boss of the Monstro level. It's significantly larger than Sora.
- Ghouls N Ghosts has a Multi-Mook Melee made up of giant carrion feeders coming out of a giant corpse.
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has Beelzebub, a gigantic corpse hanging from chains which has to be destroyed to stop the giant flies and maggots continually spawning from it.
- Starcraft II: Zerg buildings contain short-lived tiny (relatively speaking, they look about the size of a human) organisms that are little more than teeth, claws, and legs, that swarm the closest enemy unit on the building's death.
- An episode of Chowder centered around Shnitzel and Chowder climbing a giant to make a delivery, and they run into a swarm of giant bugs along the way. The bugs appearing around waist level and Shniztel's refusal to explain to Chowder where they came from implies the bugs were equivalent to pubic lice.
- Whale tapeworms can grow to more than 100 feet long, due to the immense length of their host's digestive tract. Likewise, some of the largest barnacles on Earth grow on the snouts and flukes of humpback whales.