Did someone worm their way into your heart, only to rip it out? What better way to return the favor this Valentine's Day than by naming a parasite after them?
This year, Massachusetts' National Marine Life Center is offering recovering partners and jilted lovers just that. Now through Feb. 14, you can order a parasite in someone's name, with funds going to the animal rescue.
While flowers and chocolates have long been the traditional way to mark Valentine's Day, some institutions have followed the Bronx Zoo's lead in offering people who aren't in love a way to celebrate the day.
Since 2011, the Bronx Zoo has let people name a hissing cockroach after someone, offering digital certificates as well.
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The National Marine Life Center's take on the trend capitalizes on the nonprofit's specialty, offering up four parasites that are commonly found in animals that are treated by the center, like seals.
"Does your ex make your stomach churn? Pepto not quite curbing the symptoms? Sounds like a marine roundworm to us," the center wrote last week. "While it may not completely cure your symptoms, symbolically naming your ex after a marine roundworm sounds like it could add some benefits to your Valentine’s Day!"
The marine roundworm is recommended for stress-inducing exes, while the marine tapeworm is for someone who "most likely sucked the life out of you," according to the program's web page. For smothering or suffocating exes, buy the lungworm, and for clingy ones, there's the sea louse.
Anyone who did all four may be worth having the full load of parasites named for them. A single parasite costs $15 and the full load costs $18.
Funds from the program go to marine parasitology research and care of the animals, according to the National Marine Life Center.