4 Jungle Hazards the 'Jumanji’ Cast's Skimpy Outfits Can't Prevent
In the 21 years that passed since the original Jumanji was released, our favorite board game adventurers haven’t gotten any smarter about what constitutes appropriate jungle gear. When one enters a dank, overgrown jungle brought to life by the demonic machinations of a sick board game, the worst thing to do is expose yourself to the grab bag of viruses, parasites, and insects that might be lurking in its layers. And a photo of the new Jumanji cast posted by Kevin Hart today, shows the cast doing just that. Their outfits — Karen Gillan’s, in particular — expose a Tomb Raider-level amount of skin, which is definitely going to be a problem.
Gillan’s skimpy Tomb Raider-inspired outfit, together with Dwayne Johnson’s bare monolith of a chest and Hart’s naked shin expose them to a huge number of diseases and dangers. This time around, our intrepid explorers will be rolling the dice in a fictional jungle that is actually just Hawaii. Here’s what they’re likely to catch before the game catches them.
A roll of the die in the original Jumanji summoned a swarm of giant mosquitos; it’s entirely possible said mosquitoes are carrying the fever-inducing and occasionally fatal dengue virus, most likely picked up from tourists that carry the virus into the archipelago (it is, fortunately, not endemic to the islands). After the last big outbreak in 2015, officials released a prevention notice that clearly stated: “Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.” Jack Black’s character, in his Rudyard Kipling-inspired look, seems to be the only one on the squad to have gotten the memo.
The year 2016 will go down as the year the Zika virus rocked the New World. It’s entirely possible the mosquitoes in Hawaii can also carry the microencephalitis-inducing virus — Aedes aegypti circulates on both the Big Island and Molokai — though the only cases reported in Hawaii so far have been travel-related. Still, a serious enough reason not to be taking style cues from Lara Croft.
A whole ecosystem of organisms is involved in the spread of angiostrongyliasis, aka the savagely named rat lungworm, a roundworm-induced disease that messes with the brain and spinal cord and occasionally causes face paralysis. Humans generally get sick with rat lungworm after eating host organisms that carry its larvae — often snails, slugs, shrimp, land carbs, and frogs — but infection via open wounds, which are infinitely more common on exposed skin, is, according to one 2013 article in the Hawai’i Journal of Medicine and Public Health, “theoretically possible.”
Getting stung by Hawaiian centipedes causes severe pain that is, terrifyingly, proportional to the size of the bug. Really serious bites can cause nausea, make you puke, or even make your lymph nodes swell. While covering up won’t guarantee you won’t get bitten — they’ve been known to lurk in folded clothes — they generally bite when they make contact with bare skin.