Okay, I know I just mentioned Zombie Ants in the last post, but they are just sooooo freaky I couldn’t let it go at that little mention. Did you hear about these things? A fungus grows inside the ant and takes over its body!
It doesn’t just take over the body and eat it, it actually seems to take control of the body and make it go through specific actions that will perpetuate the fungi life cycle.
And the fungus is not the only Zombie Master! There is also a parasitic phorid fly that does nearly the same thing, laying an egg in the fire ant that grows into a maggot which appears to take control of the ant’s body, directing it into certain actions, before (gasp!) decapitating it from the inside.
And yet again! A virus that makes gypsy moth caterpillar zombies! The virus somehow gets the caterpillar to move up into the treetops against its normal behavior, where it liquefies the body and rains down infection upon more caterpillars. Oddly enough, the Chinese prize these ‘caterpillar fungi‘ for medicinal purposes.
And! A wasp that makes another caterpillar zombie! This one lays eggs in the caterpillar, and when the larvae hatch out of the caterpillar’s skin, the caterpillar watches over them!
And that is just a few. There are many similar things to be found!
Okay, this is all well and fine, but what is the point?
Um…Zombies are cool? Oh. And real.