We’ve all seen our fair share of zombie films, wherein people get infected by a virus that leads to an outbreak of mindless cannibals. But we all know that kind of thing only happens in fiction – or does it?
A mind-controlling fungus, called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, grows and attaches itself to its host’s brain stems, gaining control of the poor vessel’s bodies. Luckily, they are only known to infect insects, particularly ants.
The fatal process is simple: the fungus infiltrates the victim’s nervous system, controlling its motor functions which leads to the poor insects entering a zombie-like stupor. The insect will then act against its own self-interests in order to benefit the fungus, usually by climbing upwards where the fungus can thrive.
The fungus will keep growing until it eventually breaks out of its victim’s body, sending it to its demise.
The fungus also has the power to infect other insects by scattering its spores. Even a tarantula is no match for this kind of virus.
A mutated version of the fungus, one that can infect humans, was used by the award-winning videogame ‘The Last of Us’ as the cause for its zombie apocalypse.
Watch this video below showing you how the parasitic fungus infects a bullet ant. The footage shows a seconds-long time-lapse of the three-week period wherein the fungus sprouts from the ant’s head, killing it.
What do you think about this zombie fungus? Do you think it could potentially infect humans? Give us your thoughts in the comments section!
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