When you hear the word Zombie it usually conjures up images of slow walking, drooling, brain eating and expressionless faces on the living dead. Now in recent years the whole Zombie epidemic has taken a grip on the modern world and there are quite a number of books, movies and tv shows made in reference to zombies. One of the earliest accounts I remember reading about zombies was in the book the Serpent and the Rainbow about a college professor who took on voodoo priests to see how they created zombies. It turned out through his research that it was a type of drug that would render the person motionless for a period of time and then keep them in a trance like state.
This idea of zombies and ancient voodoo drugs for complete zombie like control seems to not just be for people, but also seems to be able to affect the insect world. In particular I am talking about ants and a certain type of fungus that takes over their minds then their bodies and then when the fungus is done with them it kills them. Essentially this fungus puts the ants into a zombie like state and then uses it for its own purpose till it’s complete.
The fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis has in fact been around for millions of years, if you believe the earth is that old, and attacks carpenter ants as they move around the floor of the forest. In fact this fungus could be found almost anywhere, which is scary in itself. As the fungus takes hold of the ants it does it most bizarre damage towards the end of its usage of the ant. The ant will climb to the underside of the leaf it is on and then lock its mandibles into the main vein of the leaf in a type of death grip which locks the fungus into position on the plant.
Scientists who have studied this strange zombie like instance say that the force of the bite into the main vein can actually leave a lasting mark. The fungus uses the ant in order for it to reach the levels of the forest that are best for its growth and process. While scientists do not know the true cause of how the fungus produces such an effect it is clear that this parasitic fungus is a nasty one.
Can you imagine a fungus that takes over our body and mind then controlling your every movement and thought only to kill you once you have served its purpose? That’s a pretty scary though in my opinion and while I have not found any mention of the fungus being able to effect humans I am sure that enough was release on to a person it might just have the same effect.
Be safe and destroy all fungus,