Twisted Tuesdays: Zombies in Nature
by Tracy Vanity
Zombie insects are nothing new but scientists keep discovering new organisms that burrow into some species’ brain, makes them do crazy shit, and kills them off in some Kafkaesque/Day of the Dead/Aliens way that makes you go “wow nature is a real sadistic cunt!”
Cordyceps fuck up some ants:
Sir David Attenborough is the shit. He should be the only one allowed to narrate everything in life. EVERYTHING! I love that man. I’ve seen that video dozens of times and still shiver in disgusted amazement. Imagine being an ant, chilling, looking for food for your colony, and then your friends frantically tell you to get away from them, and then some fucking fungus breaks through your entire body and kills you? That would be pretty fucked up wouldn’t it?
Cordyceps don’t just zombie invade ants though, here is what they do to unsuspecting tarantulas:
I just read this article about a European gypsy moth caterpillar virus that makes a caterpillar climb to the tallest part of a tree where “their diseased bodies split open, raining infected caterpillar guts onto the leaves and branches below.”
By doing this, the caterpillar guts have a higher chance of raining down on other caterpillars and infecting them and then they go and climb and explode their guts onto their pals until the whole tree becomes a zombie caterpillar apocalypse. This National Geographic article has more details on that particular strain of zombie insect infection.
I tried to find video of that but could only find pics of the aftermath:
It’s not just killer fungi that insects need to watch out for, here are some jewel wasps turning roaches into their zombie bitches:
They can also do it to spiders:
Enjoy, sleep tight! Be glad you aren’t an arthropod. Humans have nothing to worry about…right?