It’s well known that there are a whole load of weird diseases and bacteria going happening in nature that can do all kinds of crazy things, but I bet you didn’t think that there was a parasite out there that could turn ants into zombies did you?
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Turns out there is and it’s a fungus called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. Here’s what the Journal of Experimental Biology has to say about it:
When an ant is infected with a spore it’s not a pretty sight.
The insect appears to lose self-control, venturing to the tops of plants and clamping onto leaves and twigs with a death grip.
The ant eventually dies there, and the fungus eats its way out from the inside, releasing spores that infect even more ants.
I mean what the actual fuck? Why does this spore have nothing better to do than to go around and infect ants and make them act crazy before leaving them clamped to a poor plant for eternity and then go on and repeat the process over and over again? Nature is weird man.
The one thing to get from this though is that it sounds like the process is over fairly quickly so the ants won’t be losing control and coming to attack us or anything. That’s reassuring. The scary take on it though is that if this spore ever evolves to target humans then man are we in for a bad time. Awful.
This not enough to scare the shit out of you? What about the alligators that are on crystal meth? That’ll get you.