Whoever said zombies didn’t exist?
Featured Image VIA
Probably nobody, but they most certainly do exist in the snail world, where a parasitic flatworm named Leucochloridium paradoxum (LP for short) periodically invades the bodies of land snails and makes them go absolutely crazy, turning them a different colour and sending them loopy. It turns out that LP is actually desperate to get into birds so that they can reproduce inside their intestinal tract and to do this they take over the snail’s eye stalks and make them wiggle around like caterpillars so that the birds are attracted to them, peck them out and then eat them. Yum yum yum yum yum.
This zombie snail. A parasitic worm Leucochloridium has taken over its motor functions and eye stalks, making them into caterpillar mimics so birds will eat them. The worm can then reproduce in the bird’s GI tract, eventually transmitting via its faeces 🤯 https://t.co/mP8IrGh21L pic.twitter.com/C2xc83oU54
— Mike Inouye (@minouye271) 12 August 2019
That’s freaky right. It gets even crazier though because most of the time these snails even manage to survive the LP attacks and grow back their eyes once birds have pecked them out thanks to their amazing regenerative abilities.
Nature is so crazy, right? For more of the same, here are the five most horrific parasites known to man. Unbelievable.