Zombies Are Real - Sort Of - The UpStream

Zombies Are Real - Sort Of

posted Saturday Mar 12, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Zombies Are Real - Sort Of

We all knew that one day the zombie apocalypse would be upon us but we all thought it would be a virus that would infect people and take over their minds and alter their desires. Apparently we were wrong - the true cause will be a fungus from the Brazilian rainforest. It will not be a quick or painless death, either. Hint: it ends with a mushroom growing out of your head.

Here's the situation - a condition originally thought to be caused by a single type of fungus has been discovered to be caused by a variety. The condition is a type of zombie mindset. These fungus can infect a creature, most notably the ant, and take over the creature's mind and change its behaviors. The desired behavior is for the creature to wander to a place which is conducive for the fungus to grow and then stop and wait for the fungus to kill the creature and grow until it can sprout spores to then take over other creatures.

I am a little scared by this concept and want to stay as far away as possible. David Hughes, the study leader, has other ideas. Hit the break to find out what they are or to see a video of these things.

Hughes wants to find more of these fungi. I assume so he can mutate one to control people and then he can be supreme overlord of Earth. He claims,

It is tempting to speculate that each species of fungus has its own ant species that it is best adapted to attack. This potentially means thousands of zombie fungi in tropical forests across the globe await discovery. We need to ramp up sampling-especially given the perilous state of the environment.

That sort of plays into my theory and that is pretty unnerving. While obviously I kid, I certainly wouldn't want to be the scientist studying the fungus that could potentially create an army of zombie ants in a city that eventually take over and make us their slaves. They can carry a lot of weight, you know. You have to admire the pure scientific mind as it looks upon an ant with a mushroom growing out of its head and says, "I have to find more of this" instead of "Holy crap! Where is the nearest airport?"

For those who are interested in seeing these things, hit the link at the bottom of the article to see photos, or watch this crazy video from Planet Earth.


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