Friday, March 18, 2011
Zombie-Creating Fungi! Aaaahhhh!
(A note about the video above. It is narrated by my personal hero, Sir David Attenborough. He is, in my opinion, the greatest man alive. Unfortunately, the video begins with an ad. For food, of all things. Given the nature of the video, that's pretty hilarious. But sorry that you have to suffer through it.)
Okay, let's get to business . . .
There are now FOUR fungi that are known to turn insects into ZOMBIES. No, seriously. The fungi actually take control of the insects' brains. Then they direct their zombies to perform various tasks.
For instance, one fungus instructs zombie ants to climb a tree to a certain height. (Exactly 25 cm off the ground. The humidity must be 94-95% and the temperature 20-30°C.) There, the zombie must cling to the underside of a leaf by clamping on to the leaf's main vein. What happens next is the stuff of nightmares. The fungus begins to reproduce inside the ant's head.
I'm gonna stop there. But let's just say we have the makings of an awesome horror movie.