We’ve seen countless zombie films – almost all of which implicate a virus as the primary cause of the deadly infection. Because a virus can mutate rapidly and be transmitted easily, it is easy to believe such a concept. However, while we are busy hypothesizing how viruses can possibly make the undead rise again, nature creeps up with something eerily similar but shockingly real.
Behold, nature presents us with an uncanny case of zombie-like mind-control – all thanks to a fungus.
Yes, you read it right. Not a virus, not a bacteria – but a fungus.
Meet the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a parasitic fungus that invades the brains and bodies of its victims, which, unfortunately, are mostly ants.
So how does this parasite pull off such a frighteningly amazing stunt? This is what happens. As the fungus infiltrates its victim’s system, the brain gets infected and the poor insect enters a zombie-like stupor. The “zombie insect” then becomes a marionette to the fungus, following commands dictated by the infected brain. Then, the fungus grows within and breaks out of its victim’s body, ultimately causing its demise.
The horror doesn’t end there, though. You see, the fungus has the ability to scatter its spores on the jungle floor, subsequently infecting other insects nearby. And if that is not enough, the fungi has thousands of different types that target individual species.
Even a tarantula is no match for the parasitic fungus.
The video below shows the parasitic fungus infecting a bullet ant. At 1:02, the few-seconds-long time-lapse of the three-week period where the fungus sprouts from the ant’s head is captured.
Watch the video:
Fortunately for the ants, they can identify the infected ones. And once they do, the workers carry them and bring them far away from the colony to avoid infecting other ants.
We just hope that this fungus won’t try to attack human brains because if ever that becomes even remotely possible, a zombie apocalypse might just turn into reality! And while we still have time, you might want to find out where to best hide in the event that zombies really do turn up.
10 Beautifully Transparent Animals That We Had No Idea Existed
What kind of sorcery is this?
The animal kingdom is never short of strange-looking species that never fail to amaze us. As if these scary creatures that live in the dark depths of the ocean are not enough to wow us, we find more reasons to be awe-struck.
You see, while some animals are outright freaky, some just look utterly incredible, and well...transparent. Yes, you read it right - transparent. We can literally see through the skin and scales of these animals and see what's within, behind, or beneath them.
You might notice that most of these transparent creatures live under the sea and wonder why is that. Well, according to Sönke Johnsen of Scientific Americans, it all boils down to something called "self-preservation." Because these animals do not have teeth, toxins, or anything that can protect them from predators, nature awarded them with customized versions of invisibility cloaks!...
5 Forgotten and Scary Children’s Toys from the Past
No matter what age they are, giving toys as gifts to children seem like a good idea - especially if the toys are not only fun, but educational too. Toys can promote fine motor skills, memory and imagination or even linguistics skills for children.
However, there are toys from the past that are so grotesque in concept, you would probably ask, "What the hell were the manufacturers thinking?" Allow us to present to you 5 scary toys from the past that could send any child scampering in fear. Next Christmas, you might consider giving these and its guarantee that your nephews and niece or godchildren will never visit you again! *evil laugh*
1. Creeping Baby Doll
This Unbelievably Enormous Alligator was Filmed Casually Wandering Around Florida
Imagine crossing paths with this big guy!
Humans are generally wary of large predators like alligators and crocodiles - thanks to the numerous movies and video clips that depict them as savage, man-eating carnivores. That is why when a certain giant alligator nonchalantly sauntered around a wildlife reserve in Florida in the United States, many were inevitably awed.
Kim Joiner was able to capture the anxiety-inducing moment when Humpback walked right past her. Estimating its length at around 12-feet, she confirmed feeling a bit "nervous" as the large 'gator passed by.
Meet "Humpback," an unbelievably enormous alligator that was spotted strolling around Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County, Florida.
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