Insects turned into zombies by parasites, commit suicide
- This is your brain on parasites. (Source: Flickr/Abode of Chaos)
Parasites are turning their victims into zombies, but don't worry — those victims aren't humans. Yet!
Earlier this year, countless flies were found dead on plants and street signs around town. “We were getting literally hundreds of reports of these crazy dead flies everywhere,” Mike Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland, told WAMU. In this particular case, the flies were attacked by fungal, mind-controlling spores called entomophtera. “It basically zombie-izes them. It manipulates their behavior, so rather than flying, the fly is now walking,” Raupp said.
Turning into zombies isn't, apparently, an unusual occurrence in the animal kingdom. In another instance, hairworms crawl into crickets' bodies and convince their victims to commit suicide by jumping into water, at which point the worms crawl back out.
So far, these parasites haven't infected humans, but it's only a matter of time.
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