Monday, March 21, 2011

Zombies. On a Microscopic Scale.

I know it's been a while since my last post. School and work seems to have gotten the best of me again. But I've returned, with something that just might freak you out.

I have a family member that currently live in Columbia. He's an amazing scholar and is always on top of current events you probably aren't aware of. Well, he's my source for new things. I don't even watch the evening news, because it just try's to bum you out. His interests me and actually makes me want to research related things myself.

One of his most recent posts is about a fungus that scientists have discovered in a Brazilian jungle close to the Atlantic Ocean. This fungus has adapted to make feeding easy for it's colony. And the way it does it, is actually, mind control. It's just pure amazing. The fungus attacks an ant near death and turns it into, well, a zombie. It brings it back to the colony of fungus and orders the ant to use the rest of its life span to clamp down onto a branch in order to stay in place. The fungus then feeds on the ant but avoids certain organs and muscles in order to make sure the ant's jaws stay clamped.

Now, when I read this. I didn't quite believe. So I did some digging of my own on it and there is actually thousands of strands of fungus and spores that act just like this one does. Some are on plants to act as a sort of defense system, and one strand of it is actually found in the goop that a snail leaves behind as it moves. Crazy. Straight crazy. Here is an example of what the ant looks like as it is being controlled at the last few seconds before death. (Source: National Geographic)

This is an example of what happens once the ants are infected with the spore or fungus.

So if you're interested in this as I was, just google it, you'll be amazed at how much you can find on it. There is videos on it, research sites, and other bloggers like myself talking about it. I found this extremely amazing and I hope you did too.

1 comment:

  1. That's crazy dude! I don't want to be a fungus zombie D: