sMe, you read it correctly. That’s really true. According to newspapers like The Washington Post, the Cordyceps fungus, which is capable of turning infected humans into cannibalistic zombies, actually exists and has 600 different species.
This fungus, which appears in the HBO series “The Last of Us,” is notable for being an internal parasite of arthropods, such as ants and moth larvae. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center portal explains that they infect the victim with their germs.
When the fungus grows inside the ants’ body, it eats away at their muscle structures. During the operation, the animal maintains its activities. However, two weeks after infection, the fungus reaches the central nervous system of invertebrates, and that’s when the ant begins to act strangely, showing repetitive movements and twitching, which leads to seizures.
The insect dies, and after a week or two, an escoma forms outside the animal’s body, which is a structure for sexual reproduction. New fungal spores are produced and released into the environment, where new ants can become infected. That is, fungi can create a kind of zombie apocalypse, but only in ants.
Widely used in traditional chinese, japanese, korean and indian medicine, cordyceps mushrooms are found only in the himalayas and tibetan plateau. In China, it is marketed as an ingredient in a shake sold by actress Gwyneth Paltrow. It is recommended to treat health problems such as anemia, weak immunity, impotence, to delay aging, recovery after surgery and tumors.
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