If you thought the worst of 2020 was over, you're just mistaken or stupid! This year just never stops!
In today's edition of things that should creep every one the fuck out-a new population of cicadas has been discovered that are being violently infected by a parasitic fungus that controls their mind and forces them to infect other insects.
Yup. We just described zombies. These 'zombie cicadas' are under the influence of Massospora, a psychedelic fungus that contains chemicals similar to those found in magic shrooms.
After infecting its host, the fungus results in a disturbing display of B-horror movie proportions.
- West Virginia University
Brian Lovett, co-author of the study on these insects by PLOS Pathogens said that first the Massopora spores eat away at the insect's genitals, butt and abdomen, replacing it with fungal spores to transmit to other cicadas. Then the abdomen slowly wears away like 'an eraser on a pencil'.
Study co-author Matthew Kasson spoke to CNN and said:
If one of our limbs were taken out or if our stomach was slashed open, we would probably be incapacitated. But infected cicadas, despite the fact that a third of their body has fallen off, continue to go about their activities like mating and flying as if nothing happened. This is really, really unique for insect-killing fungi.
Oh, and it also makes the infected cicadas hypersexual, despite the fact that their genitals have fallen off. Male cicadas imitate females' mating invitation so that they can infect the healthy insects.
Naturally, this has people all freaked out!
I actually had this on my 2020 bingo card. https://t.co/9LcRAGESFy— rosanne cash (@rosannecash) August 5, 2020
Scientists say that these insects are not a threat to humans. I say, fuck that! Let's leave the planet!