Real Zombies, the Living Dead, and Creatures of the Apocalypse

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So she and her team have been studying a species related to the Ophiocordyceps fungus in Thailand. It, too, forces ants to leave their colonies and climb. These ants, though, bite down on twigs instead of leaves. This is likely due to the fact that trees and plants in this state lose their leaves in the winter. There, her team infected a few species of ant with the South Carolina fungus.

The parasite could kill all of the different ants she introduced to it. But the fungus made plant-climbing zombies only out of the species that it naturally infects in the wild. The researchers kept the ant brains alive in small Petri dishes.

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When the fungus was exposed to its favorite brains that is, ones from the ants that it naturally infects in the wild , it released thousands of chemicals. Many of these chemicals were completely new to science. The fungus also released chemicals when exposed to unfamiliar brains. These chemicals, however, were completely different.

The researchers published their results in And the researchers only succeeded after setting up artificial hour cycles of light and darkness for the zombies and their parasites.

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There, she is now probing how that daily cycle of sunlight and darkness affects zombification. Of all parasites, wasps know some of the creepiest tricks. One wasp, Reclinervellus nielseni , lays its eggs only on orb-weaving spiders.


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The spider stays alive long enough to spin a web. But not just any web. It spins a nursery of sorts for the wriggly, worm-like wasp baby stuck to its back. The spider will even break down its old web to start a new one for the larva. He studies insect behavior and ecology at Kobe University in Japan. When the web is done, the larva eats its spider host.


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  5. Now the larva spins a cocoon in the middle of the web. The extra strong threads most likely help the larva stay safe until it emerges from its cocoon 10 days later.

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    But it follows like a dog on a leash when the wasp pulls on its antenna. The wasp leads the cockroach to her nest and lays an egg on it. When the egg hatches, the larva slowly devours its host. Being a zombie, this cockroach never tries to fight back or escape. This scenario is so creepy that biologists named a similar wasp Ampulex dementor — after a supernatural enemy in the Harry Potter series.

    This leaves the victim alive but without a self or soul.

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    The mother jewel wasp performs something like brain surgery. Once found, she then injects a zombifying venom. This shows that the wasp can sense the right place to inject its poison. This chemical helps the cockroach stay alert, walk and perform other tasks.

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    When researchers injected a substance similar to octopamine into zombie cockroaches, the insects again began walking. Libersat cautions, however, that this is likely just one piece of the puzzle. A single fish may have thousands of these worms living on the surface of its brain. The wormier the brain, the more likely the fish is to behave strangely.

    An infected fish will still eat normally and stay in a group with its pals.

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    But it also tends to dart toward the surface, twist its body around or rub against rocks. All of these actions make it easier for birds to see the fish. This parasite can only reproduce inside a bird. Infected fish are 10 to 30 times more likely to get eaten. So far, it seems that zombie fish may be less stressed out than their normal cousins. It wouldn't be long before they were attacked by those without, the starving, the desperate.

    Imagine being so hungry you'd kill anything to eat, even another human. The mob mentality would kick in, with the have-nots attacking the haves. These have-nots represent the new zombie, a starving mob willing to kill and looking for anyone who has food or water. This scary scenario prompts preppers to stockpile food, water and gear, and to have weapons and ammo at the ready for protection from the masses -- the zombies -- that are out to get these supplies.

    Most zombie films, books and shows simply show the zombie either coming from out of the woods or from around the corner and give very little insight into what caused the zombie like condition. After all, the action is fighting the zombies, killing the zombies, escaping the zombies and surviving the zombies. Now that you understand the new, improved and believable meaning of zombie, the site makes more sense. The word "zombie" got your attention, right? As the CDC director, Dr.

    Ali Khan , says, "If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack. Yes, I believe in zombies, and I think they're all working for my cable television provider. Thank you for putting it into perspective. I have to admit that zombies lack the sex appeal and glam of vampires, though it's good the world is taking a rest from that after taking it out of the shadows a big vampire no-no and mainstreaming them all the way across the spectrum from tween novels to HBO.

    I guess I just can't get too excited about the whole zombie apocolypse since, having worked two jobs for a number of years, I feel like the walking dead most of the time anyway! The modern zombie seems to be a combination of the older zombie with the old idea of "ghoul".


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    We don't hear about ghouls much any more, but they seem to have been rolled into zombies in a kind of economizing of monsters. Ghouls were all about eating human flesh, though they often dug up graves for it, rather than going after the living. Creatures that dig up and eat the dead would be more disgusting than frightening, though, as the ones being eaten aren't in a position to protest. Spot the warning signs of love bombing early and recover faster with these tips. You may send this item to up to five recipients.

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    Real zombies, the living dead, and creatures of the Apocalypse Author: English View all editions and formats Summary: True zombie traditions are vast and multicultural, and they have been almost completely overlooked by the popular media. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item