The zombification fungus has been found: now, it’s only a matter of time.
Step 1: breed zombie fungus;
Step 2: distill zombie fungus into a solution that affects humans;
Step 3: introduce zombie solution into local water supply;
Step 4: WORLD DOMINATION.
The world just got a little weirder: Scientists have identified four new species of brain-controlling fungi that turn ants into zombies that do the parasite’s bidding before it kills them.
Identified from samples collected at two sites in Brazil’s tropical rain forest, each of the four species specializes in controlling a different species of carpenter ant.
The original zombie-ant fungus, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, was first identified in 1865, and it seems to exist around the world. [Mind-Controlling Parasites Date Back Millions of Years]
“So we knew, right off the bat, there was a range of other species within that,” said study researcher David Hughes, an entomologist at Pennsylvania State University. “I think it will turn out to be in the hundreds.”
Hundreds of species of zombification fungi! Hundreds! It’s only a matter of time before some evil mastermind discovers how to make them affect human beings, and then it’s only a matter of time before said evil mastermind uses that knowledge to attempt world domination.
Sure, eventually the plan will slip out of Evil Mastermind’s control. The zombies will multiply faster than he (or she – could be a she) expected, eventually overrunning the Evil Compound in an ironic end to the hubris of conquest.
What? No, no, the “hero” will not Save the Day at the last possible moment and prevent the Evil Mastermind from introducing the zombie solution into the water supply. Why? Because this is reality. Such things don’t happen. No, the zombies will run out of control and World Domination will be achieved, just not by the Evil Mastermind who tried to achieve it.
The zombie fungus is out there, people. It’s just a matter of time.
One more thing: exactly what kind of a death wish does this scientist have?
Hughes is concerned that one of the four fungus species, O. camponoti-novogranadensis, may not be around for much longer… the high-elevation site where the species was found had become markedly drier and hotter.
He blames global warming, proving that he’s not much of a scientist, because if he was much of a scientist he’d know that it’s global climate change, not global warming.
But that’s beside the point. The story goes on:
The ants can survive this shift in the local climate, but “the fungus can’t,” he said. “What we think we will see is the extinction event of the fungus we just managed to describe.”
He’s saying that – avoiding the zombie apocalypse – is a bad thing.