Zombification comes in two major types: the dead rise up and attack the living or a parasite takes control of the host, turning them into a horrible monster. The parasite usually spreads pretty quickly, causing some kind of insane frenzy of destruction.
It turns out that not a lot of “living dead” occurs in real life (which is spectacular, by the way) but apparently parasites that kill their host by taking over their body aren’t exactly uncommon.
It just happens that most of these parasites exist on the insect side of the animal kingdom. Here’s three of them:
Wasps hate cockroaches just about as much as you do. Jewel wasps stab cockroaches in their stupid brain and inject them with venom that incapacitates and puts them in a zombified state. This zombie-like state allows the wasp to grab the cockroach by the antennae and use it like a leash. Nothing works but their legs.
The wasp drags the cockroach home and fills its belly with babies. It’d be less tragic if they didn’t walk into it on their own accord because of some kind of shitty venom. It’d be more tragic if it wasn’t cockroaches.
The leucauge argyra spider has an issue with stupid jerk wasps – just like the roaches do. Another kind of wasp is just going all haywire injecting its venom wherever it damn well pleases.
The hymenoepimecis argyraphaga wasp paralyzes the spider and lays an egg on its abdomen. The egg hatches and the larva crawls inside the spiders belly. The larva then starts shooting out venom that makes the spider go nutty-jobby. It causes it to start building a web completely different than any other web they had built before. Instead of a spider web, you get a bunch of lines with a cocoon in the middle. The spider then hangs out on the cocoon until the larva is ready to burst out of its guts and hang out in the cocoon for a while.
Wasps are the worst.
Zombie potato Bugs
Potato bugs are stupid. They eat bird poop. Like, tons and tons of bird poop. Apparently bird poop is the ice cream of the potato bug world.
But it turns out that some types of birds poop something pretty bad for potato bugs. Plagiorhynchus cylindraceus lives in bird intestines and does some pretty terrible things to the potato bugs’ decision making skills. Harmless to birds, the parasite takes over the potato bug’s brains and force them to act reckless and even more stupid than their bird-poop-eating selves. And it turns out that some kinds of birds like eating potato bugs.
(The following video is a real video that already existed. It is 24 seconds of a potato bug eating bird poop. It existed already.)
Wasps are the worst
The moral of the story is that you should never trust a wasp. They’ll inject venom in your head and lay their creepy babies in your stomach. And they’re not content to do it without drugging you first.
It’s bad enough that they’re injecting their gross wasp babies into you, but they make you a part of it. They’ll make you build them a house first. They’ll paralyze you and drag you home.
At least potato bugs do it to themselves. Bird poop? C’mon potato bugs. You should know better.