‘Zombie’ Parasite Takes Over Insects Through Mind Control | National Geographic

‘Zombie’ Parasite Takes Over Insects Through Mind Control | National Geographic

Fungi and slime molds race to decompose dead matter on the forest floor. Many spread by releasing spores up to thirty thousand a second. (scary music) If just one of these spores lands in the right place, and takes root, it can colonize a whole new area. (scary music) But not all fungi feed on the dead. (scary music) Days ago, a spore landed on this ant, now she’s acting strange. A network of roots has
infiltrated her muscles. Her body has been taken over by cordyceps, a parasitic fungus. It floods her brain with chemicals, drugging her, compelling her to head where conditions are perfect. (scary music) Just the right amount of light. Just the right amount of humidity for the parasite growing inside. It forces her to clamp
down in a death bite. And cordyceps reveals
it’s gruesome nature. (scary music) After three weeks of growth, cordyceps can release its own spores. Infecting more ants. Releasing more spores. Infecting more ants. Releasing more spores. Infecting more ants. Infecting more ants. More ants. More ants. More ants. (scary music) Cordyceps can wipe out
entire ant colonies. But more than just ants are at risk. (scary music) There are over six hundred species of cordyceps
spread across the world. Most are found in jungles where they prey on a
whole host of victims. (scary music)

100 thoughts on “‘Zombie’ Parasite Takes Over Insects Through Mind Control | National Geographic

  1. Researchers think the fungus, found in tropical forests, infects a foraging ant through spores that attach and penetrate the exoskeleton and slowly takes over its behavior. If you'd like to learn more, read on here: https://on.natgeo.com/2IFsAEU

  2. I honestly find this fungi neat and somewhat interesting not only due to the fact that the last of us was inspired by it in my own opinion this fungi is mother nature's way of keeping balance in the world for many species so that colonies don't grow too big it itself is dangerous yes but i think due to the complexity of human biology the fungi can't take over humans as it does insects though in theory through evolution one day it might just happen but we never know when or how it would happen itself the fungi in it's entirety is something that has a long way to go before it can affect human nature and even then it might not be able to affect us at all or it could help our species evolve in a greater or worse way seeing that mankind itself could possibly derive from a form of biological component that may react in different ways similar or different from the way it affects ants and different insects

  3. I would love a more scientific documentary than this "horror vibe" they show here. It's already creepy enough for our imagination.

  4. Me: sees parasite tring to get in body
    Parasite:why cant i get in
    Me: you got the rent money!?
    Parasite:Oh umm not now but im good for it
    Me: no be gone with you
    Parasite:well okay

  5. I have a question… What happens if a human gets this? Or is it just the fungus that peels of your skin on your toes? 😐

  6. I have a question does the ant than have a hartbeat or is it controlled by the fungus by mind control and his heart does not beat

  7. me: l o l
    subconscious: ey lowkey that sounds like a threat to me too . . . . . .
    what if this mutates somehow and becomes available for humans

  8. You know an ant was on top of my cellphone screen and when the parasite was growing the ant was running around my screen avoiding the picture

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