Zombies Are Real, See The Dead Walk In Real Life 

A new video showcases a fungus that turns male cicadas into walking bug zombie corpses.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

night of the living dead fungus zombie

Thanks to the success of movies like Night of the Living Dead and The Walking Dead, the idea of zombies has been well-established in our collective pop culture consciousness. However, one thing that keeps us all breathing a sigh of relief is that the dead cannot walk and that zombies aren’t real. However, you better start working on your cardio because a Twitter user recently posted evidence of a fungus zombie bug that may just change how you think about the dead and the living.

In the post, this user asks the question that everyone has once they see this damaged bug shambling along like just another walker: “how is this bug even still alive?” And we have to admit that it’s downright spooky to see this reanimated bug just doing its thing as if it shouldn’t already be dead. Once you know how this fungus zombie phenomenon works, you’ll understand what is happening … but, if we’re being honest, you’ll probably be no less creeped out.

The fungus zombie is something that is well-known to science, though scientists are still trying to iron out the finer details of how everything works. Basically, there is a special kind of parasitic spore that can infect cicadas. And once that happens, the best description of the result would also make a great title for a cheesy ‘80s horror movie: sex zombies on the prowl.

Initially, fungus zombie infestation begins with male cicadas. They begin a rather horrifying metamorphosis in which their abdominal plates just fall off and get replaced with a creepy white plug made of spores. Females don’t get infected until the infected males try to have sex with them which means yes, Virginia: nature has its own sexually transmitted diseases.

the walking dead

Infected males who have sex with healthy females do not actually fertilize the eggs, but these males do pass the infection along thanks to that spore plug we mentioned earlier. Once this happens, the infected females usually don’t lose their own abdomens, but their genitals often end up falling off during sex. To make things weirder, infected males end up carrying around the genitals that fell off, which means each fungus zombie has a visual record of previous sexual conquests.

If this is such a well-known phenomenon, though, then why are scientists still intently studying the whole fungus zombie thing? The short answer is that there is a world of difference between knowing that something happens regularly and knowing why it happens. Scientists on the cutting edge of this creepy phenomenon aren’t quite sure exactly how the fungus causes such a drastic change, and some are studying whether it might be due to the influence of a special compound known as cathinone.

Ultimately, we’re still trying to figure out how these fungus zombies are brought to life, but you don’t need to be a scientist to know it looks pretty damn creepy. If nothing else, this strange phenomenon might make you reevaluate your favorite zombie movies. In every movie or show where the exact cause of the dead rising is not given, it might secretly be spores unleashing their zombie wrath on the world.