Comicbook World #61- Millions Die from Mind-Controlling Parasites

This is not a hoax or an imaginary story! An airborne mind-controlling fungus that turns its victims into suicidal mindless zombies is responsible for multiplied millions of deaths in the Washington DC area alone, according to Mike Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland.

"It basically zombie-izes them." Raupp says of the effect one fungus has on its hapless victims. "In other words, it manipulates their behavior..." Like the Star Conqueror attempted with the Justice League, this fungus in question targets the brains of flies and uses them to help it spread it's evil agenda.  Yeah, I said evil... 'cause unless you got Batman backing you up, the only way out the fungus' thrall is DEATH!  "We were getting literally hundreds of reports of these crazy dead flies everywhere — on vegetation, on sign posts," Raupp said, explaining how the fungus steers its host to a high point, let's say the tip of a blade of grass..." the better for the fungus to launch more mind-controlling spores into the wind. If you're feeling safe because you're not a fly, don't...

As the scientist in this video explains, studies have shown that the way these worms and fungii change the behavior of hosts is not only intentional, but a common m.o. for parasites of all sorts, like a virus that causes a mosquito to bite more, so as to spread the virus to a more attractive host: humans. In the video above, a worm causes its host (a cricket) to change its normal behavior, seeking out large bodies of water (the worm's natural habitat) where the worm explodes full-grown out of the cricket's butt! Yuck...
I didn't draw this diagram... I would totally claim credit for the expression on that cat's face if I did it!
There's also a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii that "infects the brains of rats and basically makes rodents somewhat fearless around cats — in fact, it's even more than fearless," says Janice Moore, a parasite superfreak and professor at Colorado State University... "There's some evidence that they're attracted to the smell of cats and to cat urine..."   As you might expect, that leads to the infected rats getting eaten. This in turn leads to a cycle of infection that can lead to the infection of human beings, which can be fatal to babies and unborn fetuses. That's scary enough, but what if the mind control properties of Toxoplasma persist even in babies or larger humans that don't die from it?  
"Studies have looked at accidents — individuals in automobile accidents, both actually drivers and pedestrians — and they have increased rates of Toxoplasma as well," according to Bob Yolken, chair of Pediatric Neurovirology at Johns Hopkins medical school. While they insist there's not nearly enough evidence to prove Toxoplasma actually causes excessive risk-taking (or worse yet, a suicidal impulse) behind the wheel, just the possibility gets my wheels turning. If there really are evil parasites out there bent on controlling our minds, we are gonna need a hero and some serious healthcare...
Is there a doctor in the house or what?



Arkonbey said...

Radiolab did a whole story on this. I really explains crazy cat ladies!

Arkonbey said...

In related news, a friend of mine is a mad knitter as well as a nerd. She showed up at the Horror Movie Mini-Fest with a hand-knitted Brain Slug headband.


samax said...

yeah, I saw a story about this on NPR and it freaking ruined my day... I could write a whole magazine about this subject now...

Also, I wasted TOO MUCH time googling for pictures of Starro the Conqueror and Mr. Mind. I couldn't find a good pic of Mr.Mind controlling Captain Marvel in Kingdom Come (which would have made my day).

Lastly, that Brain Slug headband sounds awesome!

Anonymous said...

What volume of JLA is that picture from?

samax amen said...

JLA Secret Files and Origins #1

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