Strange Virus Makes ‘Zombie’ Caterpillars Explode, And Twitter Is Weirded Out

Strange Virus Makes ‘Zombie’ Caterpillars Explode, And Twitter Is Weirded Out

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Parasitic mind control isn't just for your Ex anymore - zombie caterpillars in England are a real thing.

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An insane virus called Baculovirus is spreading amongst the British Oak Eggar caterpillar, and it's how the virus is spreading which is freaking us all out. First, a hapless bug is infected. The virus reprograms its teeny caterpillar brain to scoot into light as opposed to away from it - normally, to a bug, lots of light means open spaces, which means predators. The zombified caterpillar crawls up as far into the light as it can, where its insides gooify with such an infectious force that the little bugs eventually explode. This spreads the virus out across a few square feet, and potentially into the paths of a few other unlucky bugs. Dramatization below. 

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Horrific, for sure. But not unheard of in the bug community. Carpenter ants in Thailand have to look out for a equally horrific fungus that reprograms them to follow an eerily similar pattern of behavior - zombification and a suicidal march into the light, then it bites down on a high leaf and its jaws locks shut forever, a dangling treat for passing birds. And so the infection spreads. It does lack the drama of an explosion, however. British wildlife officials are asking the locals to report bug carcasses in weird places, because hey, you never know. Negan might be just around the corner. 

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H/T: Daily Mail, Twitter

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