Welcome, foolish mortals. Welcome to the ghastly domain of our Horrors and Nightmares Series. Here, we shall consume the most grisly, ghoulish, and frightening facts related to meth and mold. On these pallid pages, in honor of the Halloween season, we shall come face to face with haunting stories and monstrous terrors. But do not turn back now, dear friends. You have come much too far for that. And we wouldn’t want you to leave without making all the appropriate… arrangements.
Zombie Fungus: A Delightfully Diabolic Parasite
Our first view into the realm of horrors is a deceptively small organism, even tinier than the ants they so fondly devour. This vicious fiend is known as Ophiocordyceps unilateralis – The Zombie Fungus. And to a carpenter ant, there are few worse fates.
When the Zombie Fungus infects its unwitting host, it grows and multiplies into a murderous colony of microscopic cells. As it develops, it sucks away the nutrients from the infected ant, draining away it’s life force from the inside. Inevitably, these cells chain themselves together, forming a grotesque antenna and a beacon of the ant’s impending doom. Though, it is not the antenna itself, which is the problem. No, for inside the host, there is an inescapable webbing – throbbing into its brain cavity and muscles.
It is only a matter of time. Soon, these fungal clusters compel the insect to yield, subservient to the Zombie Fungus’ every whim. Unfortunately for the ant, that will involve clinging perilously to the underside of a leaf, until the insect is fully absorbed.
And that is not the end. As the Fungus feeds on its hosts remains, it continues to grow, spreading its spores onto the unsuspecting colony of ants below. Soon, an entire hoard of zombie ants will emerge on the jungle floor, marching to their own demise.
Zombie Mold or Zombie Fungus?
Ah, here we confess to some minuscule trickery on our part. For you see, the title of this gruesome exhibition is a mischievous misnomer. Technically, experts do not speak of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis as a zombie mold, but as a parasitic fungus. And fortunately for all our undeceased readers, this nefarious fungus is species-specific. So no, it cannot zombify you or your monstrous brood.
Mold, on the other hand, is quite capable of finding its way into your mortal abodes. It breeds in the damp and dark places – black and shadowy imprints growing in living shrouds, emitting onslaughts of potentially toxic spores.* Luckily for those of you still dependant on breathing, there are those with the skills to battle these dark forces and rescue your home from an untimely demise. We advise you to seek them out, especially before taking any major financial risks.
Of course, you could always call us, if you dare… (801) 888-6698.