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Could Zombies exist? Hmm what if

  1. Oct 27, 2011 #1
    Recently I was reading an article on a Virus that not only killed ants but reanimated them and it went as far as to say these ants were walking across the jungle floor dead completely brain dead due to a parasite that got into the brain and first killed the ant,then forced the ant to walk dead and attach itself to the bottoms of leaves where it would incubate for 8 hours, then grow a spore from the head of the dead insect to allow for more infection through a weird type of pollination, this being said..just how long will it be before some Government agency (not saying any in particular) would start to experiment with it on a much larger scale and if so to what demise? Sort of a intriguing thought wouldn't you say?
     
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  3. Oct 27, 2011 #2

    wukunlin

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    if first year college students I've seen are anything to go by, it's not like they have any brains to lose anyway
     
  4. Oct 27, 2011 #3
    Well seeing is believing they say so here check it out


    Forgot to mention..I don't know what's more hideous, the ants or the soundtrack..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  5. Oct 27, 2011 #4

    wukunlin

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    is this the same thing?


    hmmm, can we make some of these to kill mosquitos?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  6. Oct 27, 2011 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    Whilst Ophiocordyceps unilateralis has been colloquially named as creating zombie ants if we take a few minutes to read some peer-reviewed papers we see that this name doesn't reflect the reality. Firstly there are many examples of parasites that change behaviour;
    • The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dicrocoelium_LifeCycle.gif" [Broken] involves it infecting ants and making them climb to the tallest blades of grass so that they can be eaten by cattle.
    • Spinochordodes tellinii must reproduce in water but grows in insects such as grasshoppers. Once fully grown the parasite will encourage the grasshopper to jump far into the water so that it can be released and reproduce (interestingly it doesn't cause the grasshopper to seek water, rather when it sees it it jumps)
    • When a rodent consumes droppings containing Toxoplasma gondii it has its fight or flight response disrupted so a cat can just walk up to it and eat it. This allows the parasite to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Toxoplasmosis_life_cycle_en.svg" [Broken].
    As for the so called Zombie ant fungus its behavioural changes are nothing new. The fungus begins to replicate and causes a shift in behaviour resulting in the ant leaving the colony to find a suitable spot. It will climb onto a leaf or stem and trigger an intense clamping action with it's mandibles (there's a picture in one of the videos you linked of an ant doing this to another ant but this is an unusual accident). Then the ant dies allowing the fungus to grow and sporulate, however the spores of O. unilateralis cannot be carried by the wind and so just settle in the surrounding area. Other ants that walk through then become infected and perform the same death activity nearby. The result is areas called "graveyards" where for tens of metres plants are covered in dead fungus ants.

    For more info http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0017024" [Broken] of infected ants.

    As interesting and disgusting as this is it is a far cry from reanimated corpses running around to feast on the living I'm afraid. Also parasites evolve in very intense and complicated life cycles with multiple hosts at multiple life stages. It's therefore very science fiction to suggest that some clandestine government agency would be able to engineer a virus to work in humans; when they've evolved for the biology and nervous system of several different animals many of which not mammals adapting it to humans for zombification purposes would pretty much require you to invent such a disease from scratch.

    Having said that the rabies virus can induce rage like behaviour with diminished cognitive function but it also causes flu like symptoms, delirium and death.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  7. Oct 27, 2011 #6

    FlexGunship

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    But... zombies... :frown:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  8. Oct 27, 2011 #7

    Ryan_m_b

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  9. Oct 27, 2011 #8

    Evo

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    Mind control wasps.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMG-LWyNcAs
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  10. Oct 28, 2011 #9

    Chronos

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    Remember the one [1000 ways to die] where beavis and butthead snorted fire ants to emulate a famous musician? That set off my zombie alarm.
     
  11. Oct 30, 2011 #10
    Beavis and Buthead. Used to watch that on Much Music channel late at night. Missed the fireant episode though.
    And the following program had this guy with the big head where the alien used to live, kind of like the fungus, but it was a symbiotic relationship. Another character had a cleaver through his head. A whole bunch of odd characters who should have been zonbies come to think of it now.
     
  12. Oct 30, 2011 #11
    The image is too large to hotlink, but this reminded me of this comic:

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2331

    Oh, and in popular culture, zombie doesn't necessarily mean reanimated corpse anymore. Many movies involve behavior-changing viruses that basically kill off the mind, but keep the body alive to shamble around and devour brains.
     
  13. Nov 2, 2011 #12
    even so, if zombies did exist, a zombie invasion 9or a sucesful one at that) would be immpossible considering, when you have factors of, putrification in the walking corpse, the heat would only accelerate the proscess, and yes some might say, what about in winter, well in the cold, muscles tend to tense up, so that would only slow them down, so in any case, even if the government made some sort of zombie virus, we wouldnt have much to worry about :D
     
  14. Dec 22, 2011 #13
    As a matter of fact, we can have something to worry about if the zombie virus affects your next door neighbour. How stiff will they be once they enter your well-heated house? Sure they still will practically be incased in frost/ice in places like Russia, when they melt, they will still be bloodthirsty. Reanimation of deceased cells is scary business, particularly when they can reproduce by means of meosis. Besides, in mild weather, even if you had some weapon that could tear the flesh from bones e.g. MG42, cells will still be after you. What I'm trying to say is you can never completely destroy a structure of cells in the human body using any improvised weapon.
    the safest way to defend yourself against the undead, is lock yourself in a bamboozling defensive structure that is too much for the simple-minded zombies. After all, how can one of the undead destroy one of those titanium walls you see in movies? Swarms would be pointless if they can't even figure out a passcode to access of human flesh much less figure out a rubic cube puzzle. trust me, i've tried... Anyway, i reserve the right to be incorrect. Tell me if i am- no-one learns by being ignorant. :D
     
  15. Jan 1, 2012 #14
    If a fungus can destroy a brain and can make an animal go to a very specific spot and bite down and wait to die or be eaten, what makes you think it couldn't destroy a higher brain (human), make it go to a very specific spot (malls) and bite down (brains) while waiting to die (be shot in the head)?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  16. Jan 5, 2012 #15
    A zombie virus already exists. It's called rabies.
    On the contrary, if you had a government with the motive and capabilities of engineering a zombie virus, you'll have so much to worry about, the idea of zombies will seem a little tame.
     
  17. Jan 8, 2012 #16
    Who says zombies rot. They don't rot in any movie I have seen. Evidently whatever causes the zombie state also prevents bacterial infection. They should be studied for new antibiotics and preservatives.

    Of course those are dead zombies. There are also live zombies. There is some credible evidence that a zombie state can be induced with a Haitian voodoo concoction containing Puffer fish poison.
     
  18. Jan 8, 2012 #17

    jedishrfu

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    Zombies exist but not in the Hollywood sense. There was a science show that studied voodoo shamans. They said they made people their zombie slave by blowing some powder into their face. The ingredients of the powder included puffer fish poison known to cause paralysis and death. Taken in small amounts the person could feel enough paralysis that the heart would appear stopped.

    In Haiti, a doctor said he treated a patient for a broken leg that he knew had died years earlier and the patient said that he was under the spell of a shaman and died but was resurrected by the shaman and made his slave.it was only recently that the shaman had died and he was freed.

    So zombie ism seemed to be mostly hypnotic control of a subject using the puffer fish poison to instill the belief that they died and were resurrected.
     
  19. Jan 9, 2012 #18

    jedishrfu

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    i think the toxin wears off after time. There was a wrestler in Japan who ate a bad dich of fugu (puffer fish) and was paralized but survived thats when doctors realized that someone could survive.
     
  20. Jan 9, 2012 #19

    Ryan_m_b

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    Interesting. Do you have links/citations for any of this so that the rest of us could see?
     
  21. Jan 9, 2012 #20

    jedishrfu

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    it was a part of a show I saw on cable. I think history channel around Halloweentime a few years ago. It included science explanations of werewolfs (a kid in africa at 5 raised by monkeys, had hair all over his body due to a monkeys limited diet and with fully knowledge of monkey behavior).

    and on ghostly presence with an example of a lab tech discovering low freq sound coming from a recently installed ceiling fan. He said initially he thought there was someone in the room. He felt the back hairs of neck tingle like someone brushed by him. Later, when machining a part he noticed it vibrating in the vise and discovered the source of vibration as the newly installed fan.

    I found this reference on youtube for the zombie stuff:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
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