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The fungus from The Last of Us is real

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If anyone else calls the infected from The Last of Us “zombies”, I’m going to start taking names.  Drawing upon things nightmares are made of, The Last of Us stuck with their efforts with realism – the fungus from the game is real, and actually infects things already!

The Cordyceps Fungus, a real parasite, infects all manner of insects and grows in their brain.  Once infected, the insects lose control as they’re forced to ensure the survival of the fungus.  They are eventually destroyed by it, as the fungus sprouts of the body and spreads its spores to other critters.  This virus has been known to wipe out entire ant colonies.  Much like Avian flu and Swine flu have spread to humans, The Last of Us is based on the idea of the Cordyceps jumping to humans.  You can read more about it here.

Or, if you’re ready for true terror, watch this video.  

Now imagine that spreading among humans.  Now pour some lovely mushroom sauce on anything without cringing.  Kinda gives that band “infected mushroom” a whole different vibe.

Oh, and it’s not just the Cordyceps that you have to worry about – there are a variety of fungi that are wiping out amphibians, bats, bees, corals and sea turtles.  Fungi are deadly because they can spread so fast – they infect everything before the population gets sparse enough for it to be less effective.

So, after surviving the emotional roller coaster that is The Last of Us, I have another reason to hide in the fetal position for the next, oh, rest of my life.

Last Updated: June 27, 2013

33 Comments

  1. RinceWind

    June 27, 2013 at 10:40

    Ya, seen this but with an ant. Pic supplied just for @umarbastra:disqus The Fungus literally takes over the host ant. “The fungus species can infect an ant, take over its brain, and then kill the insect once it moves to a location ideal for the fungi to grow and spread their spores.”

    Enjoy your lunch ^^

    Reply

    • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

      June 27, 2013 at 10:42

      …………………pssh…………..I ain’t afraid of that ……..anyway, I need to go visit my mum now…she…uhmm needs me to change a bulb

      Reply

    • HvR

      June 27, 2013 at 10:44

      If you really want to enjoy your lunch google chromoblastomycosis and look out for a few pics.

      Reply

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        June 27, 2013 at 10:45

        ZOMG YOU BASTARD!!! lol

        Reply

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        June 27, 2013 at 10:47

        I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU

        Reply

        • HvR

          June 27, 2013 at 10:49

          That shit is the reason I stay far away from public showers and Jacuzzi’s

          Reply

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            June 27, 2013 at 10:51

            Jeez it’s horrible ……….. 🙁

    • Captain Minion TallTwit

      June 27, 2013 at 10:44

      Read about this fungi a few days ago. Was quite astonished.
      Thank you Wikipedia.

      Reply

  2. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    June 27, 2013 at 10:46

  3. Captain Minion TallTwit

    June 27, 2013 at 10:47

    Interesting little fact, when the colony finds out that an ant has been infected, they literally pick up the ant and take it far away from the colony before the fungi could spread.

    Reply

  4. Mathias

    June 27, 2013 at 10:49

    Wasn’t this news actually BEFORE the game came out?

    Reply

    • Spathi

      June 27, 2013 at 10:53

      This isnt News24, this is a gaming blog.

      Reply

    • RinceWind

      June 27, 2013 at 11:08

      Yes. It was released a few months ago. When I saw TLOU I thought, uh uh, terrorist plot! *foil hat goes on

      Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      June 27, 2013 at 11:09

      Yes we posted it back in 2010 already… but not everyone was around then so we thought we’d relive the nightmare

      Reply

  5. TechniKyle

    June 27, 2013 at 10:51

    I actually had an argument with a friend after he called them zombies. I gave him a detailed breakdown of what zombies are, the types of zombies and the difference between them. Then I gave him a detailed breakdown of the fungal infection and why the infected person cannot be considered as a zombie. He answered me with, OK, but I still think it’s a zombie. *A tiny part of my died*

    Reply

    • John Ambitious

      June 27, 2013 at 11:03

      Kind of like telling someone how to pronounce something and then I just answer: “I like saying it like this.”
      Could never understand why some people would choose to be wrong.

      Reply

    • Sageville

      June 27, 2013 at 11:05

      I think the bigger question is:

      If a man gets bitten by a Zombie, then a Vampire and then a werewolf, what happens to that guy?

      Reply

      • Captain Minion TallTwit

        June 27, 2013 at 11:31

        Becomes a really……… naughty dog.

        Reply

  6. John Ambitious

    June 27, 2013 at 10:52

    That’s damn terrifying

    Reply

  7. Phaeo

    June 27, 2013 at 10:57

    Unlikely coincidence: I am both a mycologist and an avid Naughty Dog fan. Best game ever.

    Reply

  8. DarthofZA

    June 27, 2013 at 10:58

    Freaking chills down my spine! That is truly terrifying!

    Reply

  9. Sageville

    June 27, 2013 at 11:03

    Er, thanks for that dose of Nightmare fuel!

    Reply

  10. Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    June 27, 2013 at 11:03

    I’m hungry…

    Reply

    • John Ambitious

      June 27, 2013 at 11:54

      Preferably something fried

      Reply

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