Seriously, we are not pulling your leg here! The mainstream media isn't going to tell you about it this, but we value your sentient mortality far too much to keep quiet about this, and would hate to lose you to the growing army of the undead. That would be super uncool. So we only feel it's fair for us to share this list of actual, bona-fide types of zombies that occur throughout nature. After all, it's only through this understanding that we can thwart the coming zombie apocalypse together!
1. Zombie Caterpillars -
In the sci-fi classic Alien, an extraterrestrial species lives out its larval state inside a human host until it bursts from its chest, killing its host and ruining lunchtime for everybody. Well, what if we told you that Alien is based on a true story that's even more horrendous than what was featured in the movie?
Glyptapanteles is a species of wasp that lays its many eggs, sometimes as many as eighty, inside a caterpillar, and in order to prevent the caterpillar's red blood cells from killing its larvae, the wasp injects a virus into the caterpillar which disables its immune system. The larvae are then able to mature inside it, after which they eventually chew their way out to freedom. But there's more!
The caterpillar remains alive AFTER the babies have chomped their way out, and proceeds to spin a cocoon around the wasp larvae to protect them from danger! It's as though the larvae are somehow controlling the mind and actions of the caterpillar, even after they have escaped its insides. And perhaps the most disturbing part of all of this is that somehow the caterpillar always seems to die at the exact time the adult wasps emerge!
2. Zombie Spiders -
We've probably all had the disquieting experience of seeing a totally gross creepy-crawly in our bathtubs and sinks, and instead of squishing it, we took the path of least resistance and flushed it. Well, what if you went through this process and returned to the bathroom hours later to see that ugly little critter emerging from the drain? You just might have a wolf spider on your hands, and do not be mistaken, that sucker is basically a zombie!
Scientists form the Rennes University in France conducted a study on over one hundred and twenty wolf spiders by submerging them under water and waiting for them to die. After over forty hours submerged, all signs of life ceased and the researchers laid their little spider bodies out to dry. A few hours later they rose from the dead! Although they were not thirsting for human flesh, they had reverted to a zombie like state, because when threatened with drowning, the spiders go into a comatose state that has nearly all the characteristics of death. After several hours the spiders awaken as though nothing ever happened.
3. Zombie Snails -
The Leucochloridium Paradoxum isn't just nearly impossible to pronounce, it's an insidious parasite that targets snails. These worm like creatures take over the snail's brain and push into his tentacles giving its eyes the appearance of colorful, pulsating worms that make it an easily noticeable target for prey. In spite of this looming danger, the snail will creep upwards into sunlight, exposing itself to a variety of predators, which it would never do under any normal circumstances. From here it just gets weirder. Our unfortunate zombie snail is soon attacked by its greatest adversary, a bird. The snail will often live on, but more worms inside its body will take its place inside the tentacle soon after. The bird that's devoured the snail will then spread thousands of parasite eggs throughout the forest which will in turn be fed upon by more snails, and this incredibly weird cycle continues.
4. Human Zombies! -
That's right, you didn't just think we'd throw a whole bunch of insect zombies at you without giving you something that'll hit a little closer to home, did you? Clairivius Narcisse was a Haitian man who was declared dead on May 2, 1962. His family buried him in a small cemetery on the edge of his hometown. A full eighteen years later, his sister Angelina was in the village marketplace when her deceased brother came upon her and introduced himself. How is this possible you ask? Particular poisons such as a highly toxic secretion that can be extracted from the Japanese Blowfish can put someone in a comatose like state that slows down the heartbeat and mimics the appearance of death. Doctors often are fooled by it, and pronounce those in this state as deceased.
In Narcisse's case, after burial someone had come along and dug him up and gave him doses of a well known Voodoo concoction known as "Zombie Powder," which contains the drug Datura Stramonium. The drug puts the victim into an emotionless, trance like state, but the user can still perform basic tasks. Narcisse was in this state for EIGHTEEN YEARS, and spent the entire time being used as slave labor on a sugar plantation! Ok, maybe that beats lumbering across the world in search of brains, but it's still not a pretty fate. So this Halloween, before you set out to wreak havoc in your terrifying costume, ask yourself, is this really your costume of choice, or is there a creature inside your brain dictating you to do so?????
How will you defend yourself during the zombie apocalypse?