Welcome to 2020 – Zombie Cicadas (Are They in Michigan?)
Last Saturday morning I found a newly molted cicada in my backyard. I don't think I've ever seen one after it just molted. Very cool. And then I found out about "zombie cicadas".
According to Fox17online, scientists at West Virginia University have discovered "zombie cicadas" - made that way after they are infected with a psychedelic fungus which makes the cicada do its bidding. How does it do that? Researchers say it's along the same lines as how rabies changes host animals' behavior. However - instead of making the host more "bitey", it makes them, uh...more sexy.
The psychedelic fungus can manipulate male cicadas into flicking their wings like females – a mating call – which tempts unsuspecting male cicadas and infects them.
And then the fungus takes over. It's not pretty (if you're a cicada). And then there's this line: "researchers say they’re generally harmless to humans".
Oh. "Generally". That's gonna ease everyone's mind here in the amusement park we call "2020".
Here's the story. Yes, that photo above is the cicada in my backyard. Right after that I started dancing and things got blurry. Not from the fungus. That's just a standard Saturday for me.