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The zombie mushroom in The Last of Us is not fictional; But can it infect humans?

So far, only two episodes of the TV series “The last survivor of us” or Last of Us It’s out and everyone’s talking about the zombie-making fungus that’s going to end our modern world. For a world that is still feeling the effects of a real apocalypse, the natural question is, can the story of this apocalyptic series become a reality?

Before we answer the question, we suggest you watch the trailer below to get a general idea of ​​what we’re going to talk about if you haven’t had the chance to watch The Last of Us yet.

Apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic movies and TV series are not to everyone’s taste. Some watch them to see the fate of the world in the event of an uncontrollable and unpredictable event such as a deadly virus outbreak or an asteroid impact. But most people follow these stories because of the unknown hero who goes against the anti-heroes to fulfill his mission. Others, like us, wonder if it is possible for them to become reality or not.

Zombie mushroom

When the post-apocalyptic movie28 days later» was released, no one imagined that one day in our lifetime, the streets would be deserted thanks to the spread of a virus. Perhaps the virus story was too close to reality for the producers of the new HBO series, who instead relied on zombie mushrooms.

There isn’t much room for creativity when it comes to a fungus that can infect a living being and control its behavior. Sarcmakhiis a name given to a type of mushrooms with such ability and known since almost a century ago. Tom PatchBritish mycologist first described them in 1931 and today science has identified at least 140 species of fungi that infect insects. They have previously inspired movies and video games, including The Last of Us.

And yes, weevils infect insects the same way the zombie fungus infects humans in The Last of Us. Victims infected with the fungus usually lose control and, under the influence of the infection, move towards a point, such as a high branch, so that the spores of the fungus can spread over a large area.

Is it possible to infect humans?

Interestingly, the series itself begins by explaining a scenario in which the fungus has evolved and started infecting humans instead of attacking insects. The reason for this is that humans have warmed the planet with their activities, and now the fungus must evolve to survive in higher temperatures.


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