Now We Have Zombie Cicadas

Researchers for West Virginia University are reporting a strange phenomenon.

They're called "Zombie Cicadas." PLOS Pathogens says the large insects are actually regular Cicadas but are infected by a psychedelic fungus similar to hallucinogenic mushrooms. After a while, their limbs fall off and their body rots.

Once a cicada is infected, it tries to infect others Cicadas by mating with them. The males to flick their wings to make a humming sound that is typically made by females. That attracts other males whom they then infect with the deadly disease.

It's unclear how the Cicadas first become infected since they live below ground between 13 to 17 years.

The good news is "Zombie Cicadas" appear to be harmless to humans.

Graph courtesy of West Virginia University

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