Monday, November 10, 2014

Alien movies aren't too far from the Truth

I am talking about Alien movies directed by Ridley Scott, starting Tom Skerritt, and Sigourney Weaver.

I am reading this National Geographic issue of November 2014 titled "Real Zombies: The Strange Science of the Living Dead". It's also called "Meet Nature's Nightmare: MINDSUCKERS." It's talking about some of the parasites that exist on this planet that use their hosts. And when they are done with everything they needed, they take over the host's brain and make it commit suicide. Of course it's different in every case. But this is what happens to a house cricket when it scavenges dead insects. The horsehair worm invades its body. The larvae of the parasite gets inside the cricket, and then grows inside its body. When the worm is fully grown, it takes over the brain of the cricket, and makes it jump in the nearest lake or body of water. The cricket dies, and the worm emerges.

But it doesn't end there. There is this wasp called Dinocampus coccinellae, that uses a ladybug to carry its eggs. It finds a ladybug, stings it into its underside, inserting eggs along with chemicals. When the larva hatches, it feeds on the ladybug's insides. So the ladybug goes on about eating other insects, while larvae feeds on their remains inside the stomach. When a few weeks goes by, the larvae is large enough to leave its host. It exits out through a chink of the ladybug's exoskeleton.

But it gets even worse. From now on, the ladybug is a slave. It's free of the wasp's larva parasite, but its mind is controlled. So all it does is protects the silk cocoon beneath it from any predators that dare go near it. At the end of this hideous ordeal, most ladybugs die.

There is many other cases, but one other one is about this parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which effects mice and rats. It can create thousands of cysts in the brain of its host. But in order for it to reproduce, it needs a cat. So what does it do? It takes over the brain of a rat or a mice, and the rat completely loses its fear of cats. Instead of being scared, it becomes curious of the scent of a cat's urine. So it goes towards the scent and BAM, gets eaten. Then Toxoplasma reproduces in the cat's excrement. The parasite doesn't reach cat's brain, but hey now it multiplied, and on to the next cycle. Here is one video I found on NG website.

There is lots more about frogs that commit suicide by going towards herons, ants, spiders, and caterpillars. It just kind of reminded of Alien movies. If you think that sort of stuff is a work of science fiction, think again. It's happening right here on this planet. And if it's happening on Earth, which is like a tiny grain of sand compared to how humungus the Universe really is, what makes you think it isn't happening somewhere else? After all, "out there" is really "here." To the beings that live on the other side of the cosmos, we are "out there." But to us, it's the complete opposite.

I don't know if the guy who wrote Alien movies is a complete genius, or maybe he just studied a lot of animal life on our planet. Either way, this is some scary shit that's fascinating at the same time.

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