Science & Technology
Could the zombie fungus from 'The Last of Us' ever really exist ?
By T.K. Randall
February 14, 2023 · 28 comments
Could 'The Last Of Us' ever happen for real ? Image Credit: Pixabay / TomaszProszek
Could a fungus 'zombify' humans and bring about the end of the world like in the hit game and TV show ?
'The Last of Us', which premiered a few weeks ago on HBO, follows the story of Joel and Ellie - two survivors of a post-apocalyptic world dominated by zombies infected with a mutant fungus.
The show, which is based on the hit video game of the same name, presents a disaster scenario that offers a unique twist on the 'zombie virus' concept that is more typical of this type of setting.
But could a fungus really turn people into zombies and bring about the end of the world ?Scientific American
recently spoke to Tom Chiller - chief of the Mycotic Diseases Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - about this very possibility.
Thankfully, though, he was highly skeptical of the idea that such a scenario could ever happen for real.
"It's far-fetched," he said. "That's just not going to happen."
The show mentions an actual real-life 'zombie' fungus - Ophiocordyceps unilateralis
- that can hijack the body of an ant, seemingly proving the idea that fungus can infect and take over a host.
According to Chiller, however, this fungus would have taken a very long time to evolve and insects are far more basic creatures than humans with simpler internal organs and a lower body temperature.
There are no known examples capable of infecting mammals.
In all likelihood, evolving the means with which to infect humans would probably take millions of years.
In other words, we won't be seeing clickers or shamblers in the real-world anytime soon.
Source: Scientific American
| Comments (28)
Please Login or Register to post a comment.