Yes, hypothetically we can be transformed into brain loving zombies. A scary answer to a scary question.However, before going out to buy a chainsaw to cut those zombies in half please be aware that a human zombie has never existed.
The rest of the animal kingdom isn’t so lucky. Different types of fungi, parasites, and pathogens have altered the life of other organisms and transformed them into zombies. One of the most graphic examples is Leucochloridium paradoxum, a tapeworm which has been observed to infect and take control of snails. After inserting itself into the snail’s body, the tapeworm slowly spreads and concentrates in its eye stalks making these look like tasty green caterpillars. In turn this makes the snail more eye-catching for hungry birds that are an intermediate host for this parasite. If that is not gory enough just wait for the zombie part.
The flatworm makes the snail do its bidding by exposing itself during daylight. By staying on the highest leaves pulsing the eye stalks making them look like tasty morsels ready for the picking by the hungry birds above.
This case is not unique. There are other species which are known to be zombified: ants, flies, crickets, and others. At the time of writing no fungus, parasite, bacteria, or virus has been found to infect and transform humans. Till then there is no need to get your zombie-proof chainsaw and sawn-off shotgun. •
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