2020 Level 8: Zombie Cicadas Have Returned
Let me start by saying these cicadas are not a danger to humans, they are just incredibly strange. These cicadas are deemed "zombie cicadas" because a fungus basically overtakes a third of their body and they can continue on with daily activities.
Again, I am not trying to scare anyone, it is just a strange thing and with 2020 being as strange as it is, I find it interesting. The insects, according to research, are infected with a fungus called Massosopora which apparently acts as a psychedelic and it causes spores to eat away at parts of the body of the cicada.
This fungus can be transferred to other cicadas through the mating process. Apparently, even with 1/3 of their body covered in this fungus and decay they can still go about their daily lives and eat, mate and do whatever cicadas do.
They were originally found in West Virginia and scientists are basically comparing this fungus to something like rabies. The fungus can pretty much manipulate the cicada to do what is in the best interest of the fungus rather than the insect. So crazy!
Again, they are not a danger to humans this is just another bizarre thing that we are learning about in the year 2020. The first one however, was discovered last year. It is just becoming more prevalent now that scientists are doing more research.