Tarantula with strange, antler-like fungal appendages

This unhappy fellow is a tarantula that has been colonized by cordyceps, a fungus that "invades and eventually replaces the host tissue." Paging Mr Mieville, your subconscious mind is manifesting again.

Tarantula infected with Cordyceps (i.imgur.com) (via Super Punch)


  1. :-(

    You wouldn’t like him to post those pics of your fungal infection, eh Cory? WHAT HAS BOING BOING BECOME?

  2. This kind of thing horrifies me. What if some day a fungai evolves to grown like this out of someones cheek? Or a puffball growing on someones neck?  So horrific.

      1. Fanged hatred bunny would like to note that, while pretty lousy, papilloma virus induced keratinacious carcinomas are quite different from ghastly fungal growths.

    1. Actually, people do get fungal infections that are similarly serious. Mucormycosis is a good place to start. Also, we often can treat fungal infections these days so we don’t see them progress to their extremes much.  Left alone if the person is unfortunate, they can get really really ugly.

  3. WAIT…. it’s still alive… it’s trying to say something…..

    kiiiiillll meeee…..

    *Cue flamethrower*

    1. To get in a Vandermeer anthology, don’t you basically have to write about squid or fungi, anyway?

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Nor homicidal goat-brained clown-clones brewed in the black-lab of a secret-city, either.

  4. With just a slight change in circumstance, this could make excellent symbiotic camouflage.

    1. This is actually a photo of the Sonoran mimic octopus pretending to be a tarantula infected with cordyceps.

    1. Obligatory “I used to be a tarantula like you until cordyceps grew antlers in the knee” comment.

  5. Holy god, please add this to the list of things I never want to know anything further about.  Amen.

    What I’m trying to say is, “AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

  6. You *really* have to wonder about a god that would spend time designing such lovely little things to let loose on his creation, eh fundies?

    1. Only the fundies who aren’t actively drawn to the fact that their god is the most powerful sadist in the universe really have to wonder…

  7. Sorry but this reminds me so much of John Carpenter’s, “The Thing”. Creepy. I must save this link and image for when someone tells me how kind mother nature is.

    1. They don’t tell you that ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ is for the lucky ones who get to die relatively quickly…

  8. I just looked at my face in the mirror because I knew I had never had this expression on it before. Then I was re-traumatized. 

    No seriously. Where is the fucking unicorn chaser? 

    1.  And fucking unicorns would erase this from your mind?

      Have you never seen the post-coital female unicorn paralyze her mate and implant the fertilized egg-sac ?

      Much less witness those creepy-pointies eating their way free….

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