The Last of Us is a new video game about the zombie apocalypse. But not just any zombie apocalypse. The Last of Us zombies are based heavily, and accurately, on a genus of parasitic fungus that really does take over the brains and bodies of non-human animals like tarantulas and ants. Kyle Hill has a lot of delightfully horrifying things to tell you about this fungus at the Overthinking It blog.

9 Responses to “Video game lets you kill the most scientifically accurate zombies yet”

  1. jandrese says:

    I’m just glad to see a zombie game/book/movie where the explanation isn’t “supervirus”.  Sure, superfungus isn’t a huge stretch, but at least it’s something. 

  2. penguinchris says:

    Looks and sounds really neat – I’m not a fan of the zombie genre but they’ve made this a lot more interesting than normal.

    It does seem, though, like they missed the opportunity to use the “cat poop parasite” – apparently up to a third of the world’s human population already carries a toxoplasma infection, which is perfect “realistic” zombie fiction fodder. Perhaps that’s for the sequel – once most of humanity is wiped out by the parasitic fungus, cats are poised to take over by pooping on the survivors.

    • g33dav3y says:

       Even more interesting is the relationship between Toxo and hoarding, including hoarding cats. I theorize that the reason people love cats is the Toxo virus and not the other way around. IT’S ALREADY ALTERING OUR MINDS

    • AnathemaDevious says:

      Hodgman already did the Toxo story. They founded their own nation, populated entirely by morose men and sexually adventurous women, shortly before the blood wave consumed most of the continental united states.

  3. Reed James says:

    I find it interesting how magical creatures become more popular in pop culture while at the same time magical explanations for them get less popular and are replaced by more and more scientific explanations.  Blade, Legend, and resident evil have viral Vampires and really Virus seems to be the cause of almost all supernatural conditions.  I find it somewhat awkward when True Blood uses Magical/religious explanations for the creatures on the show.  

  4. Zombies, video games, and insect related science- could it get any more wonderful?

  5. Preston Sturges says:

    There was an X Files episode involving a fungus like that which would burst out of the victims forehead in a cloud of spores.

  6. Derek Sajbel says:

    you know, hate to burst the bubble of your use of “yet” in the headline, but Resident Evil 4 also referenced this ant fungus as related explanation of the “zombies” in it’s game, and that was 8 years ago.  Last of Us however does drive it home harder.

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