Logo for Gossamer Media
mentality character

Mental Health Is Bound Up In Social Health

No member, as part of society, can live for one’s self and progress. If we extend ourselves, not only do we expand our minds, all of society receives the full benefit of its common growth and advancement. But if in nature we are selfish, manipulative, hateful, prejudiced, bigoted, and seek to draw for ourselves alone, we not only contract society, we make society toxic. The ill-effects on society is not much different from the destruction that can be brought about by Nature’s zombies.

The Journal of Experimental Biology published an article – co-authored by Shelly A. Adamo, a Killam Professor at Dalhousie, Canada, and Joanne P. Webster, Professor of Parasite Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, Imperial College London, UK (link) – dedicated to zombies in Nature. Their research brought to light how viruses, fungi, protozoans, wasps, tapeworms and a vast number of other parasites can control the brains of their hosts and get them to do their bidding.

zombie spider web
A focus of the research was on the Anelosimus Octavius, a species of spider in the rain forests of Costa Rica that sometimes displays a strange and ghoulish habit. Occasionally these spiders abandon their own webs and build completely different ones. This begins after a parasitic wasp (of the genus Zatypota) attacks a host spider, temporarily paralyzing it as the wasp lays eggs on the tip of the spider's abdomen.
parasitic wasp manipulate

Once the wasp (shown left) departs, the spider regains its ability to move, and it continues its daily web construction for the next two weeks as though nothing has changed. With the wasp's growing larvae clinging to the spider's belly and feed on its juices, it starts building a completely different style web. Not for itself, but for the parasitic wasp that has been living inside it.

After the completion, the spider – a zombie architect – dies from the parasite’s toxins, its brain hijacked by its parasitic invader, and out of its body crawls the wasp’s larva, which has been growing inside it all this time. The wasp larva crawls to the edge of the platform and spins a cocoon that hangs down through an opening that the spider has generously provided for the parasite. The new web is ideally suited to the invading wasp.

Unlike the spider’s normal web (below left), an orb made of a delicate weaving of threads, this zombie design (below right) has a platform covered by a thick sheet that protects it from wind and rain, and to safeguard it from the ants that inhabit the forest floor.

Stacks Image 2883
zombie spider web
Do human fair any better against such zombie (or phantom) attacks from other humans? No! The way by which zombie parasites manipulate species of animistic kingdom can be explained in the same way a “tulpa,” or “thought-form” can affect another human being. Continued ...