They were not treated well, they didn’t get paid, and they weren’t allowed to go home. In the folktale, they said that a voodoo god took them from their graves and transported them back to Africa.
Voodoo (sometimes spelled odor) is a religion in some parts of the world, including in Haiti. It is thought that the slaves taken to Haiti brought their beliefs in voodoo with them.
If people upset Baron Named when they were alive, they risked being turned into zombies. Baron Named seems to be pretty scary and wears a top hat, a big black coat and sometimes has a skull for a face.
Baron Named is said to wear a top hat, just like this little Lego ‘zombie’. Flickr/Clement127, CC BY In other folktales from Haiti, zombies are believed to be created by sorcerers.
Once drunk, this poison is said to be able to make the person look and act like they were dead. A bit over 100 years ago, these Haitian tales began to reach the United States.
On TV shows today, there are lots of different reasons why zombies are created. Sometimes, storytellers explain that people are turned into zombies through breathing in dangerous chemicals or through catching mysterious diseases.
But remember, in such modern-day folktales, designed to frighten us, there is also a hero or heroine there to save the day. Other traits of interest would be rotting or dead flesh, a trance-like state, inability to communicate other than perhaps moaning, a slow shuffling gait and if we’re lucky the penchant for biting people.
One of these species, Ophiocordyceps unilateralism sense late, specifically infects, controls, and kills carpenter ants (Camponotus castanets), native to North America. The ants become compelled to climb to the top of elevated vegetation, where they remain affixed and die.
Share on Pinterest A species of parasitic wasps takes full control of small, social spiders, driving them to their death. A. Eximius spiders are social animals that prefer to remain in groups, never straying too far from their colonies.
But Fernandez-Fournier and team noticed that members of this species infected with Zapata larva exhibited bizarre behavior, leaving their colony to weave tightly-spun, cocoon-like webs in remote locations. When the researchers opened these artificial “cocoons,” they found Zapata larvae growing inside.
When the egg hatches and the wasp larva emerges, it starts feeding on the spider and begins to take control of its body. Share on Pinterest A newly ‘reanimated’ giant virus from the Siberian permafrost offers a chilling warning of possible dangers to come.
In 2014, researchers from the Center National DE la Recherché Scientific at AIX–Marseille University in France dug a fascinating organism out of the Siberian permafrost: a so-called giant virus, about 30,000 years old, which they named Retrovirus Siberia. The size of giant viruses, as well as the fact that they contain such a large amount of DNA, can make them particularly dangerous, explain the researchers who discovered P. Siberia since they can stick around for an extremely long time.
Yet Laverne and Bergen warn that there may be similar giant viruses buried inside the permafrost that could prove dangerous to humans. Though they have remained safely contained so far, global heating and human action could cause them to resurface and come back to life, which might bring about unknown threats to health.
In 1997, the two published a study paper in The Lancet in which they analyzed the cases of three individuals from Haiti whose communities had identified as zombies. The final case study concerned another woman who had “died” at 18 but was spotted again as a zombie 13 years after this event.
The first “zombie” had catatonic schizophrenia, a rare condition that makes the person act as though they are walking in a stupor. “People with a chronic schizophrenic illness, brain damage, or learning disability are not uncommonly met with wandering in Haiti, and they would be particularly likely to be identified as lacking volition and memory which are characteristics of a zombie,” the researchers write in their paper.
Researchers report that “is suicide note revealed that he wanted to kill himself as he feared spreading a deadly infection to the villagers who resultantly might suffer from cancer.” Its spores infect other ants, which lets the zombie cycle begin anew.
The wasp larva on its back controls the spider’s brain, forcing it to spin a special web. That new web will protect the larva as it develops into an adult wasp. In order to grow and spread, this fungus must hijack an ant’s brain.
Zombie crickets, beetles and praying mantises drown themselves in water. Zombie rats are drawn to the smell of the pee of cats that may devour them.
In order to accomplish these tricks, some parasites have evolved the ability to hack into the host’s brain and influence its behavior in very specific ways. Every parasite has its own method, but the process usually involves altering chemicals within the victim’s brain.
Researchers are working hard to identify which chemicals are involved and how they end up so bizarrely altering their host’s behavior. She is a biologist who studies parasites at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
True zombies, she points out, aren’t exactly like the type you find in horror stories. One parasite causes infected rats to become attracted to the smell of cat pee.
This helps the parasite because it needs a cat to eat the rat for its life cycle to continue. User2547783c_812/istockphotoThe horsehair worm, for instance, needs to emerge in water. To make this happen, it forces its insect host to leap into a lake or swimming pool.
Toxoplasma Gandhi (TOX-oh-PLAZ-ma GON-dee-eye) is a single-celled creature that can only complete its life cycle inside a cat. To ensure this part-time host gets eaten by a cat, the parasite turns rats into cat-loving zombies.
So she and her team have been studying a species related to the Ophiocordyceps fungus in Thailand. This is likely due to the fact that trees and plants in this state lose their leaves in the winter.
There, her team infected a few species of ant with the South Carolina fungus. But the fungus made plant-climbing zombies only out of the species that it naturally infects in the wild.
To figure out what was going on, DE Becker’s team collected new, uninfected ants of each species. South Carolina photographer Kim Fleming discovered affected ants in her backyard.
When the fungus was exposed to its favorite brains (that is, ones from the ants that it naturally infects in the wild), it released thousands of chemicals. The experiments at Penn State by DE Becker’s team were the first to create ant zombies in the lab.
And the researchers only succeeded after setting up artificial 24-hour cycles of light and darkness for the zombies and their parasites. It will take more work to learn how the parasite’s chemicals lead to zombie behavior in ants.
She now studies ant zombies at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. There, she is now probing how that daily cycle of sunlight and darkness affects modification.
It spins a nursery of sorts for the wriggly, worm-like wasp baby stuck to its back. He studies insect behavior and ecology at Kobe University in Japan.
The extra strong threads most likely help the larva stay safe until it emerges from its cocoon 10 days later. In this video, the zombie spider has finished weaving an extra strong web for the wasp larva.
(Although A. mentor is a close relative of the jewel wasp, Liberal notes that researchers have not yet confirmed that it also turns cockroaches or any other insect into mindless slaves.) She targets a specific part of the roach’s brain, turning it into a zombie. From the Laboratory of Professor Liberal at Ben Guion UniversityLibersat’s group has focused its research on figuring out what the jewel wasp does to the cockroach mind.
That venom might interfere with a chemical in the roach’s brain called dopamine, Liberal reports. This chemical helps the cockroach stay alert, walk and perform other tasks.
When researchers injected a substance similar to dopamine into zombie cockroaches, the insects again began walking. But Hammersmith, who was not involved in the research, notes that Liberal’s team has worked out this chemical process in more detail than is available for most types of zombie mind control.
She studies California billfish infected with a worm called Euhaplorchis Californians (YU-ha-PLOR-kis CAL-ih-for-nee-EN-sis). An infected fish will still eat normally and stay in a group with its pals.
Hammersmith now is working with Gyving Overly at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, in As. Researchers know what chemical changes should happen to a billfish brain when something, such as the sight of a bird on the prowl, stresses it out.
Parasites have developed their control of other creatures’ brains over millions of years of evolution. Scientists have found fossil evidence of fungus-controlled ants dating back 48 million years.
Over this long period, she says, “the fungus ‘learned’ a lot more about how the ant’s brain works than human scientists have.” Figuring out the secrets of zombie mind control in bugs could help neuroscientists understand more about the links between the brain and behavior in people.