Outside the Lines: Headless Zombie Ant Parade
From 'The Walking Dead' to 'Marvel Zombies' to the undead 'Ultimate Fantastic Four,' comics has had a love affair with zombies that it can't seem to quit. Think that the animated undead exist only in the world of fiction? Think again.
Researchers in Texas have discovered a new way of dealing with the fire ant infestations that have been causing millions of dollars in damage: releasing a parasitic South America fly that lays its eggs inside the heads of ants, which then hatch and eat their brains. But wait, we're not through yet! The brainless ants don't actually die -- they wander around like zombies for two weeks without their brains, until their heads finally fall off, and the fly emerges to inject its eggs into another ant and begin the cycle anew.
This isn't the first time that scientists have dealt with real-life zombies -- wasps that turn cockroaches into zombies and then lead them around like dogs on leashes were all the rage two years ago, and the Mental Floss blog has a rundown of zombie snails, crabs, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and fish that are equally freaky.