Friday, November 24, 2006

A Killer Fungus: or a tragedy called Cordyceps


(Expedisi Kulamba, Universiti Malaysia Sabah)

Yep, I have a thing about fungi now.

Here’s a cicada corpse. My perverse husband rejoices in these things. This insect was infected with a fungus growth that sent it mad. Something in that fungus made the poor cicada go to the underside of a leaf and cling there, nicely placed for the dispsersal of fungi spores. And there it slowly died as the fungus took over its body.

Jeff VanderMeer must have found his inspsiration in Cordyceps.

8 comments:

madcap machinist said...

Are you certain that it is cordyceps?

The pictures of cordyceps that I have seen look like mushrooms (or, like in this picture, webbing)

I think that is another kind of fungus, but I'm no expert...

Glenda Larke said...

Yep, Cordyceps comes in all kinds...husband is giving a paper on them next week. Some of them look like exploding firewords. they are all equally murderous.

madcap machinist said...

*shivers and takes a shower*

Glenda Larke said...

Firewords? Hmm. Ok, fireworks. Although firewords does add a certain something to the concept...

Anonymous said...

This has happened in the U.S. at a very high level. The same type of fungus has taken over George W. Bush, which explains a lot.

JeffV

Glenda Larke said...

Lol, Jeff!

Although I shouldn't be laughing. He's still dispersing spores....

hrugaar said...

Amazing. Okay, maybe a tad gruesome, with the fascination of watching a train crash, but amazing.

I'm sure there's loads of allegories/analogies there about things that drive us mad and use us to spread the infection. Consumerism, the finance industry, fanaticism (religious or political), addiction to pornography, live TV ...

Glenda Larke said...

Live TV susre drives me mad. Dunno about resulting in me spreading infection though. Hmmm.