It’s real: The nightmare mushroom from The Last of Us is out there, says the showrunner

When viewers finally got to see the debut of the video game adaptation, many couldn’t help but wonder if the parasitic fungus taking over humans and turning them into zombie-like mutants had any basis in reality.

“It’s real,” showrunner Craig Mazin said she told The Hollywood Reporter. “There are some great documentaries that you can watch that are absolutely terrifying.”

He points to footage showing how the Cordyceps fungus can basically defeat insects like ants.

a 2019 National Geographic report It details how “the fungus infects foraging ants through spores that attach and penetrate their exoskeleton and slowly take over their behaviour”.

“As the infection progresses, the witch ant is forced to leave its nest for a local climate that is more humid and conducive to the growth of the fungus. The ant is forced to descend to a lookout post about 10 inches off the ground, plunges its jaws into a leafy vein on the north side of the plant, and awaits death.” .

But don’t head to your survival hideout just yet.

From a purely scientific point of view, will they do to us exactly what they do to ants? I don’t think so,” Mazen told THR. “I doubt it.”

In the show, climate change is causing fungi to mutate to infect humans. Actually, The Washington Post reports Not only are humans already exposed to many types of fungi, but some people actively seek them out.

In fact, it is found in health supplements.

“It appears that the fungus has some benefits for humans,” the newspaper said, adding that Memorial Sloan-Kettering website It lists “improved strength and endurance, improved kidney function and a boosted immune system” as possible benefits…but warns readers to talk to a doctor before trying it.

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