It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Zombie Caterpillars Rain Death From The Treetops

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 05:30 PM
Zombie Caterpillars Rain Death From The Treetops

A report by researcher Kelli Hoover in the Sept edition of LiveScience ,shows us the discovery of a gene in caterpillars that makes them unresistant to a virus called baculovirus ,that literally takes control of their brains and makes them become zombies and makes them climb to the the treetops to die ,where their bodies liquify and rain down to the ground ,infecting other caterpillars.

Gypsy moth caterpillar

A single gene in a caterpillar virus sends its victims running for the treetops, where they die and their bodies liquefy, sending an ooze of virus particles on their brothers and sisters below.
This species of baculovirus infects only gypsy moth caterpillars, essentially turning them into zombies.

It stops the caterpillars from molting and sends them up into the tree leaves during the day (a behavior they normally save for the cover of darkness), where they die among the leaves as they wait to molt.

"They die there, and then they melt within hours after they die, and they are dripping virus down onto the leaves below," said study researcher Kelli Hoover, of Pennsylvania State University. "We knew before that this behavior benefits the virus, but we didn't know how it was causing the behavior."

An Infected Caterpillar

The gene, named egt, interferes with the caterpillar's molting hormone and seems to play a role in the caterpillar's urge to climb.

They discovered this amazing property by infecting caterpillars with a normal baculovirus and the same virus lacking the egt gene. The caterpillars infected with the virus that didn't have egt died at the bottom of specially made enclosures (tall soda bottles) meant to mimic their natural environments.

Those caterpillars infected with the virus containing egt died clinging to the top of the bottles, with little chance of spreading the virus to siblings since that would mean others would have to walk over a puddle of goo to get infected.

Not only does the virus send the caterpillars crawling upward, it also stops them from molting, which is a major help to the virus since molting caterpillars don't eat, don't grow, and therefore produce less virus-containing goo.

An Infected Caterpillar as it Liquefy and rains viral particles on the foliage below to infect others

Each drop of caterpillar goo contains millions of viruses.

This virus will even survive in the gut of birds feeding on them ,to be rained down upon others ,from above in their feces.
Another example where a parasite controls another organism is the fungus-infected zombie ants were they are lured to their death by their parasite and another is called Toxoplasmosis which makes infected mice look for cats ,for the parasite's ultimate host to spread infection.

But the odd thing about this is its a virus not a fungi like the ants ,the common cold is a virus.

Author Jim Slavicek of the U.S. Forest Service made a good point when he said

"Who knew that a virus could change the behavior of its host?"

"Maybe this is why we go to work when we have a cold."

So it kinda makes you wonder ,could the human species ever be affected by a virus like this one ,the zombie apocalypse could well be a reality one day ,who knows ?

For more detailed information.
Source List:
Nationa l Geographic

edit on 14-9-2011 by TheMaverick because: Its a full moon

posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 05:39 PM
reply to post by TheMaverick

That's just ghastly. Keep Monsanto away from this thread. They'll isolate that gene and have some Government backed fun with it.

posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 05:39 PM
Lol the title is EVERYTHING xD

Nice find though, even though I already knew about this

it reminds me of cortacepts
edit on 14-9-2011 by spw184 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 05:40 PM

Good yet gross thread.

In answer to your question I think it's possible if not probable.

Super Bugs Are Coming

I don't think we'll be climbing trees, but melting, groooooo, maybe.


posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 05:41 PM

Now that is very weird and can be probable for beta human testers. lol Wonder if the human will climb to the tress and liquify?

posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 05:41 PM
S&F for you, my friend.

i guess it's decided then, 2012 isn't planets or global warming, it's zombie caterpillars.

posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 06:03 PM
I'm reminded of the movie Tremors, where Michael Gross (survivalist) comments on what he thought he was protecting his family from, and finally says "God daxx underground monsters"

posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 06:06 PM
Great post with even better title!

Nature can be truly disgusting yet amazing at the same time. Interesting about the virus surviving a birds gut too. Bird crap splattered on yer heid with some added goodness .... zombie virus!

edit on 14-9-2011 by Ficargul because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-9-2011 by Ficargul because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 06:17 PM
***********CDC FLASH ALERT*********************

September 28 - Virus Mutates to infect all known species of birds

October 7 - Virus mutates and infects first known humans, believed to have been dove hunters in the midwest region of North America

October 17 - Virus appears in a Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina

October 21 - Virus mutates again

October 23 - First casualties reported from ZCV (Zombie Caterpillar Virus)

October 24 - Dead start to rise and seek to consume brains of the living

October 25 - National guard attempts to quarantine the city of Charlotte, North Carolina

October 26 - Virus has appeared in Paris France, London England, New York City, Toronto Canada, Mexico City. Government is going into hiding.

Octo...oct....I feel funny...was bitten by a woman I tried to help today on the way....way home from work....feel funny...strange feeling....des....desire....desire BBBBBBRRRRAAAIIINNNNNNZZZZZZ

posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 06:19 PM
I would like to throw up now.
man I really hate parasites and things in nature that do these type of things.
For every pretty flower in nature there is something like this.

posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 07:22 PM
Well the next time any of you walk through wooded areas ,and you feel something dripping on you ,don't look up ,it could be zombie caterpillars on the attack

Here is another zombie version of caterpillars ,but this time its a wasp parasite ,instead of a virus like baculovirus ,but still ,you can see the parasite take control of the caterpillar until it's fulfilled it use and kills its host.

posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 12:11 AM
reply to post by TheMaverick

uggg, i was sitting outside today and something orangeish yellow dripped on my arm. It didn't smell all that great and i have no idea what it was. i figured a big bug shat on me......

posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 12:15 AM
reply to post by TheMaverick

So it kinda makes you wonder ,could the human species ever be affected by a virus like this one

This thread is great in its implications. And it has me strangely trapped in between laughing hysterically and being awed by the possibilities. Only on ATS, right?

As far as I know there is nothing keeping this from being possible with human beings except for maybe divine providence. The Zombies would be a little disappointing though, as all they would do is climb up on high stuff and jump down hoping the droplet spray would nail other humans.

That is probably why we won't see this in human beings; the virus would run out of vectors too quickly. With the caterpillars it is probably because their reproductive cycle is optimal for this kind of strategy (falling from great heights). So I am guessing that if humans could contract a virus that took over their brains the 'run around and bite other humans' strategy might be chosen by the virus over the 'fall from great heights' strategy.

See what your kooky thread made me write.

Still not sure whether it is OK to laugh.
edit on 15-9-2011 by Frater210 because:

posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 12:17 AM
I always thought War of the Worlds was kinda cheesy. A virus? Right.....

Huh. Not so cheesy now, I guess.

Learn something new every day.

posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 12:26 AM

Now I have the major heebie jeebies.... that does it, no more walks through the bush. Or at least not without a damn umbrella !

The thoughts of some liquified virus ridden dead thing dripping on me ?!

posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 12:29 AM
Very cool, there are a few things like this...another is a parasitic worm(gordian worm)....grows inside the host, makes it drown itself and then breaks out of the hosts body(Ouch). Im not sure if the viruses mentioned in your post can do the same to humans, i certainly hope not though.
Oh heres a cool video.

edit on 15-9-2011 by Solomons because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 12:51 AM
reply to post by TheMaverick


there is a fungus that infects ants like that.

there is a thread here about it somewhere.

posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 04:37 AM
reply to post by TheMaverick

its a bit scary that there are viruses/fungi/insects that can control host minds in order to survive and spread. whats even scarier is that scientists are playing around with this stuff.
would it be possible for any of these things to infect humans? and if so would it result in a zombie apocalypse??

who knows, *man, i gotta get me a shotgun*

posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 05:00 AM
Haha cool! Nature is so awesome!

Reminds me of the parasite that infects slugs, and in the slim they leave behind, ant's pick it up and get infected, which zombifys them, and they climb to the top of grass blades and get eaten by cows, which then infects the cows.... Can't find what I'm thinking, but I saw it on Discovery channel or something...

posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 07:31 AM
reply to post by Solomons

Good lord that worm parasite was huge compared to that poor little cricket! I can't even imagine how it all fit i there!

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in