First there were murder hornets — now get ready for sex-crazed zombie cicadas dubbed "flying salt shakers of death." A psychedelic fungus that eats away the genitals of cicadas turns them sex-mad to help spread it further — and the zombie insects are reportedly expected among Brood X that is emerging in New York. The fungus, Massospora cicadina — which has chemicals similar to hallucinogenic mushrooms — infect the insects during the 13 to 17 years they spend underground, scientists at West Virginia University have said. Once they emerge above ground as adults, the cicadas lose the back part of their bodies, including their butts and genitals — but appear completely oblivious. Not only do the winged insects behave as if nothing is wrong, the fungus makes them try to mate with everything they encounter to help spread it further. They "engage in hypersexual behaviors," the university’s assistant professor of forest pathology, Matt Kasson, told Science Daily in 2019.
Source: FOX News