Mind Control

Wildlife is wild.

Did you know there is a fungus living in the amazon that has mind control capabilities?  This fungus releases spores that, when they get on an ant, infiltrate the ant’s body until the fungus gains control of the ant’s mind.  The ant no longer goes where ants would normally go.  Instead, it goes in search of a perfect location for fungus to grow.  Once a spot on a tree with just the right shade and moisture is found, the fungus forces the ant to bite down and clamp itself in place.  This becomes the ant’s tomb as the fungus eats what remains of the body and grows to maturity.  A few weeks later the fungus releases thousands of spores to seek out more ants and repeat the cycle.

Mind control.  Freaky, right?

Other animals do it too.  There is a parasite that infects snails.  It grows inside the snail until it gains control of the snail’s brain.  Then, contrary to what a snail would want to do, it goes to the top branches of the local plant life where it becomes easy pickings for the local birds.  To make it even more enticing, the parasite turns the snail’s antennae into something that looks very much like a wiggling maggot—the favorite food of the birds.  Once the snail is eaten by the birds, the parasite reproduces and its offspring end up in the bird droppings which snails love to eat and the cycle repeats.

Another, more gruesome example, is the glyptapanteles wasp (also called the voodoo wasp).  It all starts when a wasp injects up to fifty eggs inside a caterpillar.  For a few weeks, the larvae feed off of the inner tissue of the poor caterpillar and grow as a hidden pulsating mass.  Then the larvae temporarily paralyze the caterpillar and chew their way out of the body.  Gruesome, but not the end of the process.  The caterpillar doesn’t die… yet.  Instead, the larvae huddle together and cocoon themselves while the caterpillar watches over them, having become their slave.  The caterpillar will spin more silk to strengthen their cocoon (normally it would cocoon itself and not show any sort of maternal characteristics).  Then it will stand guard, protecting the larvae rather than foraging for food.  It will do this until it dies of starvation.  Then the wasps finally hatch.

I apologize if you found those three examples to be stomach-churning.  Or maybe you like this stuff.  Youtube has videos of the process if you want to see this happen for yourself (look up “zombie fungus”, “zombie snails” and “parasitoid wasps” to satisfy your curiosity).  In fact, I recommend you watch these things and then, once you are thoroughly grossed out, consider that you are witnessing what sin does to us.  It infects us.  It controls us.  It spreads and creates more sin.  Ultimately, it kills us.

And, like the caterpillar guarding the murderous wasp larvae, people will vehemently defend their sins.  Sure, sin leads to death (Rom. 3:23; Jam. 1:14-15), but we won’t give it up.  We won’t let others take it from us.  We stand guard over our sins, spiritually starving ourselves, and ultimately dying.  Just like the caterpillar.

But unlike the ant, the snail, and the caterpillar who are overpowered and never really stood a chance, we tend to invite sin into our lives.  Maybe if we could see sin as a pulsating larva eating us from the inside out, we’d be more zealous in our efforts to stay away from it.


I can believe a lot of things, but there are limits to my faith.  If anyone claimed brainless fungus can naturally develop the ability to mind control ants and also know how to “drive” them to just the right spot… well, that’s way beyond my limits of belief.  I cannot conceive of minor mutations or natural chemical reactions leading to tiny animals with the power of mind control.  The world can tout the theory of evolution all it wants.  I cannot believe that such amazing things happen naturally, accidentally, and without a Creator. 

Mind control without a designer?  Now that’s crazy.