Popular Science

There's a zombie attack happening right now. It involves crickets.

Excerpt: Plight of the Living Dead
crickets on an egg carton

Hopefully, none of these crickets are playing host to parasitic worms.

In a muggy room at the University of New Mexico, packed with racks of plastic tanks, themselves packed with snails, biologist Ben Hanelt and undergrad Rachel Swanteson-Franz cultivate nematomorph zombie worms. On account of some of the snails having tropical tendencies, the temperature is set to precisely 82 degrees Fahrenheit (according to a comically large Flavor Flav-style thermometer hung from one of the racks). It smells like you’d expect over 100 tanks of snails to smell at precisely 82 degrees.

Swanteson-Franz fills a Pyrex bowl with a finger or two of water, pulls a cricket from a bin, and drops it in. As soon as its host hits the water, the nematomorph makes its move, squirming

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