- Group: Ophiocordycipitaceae
You likely know the Ophiocordyceps parasite most from the Last of Us video game series. This is essentially what turned humans into zombies that everyone had to somehow escape before being infected themselves. It is a parasitic fungus that usually latches onto various insect species, and it is mostly found in Africa. In ants, it is said that Ophiocordyceps does some pretty impressive things. Once it attaches itself to an ant, it will force it to climb up and attach itself to the underside of a leaf. It could be on any plant or tree, as long as it is at least 25 centimeters off the ground.
Once the ant does this, its purpose has been served and the Ophiocordyceps will begin to grow. Due to being done with the ant, it removes itself from the species which makes the ant die. From here, the parasite begins to grow on the leaf. After a few days, deadly spores will come out. If humans come in contact with those spores, it infects people pretty easily. It can actually take over a person’s brain if they let it remain in their system long enough. But the big thing is that these are true body-snatching parasites that could potentially make a person insane if it remains inside us for too long. This could be why LU used it for their game series.