HBO’s The Last of Us may have tackled a real threat to humanity after a fungi expert confirmed the reality of the Cordyceps infection. The apocalyptic show revealed the fall of civilization as the fungi destroy all living things, leaving a trail of hopelessness and desolation.
The premise of the video game-turned-series differs from that of the usual zombie horror stories where cities are crumbling, and humans become rabid. The show, however, takes inspiration from that and uses nature as the root cause of destruction.
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Fungi Expert Debunks Theory About The Last Of Us Cordyceps Infection
Mycologist Paul Stamets explained the concept of the fungal infection on Twitter and revealed the truth behind Cordyceps:
“I have just finished watching the second episode of #TheLastOfUs and I have two opinions. First, I’m a science-fiction fan and I love weaving the creative elements of fungi into the narrative. But let’s get real. Cordyceps cannot infect humans.”
While the said fungus cannot touch humans, as mentioned by Stamets, it can, however, serve as the best solution to our everyday problems.
“In reality, Fungi offer us today some of the best solutions that are needed for solving many of the existential threats that we face. In fact, Cordyceps-like fungi could replace the majority of chemical pesticides with an ecologically rational and economically scalable solution.”
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He concluded the post with a warning and a message to every human on the planet:
“Fungi will never be defeated. Our survival depends on a peace treaty with Fungi. Mycologists can help by being the ambassadors….to our friends, the fantastic Fungi!”
With this enlightening explanation about Cordyceps, it would be easy to understand how and why the infection grew and spread in the series. Stamets commended the creators of the show for their creativity and for bringing awareness to the public about the benefits and dangers of fungi.
In conclusion, Cordyceps is not as infectious as presented in The Last of Us, and they will never pose a threat to humanity.
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Cordyceps In The Last Of Us Are More Horrifying Than In Real Life
The type of Cordyceps in The Last of Us contaminates a body, takes over the mind, and persuades it to spread the infection to as many other hosts as possible. The horrifying prosthetics in the show make it more difficult to look at, and the corrupted body suddenly loses all of its motor controls. They have, however, tendrils that allow them to locate humans and communicate with other infected ones.
The series was able to differentiate clickers from zombies. The undead is usually depicted as a rotting corpse, but infected bodies in The Last of Us are incapable of decomposition as the fungi take over the host. But, this is the least of human problems, because what is more terrifying is the fact that they can still evolve into a more dangerous form.
The Last of Us is now streaming on HBO.
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