Friday, January 30, 2015

A Lost World

Imagine a world where parasitic fungi targeted us. Took over the human race, destroyed every living aspect on earth. Took away the significance of the world. I'm talking about a new world where we lived day by day, scavenging. Stealthing through these parasitic creatures. These creatures that are bloodthirsty and detect you by sound. There was an outbreak, that's how it all started. Now we are left to move on, losing family and loved ones. The weak must survive and if you can fight then you must fight. It was the late afternoon, I was tired of staying locked up in this fenced up life. I wanted to explore the real world and breathe the fresh air. Feel the ocean breeze while wiggling my toes in the sand. They told me there was nothing left but I just had to know. I left that night, it was cold and all I could hear was the orchestra of growls as they echoed through the lost city. The lost souls that used to be your friends or friendly strangers. Cars were rusted and covering the city, all the houses were abandoned. Though it was silent and ghostly, I felt lifted. Everything had changed, I never thought it’d be this devastating. What was life now? Living off what I can find and hoping to sleep that night. 

My first encounter was heart wrenching. It was dead silent in this eerie building, I was looking for food. I stopped as soon as I heard that bottle drop. My face turned blue, all the blood left my body and I was mute. I knew what was next, those things would detect me by instinct and attack. I was food to them and all I could see was one of these things running towards me. I've never killed one in my life. How was I supposed to end something that looks like its living? We referred to ourselves as the last ones. They told me that they had no feelings and we had to kill to survive. I mean they weren't human anymore, a parasitic fungus had completely wiped out most of the human race. This virus used to effect insects and use their body's as a host but throughout the years it kept evolving and not only effects insects but infests the living body. Meaning they aren't human anymore, it's just a shell, a lie that they hide in. (If you're familiar with The Last of Us then you will enjoy this series, follow to my page for part 2.)

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Ups and Downs of Fungi

Pioppino Mushroom

When I think of parasitic fungi I picture something harmful. The word parasite comes off as an infestation to me, something you cant get rid of. Though that's harsh, I ended up looking into the good side of fungi. To start off with, they are decomposers which actually helps us a lot because they do our dirty work. Many things we have difficulty cleaning up such as petroleum. this can easily be eaten up from these guys. All these different types of fungi help our community in many different ways like breaking down toxins, metals, and unnecessary trash. They also do a great job at disintegrating our unwanted bacteria and protecting our helpful and necessary bacteria. They can basically be some cool looking bodyguards that aren't always bad.

Another awesome thing is that fungi can also be used for a medical purpose. For example, Penicillin is a well known antibiotic which comes from penicillin mold. How odd is that? Who would think that we would want to use some sort of mold to create an antibiotic. If we've already created uses for certain fungi then imagine the possibilities. There are over 200,000 species out and we have yet to discover the rest that are hidden from us.

Parasitic Bolete

Now to the bad family, the parasitic factor in some fungi can initially destroy a living organism. These suckers do a lot of damage to our environment. They enjoy to use their host, initially as a shelter. It is quite terrifying to think about some sort of parasite taking over your body. They are the world of disease for animals, plants and even humans, as scary as that sounds. You may be wondering on how they survive, they end up damaging the wall tissues and later on use it as a late night snack. It's also very easy to spread, if they were to use a host then they would have the insect or animal get itself eaten by a predator. If the fungi decided to infect a plant then it well have the plant die gives off spores to spread. If you think these creatures can run from parasitic fungi then you are wrong, it is easy for them to get sucked into a terrible life that is run by these parasitic beasts.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Let’s start off with how lazy I am, how I’d much rather stay home and watch TV or prefer to scroll through my phone then pay attention to my teacher. Lets fast forward to why I’m so interested in fungi. I was sitting in Biology class waiting for the clock to tick faster even though it felt as if it was going in slow motion. She spoke about a variety of fungi, usually I don’t pay attention to what she teaches but this in particular caught my eye. I was so intrigued by these different types of fungus. What really caught my attention was when she went over the parasitic fungi. Oh man, this was better than the lame posts on Facebook. She spoke about some sort of fungus that makes its host into a zombie. Well, not a literal zombie but it uses an ant as its host to grow inside and continue its parasitic cycle. I obviously didn't know much about it so that night I decided to explore you tube. I got so far into these videos that I just wanted to learn more about it. I always thought mushrooms and parasites were awesome but this is a whole other level of cool. Putting them together and realizing that there is a ton more information out there on specifically different types of parasitic fungi is going to be a new project for me.

I especially love photography and taking pictures of my finds in the forest so I decided to make this blog all about these odd discoveries. I want to be able to identify what I see, I mainly want to keep my research on these parasitic fungi as well. For me to be so interested in this topic shows how much fun I will have exploring these mysterious spores or weird mushrooms. If you are curious too on how such fungi can take over an insects mind and body to later on lead it to death then stick around because this blog is about to get a whole lot more interesting!