Isn’t it fun to pretend we have control over our bodies? Isn’t it fun to believe that freewill isn’t some fanciful bit of make-believe? I don’t know about you, but that’s one of my favorite late night drunken fantasies (oh yeah, gettin off (or not) to the illusion of choice). Really though, the bag of chemicals we live in is a precarious balance of hormones, enzymes, and other gook, teetering the high wire of sanity by the tiniest margins. If that statement needs any justification, maybe give PCP a try.
The excretions of other life forms have altered our realities and actions for epochs, so the idea is nothing new. Usually we think, however, that these things are mostly under our control. From licking a toad, contracting the stomach flu, or perhaps a total personality makeover after a blow to the head, our body’s chemicals and fluids determine everything. So, keeping that in mind… there’s a good chance you, at this very moment, have a mind-controlling parasite, making your decisions for you. It happens all the time.
But that’s just ants, right? And they’re stupid.
Nope. And it’s not just ants, either. Countless species are chemically manipulated; there are zombie snails, suicidal grasshoppers, and even, of course, YOU…
Half of the world’s population is currently infected with a fun-loving little fucker known as Toxoplasma, the sci-fi sounding name of a cat poop dwelling parasite that will make you crazy.
Try saying it out loud. Toxoplasma. You’ll feel pretty badass.
Now look to your left. Look to your right. You have a 50% chance of infection of…Toxoplasma. (You said it out loud, right?)
Come on. You can’t be serious?
We already knew bacteria were controlling our minds, but now there’s this little fella, too. He lives in cat poop, we breathe him in, and he sets up shop in our nervous system, excreting enzymes that lead to schizophrenia and overall bat-shittedness (not necessarily a bad thing). Essentially, I get infected, I get this hankering for another cat, then I get more infected, I adopt the conviction “who needs men?” and before you know it my home soon becomes a den of feline chaos.
It seems that society’s obsession with lolcats is actually all a part of some master plan being orchestrated by this little bastard. It flips our brain’s chemistry to, you guessed it, love cats.
The heated war between dog people and cat people will rage for centuries more, but now we know about all the fuss over our feline friends: we are victims of a cat conspiracy to take over our internet memes, one poop at a time.
They sure are cute, though.
The Sonoran Desert Toad (erowid.org)
A Model of Personality Change (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
Little Mind Benders (sciencenews.org)
Parasitic Mind Control (youtube.com)
Enslaved Ants Regularly Stage Rebellions (wondergressive.com)
How to Control an Army of Zombies (nytimes.com)
World’s Deadliest: Zombie Snails (youtube.com)
Suicide Grasshoppers Brainwashed by Parasite Worms (nationalgeographic.com)
Toxoplasmosis-Schizophrenia Research (stanleyresearch.org)
The Secret World of Bacteria (wondergressive.com)
A Note on the Top 1% (wondergressive.com)