Have you ever felt like your thoughts were not your own, that there was some unseen force guiding your actions from deep inside your brain? One possibility is that you are absolutely crazy and should seek professional help immediately. Another is that you may be under the influence of a mind controlling parasite! I chat with Kathleen McAuliffe, author the the book ‘This is your Brain on Parasites’, and she walks me through some of the most nefarious puppeteers in the Animal Kingdom. We talk about a few examples such as wasp that turns cockroaches into obedient servants, and a protozoan that make mice sexually attracted to cats, plus I make the compelling argument that my two dogs are in fact mind controlling parasites!
Kathleen sticks around and talks to me about her two favorite examples: A barnacle that takes over the mind and body of a crab, and Orb Spiders that are commanded to spin very particular webs for their new hosts.
If you love these examples, here are some from previous episodes:
Dr. Britt Bunyard Carpenter Ants that have been invaded by a parasitic Fungus:
Lila Higgins talks about a fly who’s larva takes over a honeybee Alien style: