5 More Creepy Ways Animals Have Mastered Mind Control

#2. Parasitic Ants Force Other Ants into Slavery

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Remember the old fable about the ant and the grasshopper? If not, we'll sum it up for you: The ant works hard all summer and is rewarded with food all winter, while the grasshopper goes on Grasshopper Welfare, spends his days playing Xbox, and eventually starves to death because Hot Pockets don't have any vitamins. It's a fine fable, really shows the kids that you reap what you sow. But it's just a story. Now, imagine that the grasshopper has been replaced by an unstoppable Terminator who also doesn't like work, but is basically fucking invincible, so he just forces the stupid little ants to work for him anyway. That is not a story. That is the reality of Polyergus breviceps, the slaver ant.

Paronya/iStock/Getty Images
The reds are the slavers. The blacks are the slaves, shockingly.

P. breviceps is a social parasite, a red ant species that literally can't function on its own. They can't hunt, they can't feed themselves, they're pretty much the ant equivalent of your shitty college roommate, Chaz. Even their queens are incapable of raising their own babies, so this species regularly invades other, harder-working ant colonies and forces the residents there to pick their food for them, raise their kids, and just generally do their bidding.

P. breviceps starts by sending in their pregnant queen, who unleashes a potent sex pheromone that seduces the soon-to-be slave ants, rendering them horny and extremely open to suggestion. While the soldiers are busy gawking at all the hot, twitching thorax in front of them, the queen tracks down the soon-to-be-slave ants' own queen and brutally murders her. Now ruler-less, the slave ants will quickly accept the P. breviceps queen as their own -- because while she may be lazy, abusive, and evil, it's better than being alone.

Adrian A. Smith
And she'll do all of them. That counts for something.

Eventually, as the slave ants drop from exhaustion or fall to predators while out running errands for their sexy evil queen, the mound is completely taken over by other P. breviceps. When there are no slaves left, the slavers move on to another colony, and the process starts again. It's the circle of life, as covered by Danzig.

#1. The Hz-2v Virus Turns Female Moths into Sex-Crazed Zombies

USDA

Helicoverpa zea is pretty normal, as far as moths go. At least until the Hz-2v virus comes a-courtin'. We say "courting," because this virus' very existence depends on ensuring H. zea gets its fuck on as hard as mothly possible. It is a moth matin' matchmaker. Which wouldn't be so bad, except that it is, of course, terribly, terribly bad.

Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
Spoiler: She dies. She dies, horribly.

Typically, a female will mate with a male, and then that's it. Encounter over. Ain't no such thing as moth marriage. Hate the game, not the player, lady-moths. But infected females turn into quite the cheeky monkeys indeed, secreting up to seven times more pheromones than usual, attracting just about every male in the vicinity.

None are turned away, though few end up satisfied with the romp. The virus forms a "plug" over the lady's lady-parts, rendering them unable to actually mate. But, of course, no sex doesn't mean no infection: Just the attempt at mating infects the male. As soon as infection occurs, she shoos him away and moves on to the next guy. Meanwhile, the unsatisfied male flits away to find a female that's not such a pupae-tease, and he, in turn, infects her. Thanks to the virus' control on the new moth's brain, she too will likely do nothing but have quick, robotic, passionless, and uncompleted sex until the day she drops dead.

Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
The scientific name for this process is death by snu-snu.

Yep: There's a virus that makes creatures into shameless hussies that have hundreds of unsatisfying sexual encounters until they finally just eventually die.

It's amazing they didn't name it after your mom.

Himanshu could be found shouting obscenities at the internet on Twitter

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Related Reading: If the animal kingdom hasn't yet sketched you out enough, why not check out the terrible spawn of the Elephant shark? Before we get too horrified at mother nature, let's not forget the nightmares even well-meaning humans can spawn. And hey, why stop the nightmare train there? We have so horrible artificial animals to show you.

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