Here is some microbiological horror movie shit that actually exists: heckin’ exploding “zombie” caterpillars.

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside in England have reportedly found caterpillars who, when infected by the baculovirus (extremely good villain name imho), climb to the top of plants to die. Then the baculovirus bursts out of the dead bug to find a new host body. ~shudders~

The Trust’s staff found the skins of oak eggar caterpillars at the top of small bushes in Wimmarleigh Moss Nature Reserve in Lancashire – a strange thing, as these caterpillars usually hide in the undergrowth to be closer to the heather and bilberry on which they feed.

Research suggests the virus changes the way the caterpillars respond to light, so that they climb to higher and more dangerous places where they then die.

The Trust’s Mosslands Manager Dr Chris Miller liked the insect carnage to a “zombie horror film“.

I was carrying out a large heath butterfly survey on Winmarleigh Moss and noticed a caterpillar hanging from the end of a branch of a small bush. Later on I saw another one hanging from a tall blade of grass both were dead but otherwise intact.

Whilst checking some other branches I noticed small scraps of caterpillar skin on a couple of branches suggesting the two I had seen where not the only ones to be affected. It’s pretty gruesome when you think about it.

The internet is not coping with this recent development in parasitic microorganisms mind-controlling hapless future-butterflies.

Source: The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside
Image: Getty Images / Universal Images Group