Zombie Snails With Flashing Neon Horns Freaks Out Hiker

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A bizarre snail with green and orange horns has been spotted in Taiwan. Tourist Lin Ruian said he noticed the snail because it looked like it had 'flashing lights' turned on inside it.

In reality, biologists reveal it has been rendered a 'zombie' after having its motor neurons and body seized by a parasitic flatworm.

Called the green-banded broodsac, or leucochloridium paradoxum, it commonly uses snails as hosts to spread. The parasite invades the snail's eye stalks and creates a bright pulsating pattern in order to imitate a caterpillar.

The end goal for the parasite is to attract hunting birds and it then forces the snail to go out into the open so birds can spot the snail.

Birds will eat the snail and the parasite can reproduce in the bird's intestinal tract.



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