By Victor Frankel (Ph.D. candidate, Biology McGill)
Our world is full of parasites, but because they are often out of sight, they are also out of mind. Most of Earth's biodiversity is likely parasitic but they often get a bad rap. On this Freaky Friday, we will explore the fascinating world of parasites in order to appreciate their central role in the maintenance of biological diversity and their impacts on human history and society. We will also explore some of the more macabre aspects of their biology, including their capacity to create zombies and manipulate human behavior for their own nefarious purposes. You will never look at the world the same way again! MUAHAHAHAHA.
This final Freaky Friday for the year will be followed by the 2006 film SLITHER which focusses on what happens when slug-like alien parasites crash land in a small town and act as a "conscious disease" that takes over bodies of townspeople and uses them to either feed or procreate. Slither is an outrageous, wildly imaginative combination of monster movie, alien invasion movie, infection movie, zombie movie and gross-out-fest with an ever-present zany sense of humor.