Nature’s Acid Test

Sure wish I had come across this when I was writing Acid Test.

This is the most bizarre mind-bending story about psychedelics I have ever seen, and that’s a pretty high bar. Quick (if unbelievable) summary: Scientists have discovered that a fungus which infects cicadas, eating away their lower body until their butts and genital organs fall off, genetically manufactures psilocybin, the psychedelic substance that gives magic mushrooms their magic. Instead of killing these cicadas, the psilocybin and an amphetamine like substance the fungus also manufactures, make the insects uninterested in food but hyperactive sexually — even minus their sex organs. This hyperactivity causes the fungus node where their hind parts used to be to spread through air and soil, infecting the next generation of bugs. So it in effect uses psilocybin as a kind of insect mind-control and chemical warfare weapon.

Have I overemphasized how weird this is?


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