On the season 2 episode “Complete Rickall,” the Smith family turns into contaminated with alien parasites that trigger them to hallucinate a solid of zany characters full with convincing false recollections of those characters, making it almost not possible to inform actuality from parasitic fantasy. No, we’ve got not but found any parasites that may make you imagine you’ve got spent your total life within the firm of Reverse Giraffe, Hamurai, Pencilvester, Ghost-in-a-Jar, and your spouse’s boyfriend Sleepy Gary. The notion of mind-controlling parasites, although, is rooted in precise biology.

As New Science factors out, the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis invades the central nervous system of carpenter ants, forcing them to climb towards the forest cover and die in a location advantageous to the fungus. After killing its host, O. unilateralis bursts forth Alien-style from the host physique’s cranium within the type of a gnarly mushroom (yikes). When you’re searching for one thing somewhat nearer to dwelling, the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, present in cat feces, can infect people — inflicting “Cat Girl Syndrome,” a set of schizophrenic signs that supposedly trigger the contaminated particular person to obsess over the well being and luxury of their feline companions.