Make no mistake, zombies are very real. Sure, zombies of the human variety aren’t going to wander down your street, The Walking Dead-style, any time soon, but zombies of a different sort are scuttling around, mindlessly wandering towards a doomed existence. The American cockroach, for example, spends a good amount of its time trying not to become a zombie at the metaphorical hands of emerald jewel wasps. If it doesn’t put up the right defense, it’s brain-warped toast.
In the video above, you can see what happens when a cockroach successfully defends itself against zombification. These guarding mechanisms are the focus of a study published Wednesday in the journal Brain, Behavior and Evolution. Study author and Vanderbilt University biologist Ken Catania, Ph.D., carefully filmed and analyzed 55 cockroach-versus-wasp battles and discovered that certain moves can help a cockroach avoid harm.