Meet the true zombifying fungus behind the fictional Final of Us outbreak

A vivid visual imagining of what a Cordyceps infected human might become.

Enlarge / HBO’s The Final of Us offers a vivid visible imagining of what a Cordyceps contaminated human may grow to be. (credit score: YouTube/HBO Max)

HBO’s new sci-fi collection The Final of Us debuted earlier this week and is already an enormous hit. Based mostly on the critically acclaimed online game of the identical title, the collection takes place within the 20-year aftermath of a lethal outbreak of mutant fungus that turns people into monstrous zombie-like creatures (the Contaminated, or Clickers). Whereas the premise is solely fictional, it is primarily based on some very actual, and interesting, science.

(Minor spoilers for the collection under.)

The primary episode confirmed us the preliminary outbreak and devastation. Quick ahead 20 years, and the world has grow to be a collection of separate totalitarian quarantine zones and impartial settlements, with a thriving black market and a insurgent militia often called the Fireflies making life difficult for the survivors. A hardened smuggler named Joel (Pedro Pascal) is tasked with escorting a teenage woman named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) throughout the devastated US, battling hostile forces and hordes of zombies, to a Fireflies unit outdoors the quarantine zone. Ellie is particular: She is resistant to the lethal fungus, and the hope is that her immunity holds the important thing to beating the illness.

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