If you were to ask many of today’s high school students where they would like to take their collegiate education, chances are NYU would be a common answer. The Princeton Review did just this, and not surprisingly, New York University ranked as the fourth most frequent answer by students and the seventh most frequent answer by parents. For those of us who have gotten the chance to pursue the NYU experience (and stick around for a while too), the magic of everything NYU and NYC may become less appealing as we become more knowledgeable about what really be goes on behind the scenes. Aside from all of the intellectual and social reasons why NYU is considered a “dream school,” it’s safe to say that the school has developed its own dedicated following. When it comes down to it, the choice as to whether or not NYU is worthy of “dream school” status is a matter of personal opinion and experience. It is allegedly possible to keep the victim in this state for years, and that due to a combination of cultural beliefs and the mentally altered state they can begin to believe that they are a zombie. Ants can become infected by a fungus called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which eat parts of the ant from the inside, whilst it’s alive. There is also a similar case in spiders, however this time the cause is a parasitic wasp called Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga. But with that said, reevaluating the reasons behind why NYU is such an enticing school to attend could help restore at least some faith in the university that we chose. For this reason, the university often becomes a default application since the glamor of city life is so tempting. News & World Report, NYU undoubtedly provides a world class education and equips students with the opportunities to forge a path into our desired field.


For the masses of Ivy League rejects that attend, NYU can be a bit disappointing but nonetheless a quality education. It also affects the ant’s brain, and causes it to find a leaf to clamp its jaws onto, permanently. Sacculina is a type of barnacle that gets into the joints on crabs and injects itself into the soft body of the crab where it would normally incubate eggs. LSP freshman Amanda Evans points out the fact that since there really is no campus, “you have the freedom to explore the city more, and get outside the realm of the college,” which is certainly not something you would have the benefit of at a rural, or even a suburban school.
If that isn’t convincing enough, then the fact that Times Higher Education ranked the school as #8 in “producing millionaires” should be.
For the rest of us who were once those very same starry-eyed high school seniors, NYU can be a bit of a letdown after such a buildup in expectations of the school.
What is thought to have happened is that these zombies have actually been poisoned using a diluted form of pufferfish toxin (tetrodotoxin) which makes it look like the victim has died.
The fungus then continues to eat the ant, until finally it causes a spike to extrude from the head of the insect from which it releases spores to further propogate itself. This egg hatches and the larva begins its life sucking blood from the spider through small holes on its abdomen. From this point on the crab is unable to moult, and as such cannot regrow appendages like it normally would. Jenny Peng, a junior, notes that the city can seem like “a new world, especially for students that aren’t from around here.” The city provides constant stimulation, which depending on the student, could be a good or a bad thing.


When the larva is ready to pupate, it injects the spider with a chemical which forces it to build an unusual web, one which the spider would not normally weave. NYU clearly isn’t the school for everyone, and the idolization of it can lead to thoroughly fooled students. In addition to the tetrodotoxin they are also dosed with hallucinogenic drugs so that when they wake up they are in a trance-like state, and capable of being controlled. Once this is finished the spider sits motionless in the web, waiting for the wasp to emerge from its cocoon, suck the spider’s body dry and then fly off. Interestingly though, if the larva is removed after injecting the spider, the spider continues to zombie-like spin it’s unusual web. It even releases the same sort of hormones that females release, as well as forcing the crab to do female mating dances.
The crab then nurtures the growing Sacculina inside it in exactly the same manner as it would nurture its own young.



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