's may be science fiction, but experts reveal how the terrifying zombie fungus could infect humans if three fundamental changes occurred in nature.
These steps include adjustments in temperature, the structure of our body and the immune system and while they are significant hurdles to overcome, mycologists believe they are not totally impossible.
The Last of Us tells the story of an apocalyptic world where cordyceps, the mind-controlling fungus, jumps from ants to humans due to .
Norman van Rhijn, a Fungal Infection Group research associate at Manchester University in the UK, told DailyMail.com that the plot is not so far-fetched.
'I remember the first scene where you see the scientists talking about this range of fungi and that it's all going to change, I would say that is almost 100 percent right,' van Rhijn told DailyMail.com.
'[The Last of Us] has taken inspiration from scientific proof and just sensationalized that a little bit.'
HBO's The Last of US immerses viewers into an apocalyptic world where a zombie fungus infected humans and while the show is science fiction, experts say it is not impossible
The series follows Joel (Pedro Pascal) as he escorts teenager Ellie (Bella Ramsey) through Boston, Fethiye Bayan Escort Massachusetts, after a fungus spread across the world turning victims into zombies that spread the fungi's spores infecting everyone that comes into contact with it.
João Araújo, assistant curator in mycology at The New York Botanical Garden, explained to DailyMail.com that cordyceps previously evolved to allow the fungus to turn ants into zombies.
'We hypothesize that around 45 million years ago, the fungus infected the first ant,' Araujo said.
'The cordyceps was [first] in beetles and then jumped to ants because both happened to be [in the same] tree trunk.'
Araújo continued to explain that around 35 ophiocordyceps fungi are known to turn insects into zombies, which are found in the US, Brazil, Japan and parts of Africa.
The Last of Us has sparked fears of the real-world fungus causing the next pandemic, which van Rhijn said would not happen in our lifetime, but he also notes that we should 'never say never.'
'I am not going to say never, especially in this field when we've seen crazy things happen, especially how it is portrayed in the series it needs to overcome a lot of hurdles for a fungus like that to infect humans,' he said.
The series follows Joel (Pedro Pascal) as he escorts teenager Ellie (Bella Ramsey) through Boston, Massachusetts, while a fungus spreads across the world
The Last of Us shows humans infected with the fungus, which has spread to the tops of their heads
The Last of Us focuses on cordyceps, which is a fungus found in nature that infects ants to control their minds
Cordyceps infiltrate the ant's muscles, but spores would have to enter the human body through our lungs.
'In terms of physiology, the entryway through our body is through the respiratory system, although there are cases where it goes through wounds, ' van Rhijn said.
'This way is not compatible with an ant, so the fungus would need to evolve with a different strategy [to infiltrate our lungs].'
'We have mucous layers, cell types that they don't have and the general structure is different.
Airways are usually the entry point for fungi - so it would need to face an environment it is not used to.'
Anyone can get a fungal infection, but those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible.
However, van Rhijn explained that 'our immunity as a whole' would have to change in order for the entire population to be infected by the zombie fungus.
'It either needs to be a complete breakdown of our immunity to that fungus or the fungus needs to evolve a radical strategy not to be recognized by a complete range of cell types.'
'We don't fully understand it yet.
But in order for a fungal pandemic to occur, our immune system must become insufficient to clear the fungus before it invades our tissue.'
One thing that has protected humans from serious fungal infections is our warm bodies and the fungus would need to adapt.
João Araújo, assistant curator in mycology at The New York Botanical Garden, explained to DailyMail.com that cordyceps (pictured) previously evolved to allow the fungus to turn ants into zombies.
Experts said that while cordyceps will not infect humans anytime soon, it could happen if the fungus adapted to our warm bodies.
It can currently withstand up to 80F, while our bodies sit around 98F
The fungus infiltrates the ant's body through its muscles, while it would have to evolve to spread its spores through human lungs
Infected ants move out of the nest and onto a leaf or plant over their colony, allowing the spores to fall on other ants.
Experts said that for the fungus to infect the entire human population, it would need to go unnoticed by our different immune cells
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS sciencetech" data-version="2" id="mol-96c37940-a408-11ed-96f7-0ddceea40565" website a zombie fungus could infect HUMANS like in The Last of Us