Read this first: 7 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Outbreak Would Fail (Quickly)
For those of you who don’t know me, I have a paralyzingly terrifying fear of zombies. Yes, it’s true. I can watch movies, television, read stories, even play video games with zombie themes, but the thought of zombies in real life haunts the darkest corners of my worst nightmares. So when I see articles (be they for entertainment purposes or otherwise) that talk about the immpossibility of a zombie outbreak, I pause and find ways to poke holes in their theories.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
So for Cracked.com’s August 2010 article about how miserably an outbreak would fail, I offer the following counterpoints:
#7—They have too many natural predators.
Oh, really? And how do we know exactly what would prey on a zombie? Cracked.com’s staff seem to think that zombies are just stupid humans wandering around waiting for bears, bugs, and other carnivores to pick them off one by one. Well, did you ever stop to think that maybe what is normal for the living and the dead does not automatically apply to the living dead? First of all, a rotting corpse puts out a smell like no other. Now imagine that same rotting corpse walking around aimlessly, for days and days and days under a hot sun. That shit is gonna stink up real quick. And most animals know better than to go poking around at something that is so ridiculously rotten. Even maggots, who lay eggs in rotten carcasses—you don’t know if they’ll go after something that riddled with bacteria. And furthermore, if this is a viral outbreak, don’t you think the other animals and such might have some natural instinct to keep away from the infected body?
#6—They can’t take the heat.
You talk about the digestive tract as if it stops functioning. Zombies are just like any other animal—they eat to survive. A zombie’s entire purpose of existence is to catch, kill, eat, repeat. Until their bodies fall apart. I would imagine that the “food” being consumed over the course of a zombie’s wanderings will keep the bacteria in its digestive tract quite busy, and away from digesting the zombie itself. Even in the heat.
#5—They can’t handle the cold.
This is probably the most accurate point in the entire article. Because of the body being made of mostly water, it will freeze in the right temperatures. And because the brain is also made of water, and there is no blood circulation to warm the brain, it too will freeze, rendering both the virus and the zombie ineffective. At this point, zombies can be collected and put down quite easily by destroying the brain.
#4—Biting is a terrible way to spread disease.
That’s all fine and dandy, if it’s only spread like Mono. But what if it can be spread like blood-borne illnesses? Mix that saliva with blood from a cut in a zombie’s mouth, and you’ve got a serious issue rather quickly. not to mention being handled by scraped up and cut up hands and arms. One open scratch from playtime with your cat and you’re on your way to being a zombie, my friend! Also, what if it mutates or something and bonds with the common cold, or the flu? That shit spreads like wildfire.
#3—They can’t heal from day-to-day damage.
Truth. Zombies are completely incapable of healing their injuries. But being injured doesn’t mean they can’t cause a lot of damage in a small amount of time. Especially if there’s a group of them. And also, here’s the scarier part of it—zombies can’t feel pain. So really, they don’t give a shit that their leg is broken, they just smell a dinner bell. Aside from the pain they don’t feel, they subsequently do not care about superficial or other open wounds. So bodily fluids are just soaked into the clothing, giving the average zombie a nice outer layer of disease city. Don’t you just wanna give them a hug? Didn’t think so.
#2—The landscape is full of zombie-proof barriers.
True, if you live in the middle of the woods. But barricading yourself behind security doors at the top of a high-rise is really not a good idea. Unless jumping to your death is your idea of a really good thrill. Zombies in numbers are one of the worst things you could possibly have to deal with in an apocalypse-type situation. Herds of zombies can do considerable damage in the name of food. We’re talking about large counts of human bodies with no regard for pain or injury. Just to eat. It wouldn’t take long for enough pressure to build behind a zombie mob before they could start breaking through standard barriers. And that’s assuming these zombies can’t use basic tools.
#1—Weapons and the people who use them
Yes, it’s true, weapons are and always have been our greatest defense against hordes of the undead. Unfortunately, it’s those same weapons that cause the most amount of problems. First, you have people shooting/stabbing the wrong parts of the zombies, thereby leaving themselves and others exposed to a highly contagious, blood-borne illness. Second, you have people shooting/stabbing pretty much anything they come across, which, again, is none too effective against zombies. Third, you suddenly have millions of people who know nothing about firearms or weapons of any kind, trying to use them to defend themselves, their families, and their shelters. Sounds like a whole lot of accidental injuries, which creates even more potential zombies (remember, we don’t know how this outbreak began—it very well could be airborne, and the second an accidental gunshot victim dies, you’ve got a fresh, bleeding, HUNGRY zombie on your hands.