Category Archives: Zombies

5 Common Myths About Zombies

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The generic stereotypical zombie is a slow, rotting, drooling, mindless shell of a human with a desire for the consumption of brains to make up for their own lack thereof, with the “off button” being the destruction or detachment of their head. But there are many other kinds, and when — not if — the apocalypse happens, the odds of dealing with the standardized Hollywood walker are unlikely. These are five of the most common myths about “real” zombies and why they are wrong.

They eat brains. This one is somewhat obvious. When a person’s brain degrades so far that they become cannibalistic animal-like beasts, they attack to kill, and they don’t care what body part they are chewing on. If they are simply reprogrammed or repurposed by a substance or disease, eating brains is the last thing they would do.

They’re rotting. While it makes sense that a senseless creature would not have the sense to keep up a sensible appearance, it’s unlikely that a human could walk around with their guts hanging out of their stomach. To some degree they are probably filthy, but not rotting.

They make noise. “Brraaaiinnsss!” Hollywood walkers tend to make a distinct moaning sound almost constantly. While this may be a side effect of the brain damage/changes, it’s fairly unlikely, and would serve no purpose.

They’re slow. Wrong wrong wrong wrong. The only reason for a zombie to be slow is for the hero to get away, and that only happens on TV. There is no purpose for a slow zombie and nothing to hold it back from a full sprint.

A headshot kills them. This is not wrong in every situation, but it is not a reliable fact. For starters, the headless chicken effect probably applies for instinctive, impulsive, mindless creatures, and headless zombies are still dangerous. From another perspective, because some types of zombies have their brain activity reduced to the most primitive parts, even a clean shot through the head can miss the area that needs to be shut down. Many of these parts are located near the center of the head, which is a tough target from long range.

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How Cats Are Turning Us Into Zombies

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There are many possibilities for the origin of a zombie outbreak (mad cow disease in humans, biological warfare, partial reanimation, nervous disorders, Pokemon) but there is a good chance that the real issue will be a virus spread by house cats.

There is a parasitic mind-altering protozoan called toxoplasma gondii that lives and breeds in house cat intestines that can infect almost every mammal in the world, including humans. In prey animals such as rats, it causes the loss of the animal’s innate fear of cats and cat smell, allowing it to amble right over to a cat and get eaten. Convenient, right?

In humans it’s effects can be much worse: according to CDC it’s known to lead to flu symptoms, blurred vision, eye tearing, persistent headache, fever, nausea, coordination problems, and even seizures, as well as obsessive love of cats, no matter how evil the cat really is. It can also prevent a fetus from developing properly, leading to death.

This is where it gets a little concerning in terms of human zombification. The parasite chiefly targets the brain, in some cases destroying it completely, but in others just altering it in shocking ways. It’s really not that far from creating mindless human servants for cats.

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In fact, ancient Egyptians are a perfect example of a society under the rule of cats. They held cats in higher esteem than humans–the punishment of killing a cat even accidentally was worse than for killing a human. They even worshipped a half cat half human god called Bastet. Cats themselves were often considered demi-gods. Armies were dispatched regularly to liberate kidnapped felines, and they surrendered battles if they saw a cat so it wouldn’t be harmed. After a cat died, it was mummified and buried, and the entire family would go into a deep mourning. That’s an entire society that failed to hold its own against kitties.““

And the scary part is that 50% of the world’s population–3.75 billion people–has this disease. Because it can infect any mammal and most birds, eating partially cooked meat from infected animals can give you the disease, meaning you can have the disease even if you have never touched a cat in your life.

Think twice, cat people. Do you really love your cat, or are you under its influence, slowly losing your mind?

Types of Zombies

In the event of a global zombie apocalypse, the survival of the human race may depend on the simple task of identifying the type of outbreak. Despite everything Hollywood wants you to believe, a shot to the head won’t always get it done, and the methods of protection of humans and destruction of walkers differ based on the disease present.

There are three basic types of zombies: bacterial, bacterial but antibiotic resistant, and viral.

In the case of bacterial zombies, antibiotic darts might be the solution. This type of infection is a simple, though destructive disease that simply modifies or shuts down certain functions in the brain. Using a big dose at first is recommended at first to ensure that they really will die. It’s possible that a certain dosage kills the bacteria but doesn’t kill the host, but the physical damage might be too severe to save victims who are far into the process.

Bacterial but antibiotic-resistant zombies are dangerous. Highly resistant bacteria can be nearly indestructible, and killing the host might not be enough if the bacteria can repair it. To stop zombies like that you must temporarily disable them by whatever means are available, capture them, lock them up securely and kill them with fire. Don’t do this when pursued because it takes a long time to kill them and in the meantime makes them more dangerous. Only burn undead if they are locked up and can’t light anything.

If the outbreak is viral, killing the host will do the trick. The virus will be able to duplicate for a while, but eventually the host cells will run out of energy and die. If that doesn’t work, the disease is probably bacterial. However, there could be exceptions….

The most genius type of disease, bacterial or viral, is the kind that allows the host to live and acquire energy so that the disease can use the energy to duplicate itself. This kind will reprogram the victim’s brain to give it the sole purpose of spreading the disease and acquiring energy to do so. Killing the victim may or may not be enough. This is the real Hollywood zombie by the original definition of the word, and when they show up humanity is in big trouble.

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