Have you ever found yourself pondering the inevitable collapse of civilization at the hands of the undead? A.K.A. the Zombie Apocalypse? Have you wondered at how this could occur? What type of zombies you are likely to encounter? Are there multiple types? (According to Zombies Central, there are.)
If you haven’t yet, you should get your hands on a copy of the The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks. Here you will find the guidance and directions about preparing yourself for the zombie onslaught. Whether it’s fortifying your home, the best weapons to arm yourself with, or how to “clean-up” after the Zombie Apocalypse ends, this book has everything you ever wanted to know.
It also sticks to the traditional rules about zombies.
What are these traditional rules?
Traditional Zombie Rules
Zombies are slow. Because of their rotting state of decay, zombies lack the ability to think beyond basic instincts (such as eating, finding food and shuffling around, and grunting) and can only move in a hobbled, limped gait. Their coordination lacks any cohesiveness. Combine that with their lack of muscle structure (if they have many muscles left at all) and you’re left with a slow-moving, if tenacious undead creature that will continue to pursue its prey long after the prey is out of sight.
The only sure way to kill a zombie is to blow its head right off. Sure, you can try setting it on fire or shooting it to smithereens, but if you don’t destroy the brain, you are not guaranteed that the zombie is officially–really–dead. It’s just immobile. As long as the brain is intact, it will continue to seek food…. i.e. YOUR gray matter.
One of the top reasons zombies are scary, whether the traditional slow- moving type or the modern fast, ninja-like ones, is the speed of infectious transmission. Do not get bitten! Keep infected blood out of any open orifice or wound! The smallest fraction of saliva or blood WILL infect you. Considering that there is never enough time for scientists to safely tackle the zombie disease (if that is the origin) with experiments and tests to determine if there is a cure or possible vaccination before the Apocalypse begins, the zombie plague spreads quickly from infected to uninfected, almost as though airborne. (This is definitely not the case, however; the plague would spread much faster if it were.) The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to avoid the bite or blood of a zombie!
So there we have the 3 basic, “traditional” rules. With emerging new and innovative science and the creative imagination, we are learning that there are many new rules to be learned.
First, I highly advocate reading “5 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Apocalypse Could Actually Happen,” by David Wong, from The Evil Sloth.
Now, sure you might be thinking that this stuff is just ridiculous fantasy. You might even think the Zombie Apocalypse is pure fiction! But keep an open-mind. Sure, the likelihood of an unholy evil or plague actually reanimating corpses is incredibly unlikely. (I’ll give you that. It’s just fun to think about.) But as it’s pointed out in the article, more than likely our greatest threat to create the Zombie Apocalypse is the very same people we would turn to for help! The scientists!
Have you ever heard of nanobots? A.K.A. nanites, nanoids, nanotechnology and so on and so forth?
Itty, bitty, unseen–practically–invisible robots that will one day inhabit our bodies. Designed to heal us with remarkable speed, boost our brain power, keep our bodies healthy despite whatever stupid stuff we may do to it, and whatever else your imagination can come up with. As with most science invented with the best of intentions, meant to aid us it will eventually turn around and bite us right where it hurts most…. the brain stem.
Our brain stem controls our basic motor and instinctual functions. (Breathing, biting, swallowing, shuffling about with an undead gait.) The idea suggested in the article above is that unless science counters the nanobots by installing infallible technology that turns the bots off immediately at death, the likelihood is that they will go on running the body like it’s just another day. But without the upper consciousness we humans have that separate us from the zombies, we are likely to end up as drooling, shuffling, rage–filled beasts that attack … well… everything!
(Of course, I’m paraphrasing. Read the article for the full story.)
For an idea of what the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse would possibly be like, pick up a copy of Max Brook’s second book, World War Z.
Don’t forget! Tomorrow is the debut of Zombieland. I know. It looks funny rather than scary, but that’s not a bad thing. For the most part, “traditional” zombies are no longer terrifying. As a whole, people have grown accustomed to the idea of the dead rising from their graves. (Which is nearly worth a blog on its own merits. Really? We’re accustomed to that idea?)
So go watch it. It’s going to be awesome and worth your money. I plan to see it Saturday, and will definitely be reviewing it later that night. (I make no promises I won’t accidentally include spoilers, but I will try to warn you first!)
RANDOM PARANOID FEAR OF THE DAY # 7:
That I will not survive to see the Zombie Apocalypse, and will only find myself lucky if I am resurrected from my grave. *sigh* Don’t want to miss out on the zombies! And the head shots!
Shanna, you have to love the zombocalypse theories and what a Harvard professor lectured about: the possibilities of a zombie invastion and how the zombie works. That’s paraphrasing and not quite right but scientific terms make my head hurt…
Here’s a link to the lecture:
Thanks, AJ. I am totally on my way to check that blog out!!
I have spent many a mile driving across our country with my brain wandering over to the zombie universe. I see buildings, shopping centers, etc., and wonder what sort of defensible position they’d make. Do I hole up in that Border’s and make trips to the larger and less secure grocery store? Do I go to the 4-story Barnes and Noble down on the plaza, which has only two entry points and stairs that are easily defendable and roof-hop to the various restaurants to forage? How many supply stashes do I need to set up and where do I put them? How many gallons of fuel for the generator should I stock up on? Stuff like that.
Then you have transportation. Mustang for speed and general driving around. A hummer for if you decide to play demolition derby in the mall parking lot with the zombies that have undoubtedly collected there. Pickup trucks are out of the question. Last thing you need is for a zombie to jump (or get thrown in) the back and come at you through the window.
Weapons and ammo need to be everywhere you go. Different spots around your base, at least three per vehicle. Shotguns are the best. Put a rifle with a scope on the roof. Not because you’re a gun nut, but because you have to keep killing them. The less zombies there are, the better your chances of survival will be.
I LOVED “World War Z” and I thought it brought up something that is rarely covered in zombology: the reason they’re so strong is because they don’t feel pain. Sort of like someone high on PCP. I am also psyched about “Zombieland”, though I won’t be seeing it until I get a better job and have more disposable income.
There is one other possibility regarding zombie genesis you didn’t mention: Aliens.
In the Half-Life universe, the people that get attacked DO turn into zombies inasmuch as they have all of the characteristics of a zombie, but I guess one could make the argument that that particular situation would fall more along the lines of body-snatching. Still, it’s interesting to explore.
Thanks for dropping by, Ryan. It’s always a pleasure when you comment.
I’ve had the same kind of thoughts run go through my mind as well. I never really get past the zombie killing part!!
I’ll have to check the aliens in Half-Life out, definitely. You can’t ever rule out aliens as an option!
New question: Think of a hot zombie chic. You could hit it raw dog and bail like nobody’s business. They can’t get pregnant and they can’t take you to court, so all is good right? So, assuming you had said hot zombie chic tied up and gagged so she couldn’t bite you, would you still become a zombie?
Do you mean could you still “possibly” become a zombie or would I still rather end up zombified eventually?
Well, for the first take, I’d probably wear protection before hitting it raw dog style, just in case. And in the second possibility, I’d put off zombification as long as possible, but eventually, I’d want to try and see. I’ve always been curious about the taste of human flesh…….
Should I have admitted that out loud? Online? Hmmmm….. 😉