Zombies are absolutely everywhere; they have taken over the world of popular culture– in movies, books, comics, TV shows, etc.
But that’s just fiction right? They haven’t yet managed to wreck havoc in the real world…Yet! I recently uncovered a brilliant article in the Cracked.com archives that cites 5 scientific reasons that suggest Zombies could actually take over our world!!
I am a self-confessed Zombie Apocalypse survival strategist, who has, along with many other people I know, whittled away many a good hour discussing tactics and techniques to deploy should those pesky brain-eating undead launch an attack on our good earth. Inspired by the ‘Shaun Of The Dead’, “go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint and wait for all of this to blow over” philosophy, back in the days when I used to manage a pub, my colleagues and I would often spend the quieter weeknight shifts discussing how to Zombie-Proof our workplace!
Our plans were fool-proof (well almost), the pub was to be the atrium in the event of Zombie-Armageddon, there we would all meet, shore up entry and exit points, we knew exactly what broken bits of furniture and left behind sports equipment would be our weapons of choice.
We even had contingency plans, should we lose the stronghold of the upper level.
The pub’s giant cellar was our retreat point, self-contained and home to a multitude of drinks and bar-snacks that would be able to sustain human life for quite some time. We even gave specific tasks to the various group members; we had our hunter-gathers, our warriors, our medical team and our leaders already figured out – should we have to defend ourselves against such an attack.
I know we weren’t the only ones either…lots of different groups of people I know have their own systems and defence strategies already worked out – to a great many people however, it will seem like silliness, kids and geeks humorously discussing an event that will never happen. But after reading these scientific reasons on Cracked.com, figuring out what to do in case of a Zombie Apocalypse doesn’t seem quite so puerile now!!
There scientific reasons are as follows:
5 – Brain Parasites
We all know the damage that Brain Parasites can do and that they are commonplace in nature. Apparently there is one called toxoplasmosa gondii, which gets into the brains of rats, but can only breed in the intestines of a cat, and therefore makes the rat’s mind go all mushy and sends it on a suicide mission to somewhere where felines are hanging out.
Sounds like the most screwed up episode of Tom and Jerry ever, no? According to the article, half of the people on earth are infected with toxoplasmosa and it does carry a risk of making the carrier go that little bit crazy. It wouldn’t take a hell of a lot for this parasite to evolve and turn into something that could cause a Zombie infestation!
4 – Neurotoxins
There are several concoctions of drugs and toxins, many of them natural, that can be given to people to first put them in a coma like state, and then bring them round enough to carry out basic tasks like eating, sleeping and wandering around aimlessly looking very much like a zombie.
You’ve got to check out the story of Haitian man Clairvius Narcisse, who was declared dead in 1962, by two doctors and buried. 18 years later they found strolling aimlessly around the village.
Turns out he’d been given a mixture of pufferfish and toad venom to induce a coma, the docs thought he was dead, his brother then dug him up, gave him some Datura stramonium, which made him compliant and zombie-like and then had him working on his plantation.
He walked away, years later, after his brother died. Once the doses of the other drugs stopped, he regained his sanity and returned to his family. Now that is one creepy story, and it is believed that Narcisse is not the only one it had happened to!
3 – The Real Rage Virus
We’ve seen it in the films; some wacky virus sneaks out of a high tech lab somewhere and turns everyone on the planet into some sort of crazy killing machine. Similar things have occurred in nature, like Mad Cow Disease; it is not too far-fetched to foresee a disease like this mutating in the future and sending us all out on an all-the-brain-you-can-eat rampage!
2 – Neurogenesis
You can’t have missed all the constant controversy in the news about stem cell research, well there is a particular branch of that called neurogensis which is focussed on trying to re-grow brain tissue that was dead and reanimate what was once a corpse. Whilst I am staying well away from passing any kind of judgement on the moral rights and wrongs of this kind of medical science, it isn’t difficult to see that there of ways that this can go wrong!
Bringing back a person’s motor-functions does not necessarily bring them back to life; you could just end up turning them into a zombie! Certainly scary stuff, if this kind of science is perfected and falls into the wrong hands…Armies of the undead walking the earth might not seem so unrealistic!
1 – Nanobots
Highest on the list of things that could cause a zombie apocalypse is nanobots – these are miniscule self-replicating robots that can be inserted into your body to fix things that have gone wrong. Or turn you into a flesh-eating zombie.
By fusing a microscopic silicone chip to a virus, scientists have already engineered the nano-cyborg. This crazy invention can survive up to a month after the host has deceased. You can imagine where we are going with this. The host is dying, the nano-cyborg wants to survive, so it programmes the host to take a big tasty bite out of the nearest unassuming victim and jumps through the bloody hole! Gross, grim and all other adjectives like it. Thankfully the technology isn’t quite there yet, but it’s not hard to see all the possible ways that this could turn out to be a complete and utter disaster for mankind.
I’m really sorry if any of this stops you sleeping soundly at night, remember, lots of this stuff is speculative, there are dozens of ‘ifs and buts’, so hopefully our worst fears about a zombie apocalypse will never be realized. But, forewarned is forearmed – it can’t do any harm to have a survival strategy in place.