The Likelihood of a Successful Zombie Apocalypse

Yesterday when I was walking home from work I saw a some older dude lurching about in the road in what I can only describe as a “zombie-esque” fashion.  Now very likely this individual was not a zombie, I’d be more willing to bet that he may have had some mental illness or even further more willing to bet that he was drunk (yes this is judgmental but if he doesn’t want to be judged then he shouldn’t lurch about in streets during the day).  But because of his zombie-like movements I got to thinking about how likely it would be for a zombie apocalypse to occur if an actually case of a zombie or zombies happened.  I’m not saying how likely is it that zombies will someday occur (the answer is obviously 37.2% likely) but if and when said zombies do occur how likely is it to cause a major, potentially apocalyptic, event?

To figure this I think we have to take into consideration a number of factors.  I believe some important areas to consider are as follows:

  • What causes the zombies?  The cause of the existence of zombies (or zombie like beings) would obviously play a huge roll in how the zombies are able to spread.  If say the zombies come about like in “Night of the Living Dead” (and all other George A. Romero zombie movies) then we could have corpses digging themselves out of the ground all over the world.  Considering the number of dead bodies all over the place this could cause quite a number of zombies suddenly being present which of course would greatly increase the chance of an all out apocalypse.  But if the cause of zombies is an isolated infection case then the spread may be much hindered.  This brings me to my next point.
  • How does the zombieness spread?  In almost all zombie movies and literature the infection can be spread through a person being bitten by a zombie.  In “28 Days Later” (and its sequel “28 Weeks Later“) the infection (which could be argued not to me true zombie because the people are essentially still alive, just blood -thirsty and crazed with the Rage Virus) can also be passed through infected blood or saliva without being bitten.  The infection type could greatly determine how fast zombies are able to spread.  If Romero’s “all dead bodies turn into zombies” were to occur then anybody who died for whatever reason would become a zombie thus making quite a lot of zombies.  If the infection must be directly transmitted from a zombie to a non-zombie then said infection might be more controllable.  Then again it could spread as an airborne infection or via a device like cell phones (Stephen King’s novel Cell) and that too would probably be really hard to fight.
  • Where does the zombie outbreak start? If we have a Romero outbreak of zombies then we likely have zombies all over the place.  This would be bad.  If zombies come about from an infection of some type where does this infection first occur; some isolated facility far away from large human populations or right in the middle of a city?  Obviously if zombies start occurring in an area of dense population there will be a greater probability of a spread of zombie infection.  On the other hand an isolated incident will provide more time for preparation and control.
  • What type of zombies are we dealing with? I give you two basic choices; slow or fast?  If the zombies are the traditional lurching slow corpses then I would argue that they would probably be reasonably manageable as long as one didn’t encounter too many at a time.  However if we are dealing with the “28 Days Later” type of infected I’d be a lot more concerned.  Fast zombie-esque beings are fucking scary and seem a lot more dangerous than a shambling corpse.
  • How do people react to the zombie outbreak?  If people act like idiots when the zombies arrive (like they tend to in most zombie movies) then we will have some problems.  On the other hand if people keep cool, try and play it smart, and organize responsibly it will be much easier to defend against the zombies encountered.  Also we should consider whether or not the government/military takes action in controlling the outbreak or if they act like a bunch of douche bags and try and cover the thing up until it is too late.

Okay, that is about all I’ve got right now.  I’m sure there are other factors I’ve over looked but that’s okay, if y’all think of any drop a comment.  You may scoff at the idea that zombies will ever occur but it is the people like myself who are willing to consider the possibility who are more likely to survive should zombies suddenly appear.

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~ by Nathaniel on June 19, 2008.

19 Responses to “The Likelihood of a Successful Zombie Apocalypse”

  1. It seems like it’s a running theme in zombie movies I’ve seen (and I admit, I haven’t seen too many) that the main characters at some point or another try to get to an island to escape the impending doom.

    This could result in 1) not making it to a boat, 2) making it to the island and being greeted there by more zombies, or 3) making it and living happily ever after in isolation (or until zombies learn to swim).

    So maybe as a sidenote to the “location” bullet, you could say proximity to an island could affect the success of zombies taking over. At least that would give the living a fighting chance.

    • If you consider on ’28 weeks’ later that there were zombies “swiming”and ripping people off the boat. It so it may just be possible that they can swim. And also on ‘dawn of the dead’ after the credits there is a little sketch about them getting to the island and there being zombies there already. Obviously we won’t know until a zombie apocalypse actually occurs.

  2. Ahhh, yes, islands. Good call. Also if the Zombies start off on an island, like say Haiti (because of all the vodoo jazz) then they would be further isolated until, as you said, they learn how to swim.

    • get aboard a nuclear powered aircraft carrier clear the entire ship most modern aircraft carriers sustain over 5000 sailors with enough food for a year 50 people 100yrs same for power min of 100yrs zombies cant climb smooth steel walls to get aboard once at sea even if they could swim this best chance for survival got weapons also wont be easy to get aboard and clear but go hatch by hatch sealing doors as you go use paint to mark checked rooms thourough checks not glances inspect any new survivors completely and quarintine for 1 week in restraints only allow so many people youull be outmanned if some idiot wants to have power they could betray your help kill any threats without mercy

  3. I would love a small G.A.R style zombie infestation. Think how much fun killing stupid, slow zombies would be. You could get in a car and play mailbox baseball, but instead of mailboxes, you would be hitting zombie heads.

    Other than that though, 28 Days Later Zombies scare the shit out of me and we would all be thoroughly fucked if that happened.

    Good Luck to all the zombie killers.

  4. In The Alphabet of Manliness by Maddox the letter Z stands for zombies and Maddox says that every guy secretly wishes for a 24 hour zombie period so that we could just go to town with awesome badass zombie killings.

  5. YES I’m not the only one. if that shit happens it’ll be sweet, just a small one though, where i can run around killing things and never running out of bullets..haha. Anyways might want to add a sidenot of how to kill said zombies. I was having this debate and just making sure i’m on the same page as everyone else. i say just shootin em in the head….let’s review that topic. Sweet fricken topic though…kudos to you, and i’m right there with ya.

  6. just to put his out there but a zombie out brake is more then real. i cant remember the name exactly but there is a type of snail that once infected with a parasite, its eyes become pulcating and colorful and moves upwords from safe vegetation and into exposing sunlight. then a bird will eat the snail and crap parsites all over the place. then other snails will eat that and birds will eat those…etc,etc. if the parasite mutated and was transmitable to humans it could easly be spread through saliva and blood. and becouse of the mind control factor like with the snails moving away from safty, its most likly possible that zombies would want to bite or maul humans. but its also possible they would be runners like in 28DL becouse if there were in an instict to eat another human and that was are soul driving point, then we would get there as fast as possible without any thought of self preservation (ie bursting through windows even though you will get cut or bursting a door down with your head).it would probably start with some cross breeding of the parasites` bacteria with some other shit (like sleeping sickness) and test it on apes. hence the movie 28DL with animal rights activist fucking the world 3 times over. and the reacton of the people would actualy be pretty calm unless the government of the virus origen trys to cover it up first….so in other words were fucked more then a polish pornstar.

  7. Ok im not a zombie expert but i think if this were to happen then the zombies would be able to run, cause think about it, if some huge body builder gets infected than that new infected has all that muscle to run, jump and smash different things. So I think that the “zombies” will be able to run

    • yeah, but if it is dead zombi-ism then they would likely be suffering rigor mortis. Muscle tone would have nothing to do with that.

  8. Remember that rigor mortis sets in a few hours after death, then loosing up, say after anothet 24 hours. This means a fresh dead zombie will move quite fast if it has body control. When rigor mortis sets in it will be slow, or stop completely, until the rigor lets go again. Then its moving around freely again. ;:-) Stiffnes after that will happen when limbs dry out

  9. Fast, technically living zombies, a la 28 Days series, are quite possible, some would say likely, in adittion to being, unlike the reanimated corpses, possible. Imagine an inner-city neiborhood. Imagine a dog becoming infected with Rabies. This dog would likely bite several people out of its disease-induced aggression. If this dog was owned by people who used drugs regularly, it could cause a rapid natural selection among the virus population in the infected individuals. if, say, five were infected, it’s likely that there is little effect in one, two die, one exhibits zombie-like symptoms then dies, but there is possibility that one would end up with a rapid-spreading rabies, essentially fast-zombie-ism. In that crowded inner city neiborhood, the infected individual would multiply at a dizzying pace, and the infection could soon start radiating out from this area and sweep through the world.

    • I have thought for some time that a rapid developing form of rabies would be the most probable contender for a real life zombie situation. Though rabies, once it becomes symptomatic, is currently fatal very quickly wihtout treatment, which would mean that quarantine owuld probably not be too difficult. It is a scary ass disease though. Read about it in Africa and it is enough to make you never want to encounter wild animals.

  10. You left out the completely rational possiblity of a food based infection. Look at mad cow disease and it’s effects. Not only on the infect cow (zombie cow) but the human consuming the infected meat. Also, there are nanobots that are currently in production. I strongly believe zombies will be somewhat of a pesky inconvenience in the future, but do I think they hold the key to our inevitable downfall? No, I do not.

  11. Here are my thoughts on this matter.
    I agree with those who distinguish between “fast” and “slow” zombies. The chances of surviving slow zombies are much higher even for idiot who does not believe in this at all.Secondly, in american culture with all of censorship kids would be the first victims of infection without knowing what the fuck is going on outside.Lastly, our earth is overpopulated and those who run this world(banks) would need to eliminate burden that earth is taking with high population.What is not more effective than “controlled rinsing” of population? That will not touch infrastructure of any government including treasure reserves,military,nukes etc. I would strongly recondite for those who is serious about this keep in-touch with each other… eventually you may need all help you can get…

  12. as in i am legend, they are fast but burn whene in the sun. at the same time as being fast they can be killed easy just like an ordinary human. encluiding inhanced strength, agility, and communication to each other. also, the chance of being imune to the disease. and how many people actualy know how to use guns and other weapons the right way. who has weapons in their house. for example, i have only a bb gun but i have a 3 peace katan set, macheti, two sided axe, veriety of knives, throwing knives, shuriken, bats, sledge hamers, pick axes… etc… and how many people are trained in martia arts. likely hood of people being selfish and killing each other for the supplys in stead of working together…

  13. also, the earth is not over populated. there is so much space left it isn’t funny. you ever go hiking and look off the mountain and see the miles of un populated fealds and mountains under you? well, it’s amasing first of all but second, the earth is not over populated and there would be many places to go in case of the need to be secluided.

  14. I’m ready for this. When it happens I’m staying in a small town rural area with stores to pillage, a few gas stationns, and low populations. If they’re the fast zombies its best to have multiple exits so id advise to board up all the windows except one on the second story incase the came in from the front door you can jump off the roof as they search the house. It would be smart to get armoured transports from an abandoned military post. Make sure you find a pawn shop before it gets to bad to get a gun. Buy canned goods and be ready to kill undead friends and family. Its best to have a group but make sure that you’re the fastest runner and don’t get attached. If they’re anything like the movies and books they’re more active at night so id put blankets on the windows when I board them up so you can have candles lit. But not to long. You should have on you at all times: n95 mask, some form of eye protection, bowie knife (for stealth kills when possible), crossbow, submachine gun, a pistol (id suggest a revolver because it has 6 indivual chambers), smoke grenades, water, stock up on ramen noodles,

  15. i agree completely with the lot of you. the zombies are not just story’s. and we do need to be prepaired. honestly when this all go’s down i want Chriss there. he sounds like he knows what hes going to do. i personally plan to imediatly take all provisions and supllies/weps i can and go out to my fathers farm. it is 10 mile from any town and atleast 6 miles from any residency. i would do as chriss sed and board up all windows save a top floor one (for use bye escape). when this happens if anybody needs shelter or help come to torrington wyo, there is a training camp there now for people interested in survivning the zombies.

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