Stories tagged outbreak

Zombies - not so impossible?: Image courtesy lebovox via Flickr.
Zombies - not so impossible?: Image courtesy lebovox via Flickr.
Okay, I'll grant that the scientific research conducted by Cracked magazine may not be the most top notch stuff, they do have links to some pretty cool articles that have actual science in them in this totally awesome article about how zombies could actually happen. I love zombies and zombie stories. And Halloween. This article is perfect joy for me. Though readers beware, they do use some off color language occasionally.

UPDATE MARCH 2011: Popular Science answers the question: Could Scientists Really Create a Zombie Apocalypse Virus?

Zombie Update
Ahoy, Buzzketeers, ahoy and aloha. JGordon here.

It’s a zombie heavy time of year. We’re well into the season of Halloweeny, zombie-themed events are happening left and right (apparently zombies are also into getting drunk?), and dozens of zombie apocalypse scenarios are shambling through your heads like so many reanimated corpses. And that’s all great, but I’m updating this post to tell you two things. Briefly:

1) You’re wrong. Y’all are dead.
2) This is a science blog, so lets do our best to rein it in a little. In a sciencey way, you know?

Ok, to my first point—come on, folks, really? A gun shop? Go to a gun shop? That’s the plan? Let’s think about this. What’s more dangerous, a staggering, slack-jawed zombie, or a desperate scared person, who will do anything to get/keep a firearm? Probably the crazy person with the gun. Clearly you aren’t the only person to think, “gun store,” so… you want to head to the place where there will be lots of freaked-out people and relatively few guns? Hmm. You’ll have to tell me about it later, because I think I’ll skip that.

Or a zombie-plow? It’s a delightful thought, but, I dunno… I’ve never actually had to drive plow through a crowd of un-feeling undead, but I wonder how long you could go before that plan fell through. Not to get too morbid, but that stuff is going to get stuck under your car, and some point you’re going to have to deal with it. Plows are for snow, not for hundreds of bony, 160-pound zombies.

Let’s separate ourselves from the future lunchmeat by being a little original. Which brings me to my second point: science, dudes, science!

We’re walking on thin ice already, what with this being a science blog, and zombies not being very sciencey. But perhaps we can use critical thought and scientific reasoning to effectively plan for the coming zombie apocalypse. Think outside the box here, because everyone inside the box is going to get eaten. (And I consider guns to be very much inside the box.)

We can still post zombie plans here, but only if they show a little more creativity and careful reasoning. Here are some things to think about:

Are you really going to pull off that headshot when the pressure is on? Have you ever considered how hard it might be to destroy the brain of a zombie with your old Louisville Slugger? Maybe you’re not the fighting type. (I’m not.) Or maybe you can fight zombies until the cows come home, but what about everyone else in your group? So how are you going to keep yourself alive? Invest some thought into zombie evasion. What techniques could you use to avoid inviting the attention of the hungry dead? Might there be a way to avoid their detection all together? Do zombies find you through sight? Or smell? Do they hear you? How would you disguise yourself, and how would you test out your methods without getting eaten?

Unfortunately, humanity doesn’t have a lot of real-world experience with zombie attack. But maybe we could find a useful analogy in nature. How do other organisms cope with the constant threat of being eaten? What survival techniques have kept them alive? How could we mimic them, or adapt them to the zombie threat?

And what about the endgame? Do you simply run from empty gun store to empty gun store until your luck or your food runs out? If you fortify an area, making it zombie proof (and how would you do that, exactly?), what could you do to ensure that you had food, water, and power for years to come? Or do you want to save the world? How are you going to figure out what’s causing the zombie infection? How are you going to cure it? If most of the world is infect… can it be cured? Or must it be quarantined?

There’s a lot of things to consider here, and “my dad has a gun” isn’t one of them.

So, people, lets use our brains before the zombies do. (As it were.) How are science and scientific knowledge going to get you through the zompocalypse?
Only science will save us from the zombie apocalypse! And only science will save your comment from being deleted. Let's see some zombie science!

**Update: Huge new zombie developments! Zombie problem solved forever?! See this comment for references!**