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What would really happen in a zombie apocalypse.

May 29th, 2008 by Michiel

One thing that has always bugged me about zombie movies is that only humans return from the dead. It does not matter what the cause is, there are only dead people getting up and walking around.

Well, in spite of what your religion may tell you, people are not special, and I am pretty sure that whatever reanimates dead people will reanimate everything else too. This totally makes the coming zombie apocalypse even more horrifying, and the odds of surviving it drop to zero.

That’s right, I said zero. No one will survive it. Let me show you how I see this going down.

Imagine you and a few friends have gotten together to try to ride out the zombie apocalypse. You’re all huddled in a house. You have the place barricaded pretty well, and it is holding the zombie people and their zombie dogs and zombie cats at bay. But in the house there are terrors you did not count on.

One of your buddies goes to use the bathroom, and after a couple of minutes you hear a blood curdling scream. He comes running out, holding his ass, saying something bit him. You point your gun at the toilet and see zombie goldfish, that have come back from their watery grave to feast on their former human masters. Since your friend has been infected, you have no choice but to shoot him in the head, declare the bathroom off limits, and from now on, you all go in a bucket you found in a closet.

While you all sit around and ponder what to do with the bucket once it is full, one of your friends begins to scream as he is bit by a zombie mouse that died in the walls several months back. As he freaks out, he knocks over a box, and a bunch of zombie cockroaches come running out. You could just turn on a light to keep the zombie roaches at bay, but there is no electricity.

You realize you can’t stay in the house, it is not safe. So you shoot your mouse bitten friend in the head, gather some supplies and leave. But as you head for the door, one of your buddies bumps into the plant that died because it never got watered, and one of the branches scratches him. He thinks nothing of it, since he didn’t think that plants would come back from the dead too.

What none of you realized is that the plant got reanimated, and even though it moves so slow you can not perceive it, plants do move. Although it is stuck in a pot, don’t think for one second that the plant has not been trying all this time to find a way to fertilize it’s soil with your brains, and it has slowly turned and leaned towards the area you and your friends were hiding, just like it had turned towards the sunlight when it was alive.

You all run to one of your friends SUV, and have to dodge a zombie bird on the way. One of you almost got pecked. It was close but you are all ok. You decide to head to the high school gymnasium, as it should be relatively free of pests and animals, and you can figure out your next move there.

As you are driving to the school, you notice all the road kill dragging itself along, searching for flesh of the living. You are not sure what is more disturbing, the half a zombie possum clawing its way along the roadside, or the family of zombie ducklings feeding on the remains of the mother duck. Suddenly you see something even more disturbing, it is a couple of undead squirrels filling their cheeks with the brains of a jogger.

As you almost reach the school, your friend with the zombie plant scratch begins to turn, but no one notices until he bites into the back of the drivers skull, and the SUV crashes into the big electronic sign in front of the high school. You know, the sign that was purchased by the class of 1987 and tells you when the next girls volleyball game is going to be. You feel bad that it got destroyed, since you know those kids sold a lot of candy, and washed a lot of cars to raise the money for that sign. But you figure that none of that matters anymore, since they are probably all dead from zombies.

Zombies. You forgot about the zombies for a second and got all focused on the electronic sign. You must have hit your head in the crash and thats why you forgot about your zombie friend gnawing on your other friends skull that caused the crash in the first place.

You shoot them both in the head and make your way to the school.

Suddenly, you see some undead emo kids heading for you. You hate emo kids, so shooting them is the first bit of fun you have had since this whole zombie apocalypse started.

You make it to the gym and realize it is just you and one friend that is left of your party. The two of you try to relax, since there is nothing in the gym. No birds that got trapped. No bugs that you can see. No animals of any kind.

It’s as you both breathe a sigh of relief that your friend gets bit by a mosquito.

You have no way of knowing if it was a zombie mosquito or not, especially after your friend slapped it and crushed it.

Not wanting to take any chances, you shoot him in the face. You two weren’t that tight anyway. He was a friend of a friend. He was the fat guy in your group, and you were amazed he survived this long. Although it was funny when he tried to sneak some food, and opened the can of sardines. He screamed when the zombie sardines all started to flop out of the tin. Fortunately they were soaked in oil and just fell apart as they tried to attack.

As you think to yourself that you will miss him more than you would have expected, you begin to feel funny, like a fever is coming on. You notice some of your flesh is slowly becoming necrotic.

How can this be? Nothing got to you. You confirm it buy stripping down and checking every inch of your body in the mirror. No bites or cuts or anything.

As the fever gets worse, you finally figure out what happened. All the bacteria that your immune system has fought and killed since this whole ordeal began are now zombie bacteria. You are becoming a zombie from the inside out. Your own survival mechanisms have betrayed you. Your final thoughts consist of the realization that this will happen to everyone and everything on the planet, and you are witnessing the end of the world.

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58 Responses to “What would really happen in a zombie apocalypse.”

  1. Cantih Says:

    I think someone saw Andromeda these past few days.

    I think we’re safe from zombie bacteria and plants, though it depends on exactly how you base the zombie apocalypse. If you go a Dawn of the Dead “no more room for the dead to go” then it’s plausible.
    But, if you can still stop those zombies with a bullet to the head, it infers that the brain is significant to the zombie process. As far as I know, single celled organisms and plants do not have “brains”.

    Although, if the brain is only used as an off switch, but isn’t needed as an on switch, that would make trees and bacteria… SUPERZOMBIES! Bullet’s wont work! Fire though, hmmmm.

    Also, realize that the top layer of your skin, is basically a bunch of dead skin cells. Same with hair. And, iirc, what makes shit brown, is the inclusion of blood, it’s where the body disposes of dead and worn out red blood cells.

    So yes, zombie shit in your intestines.


    Michiel reply on May 29th, 2008 1:41 pm:

    And I thought I was over-thinking the zombie thing.


    Cantih reply on May 29th, 2008 1:53 pm:

    “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”


    tzanti reply on May 29th, 2008 1:54 pm:

    No, overthinking would be World War Z, zombie-holocaust book from a couple of years back. Great read though.



    Angelus reply on May 31st, 2008 2:09 am:

    Hey, I read the Zombie Survival Guide by the same guy, and now I’m fucking READY for whatever goes down.

    Snyarhedir reply on March 12th, 2011 2:06 am:

    Since your cells are technically not single-cell organisms, they would not be included in the equation, so I think you would be safe from that.


  2. barry Says:

    someone had a lot of free time


  3. Mongrel Says:

    Resident Evil: Extinction had flocks of ‘zombie’ crows, they caught the T virus after feasting on the bodies


  4. Sicarius Says:

    Still, I’m pretty damn sure that if it does go only to humans, we in Wisconsin have it pretty good. Some flock of survivors would head north and find nothing but drunken people sitting in trees wearing blaze orange with hunting rifles across their laps taking potshots at lurching figures on the ground. So, kind of like regular deer season.


  5. Velerichiv Says:

    Oh come now, if the disease is a virus (ala 28 days later, the most plausible variety) it’d have to be a very very special virus to be able to infect _and have the same effects_ on all life on earth. I’ll give you zombie monkeys, maybe zombie pigs, but anything else is right now.

    Now, if we’re talking black magic voo-doo eville zombies, then all bets are off. I’ll go get my swiss-army-holy symbol and kiss my ass goodbye.


    Michiel reply on May 30th, 2008 8:55 am:

    Obviously, it is not a virus.


    SKD reply on June 4th, 2008 3:58 am:

    Where might one acquire one of these Swiss-Army-Holy symbols?


  6. ArchaicDome Says:

    I think we need a Skippy’s List “Zombie Cockroaches” t-shirt. I would buy one.


  7. Evil Kiwi Says:

    Yeah… it really all depends. For example, at the time being it’s not very easy to catch bird flu, because it isn’t transmissible in humans. If that changes, we’re in big trouble.

    So it can be vise versa, but who knows? If there’s ever a zombie apocalypse then there’s no telling exactly how it will go.


  8. Jinn Says:

    I still say you could survive by being on a self sufficient houseboat in the ocean.

    There won’t be any zombies in the ocean- all the sea life is eaten nearly at the moment of death by everything else.


    bluefish reply on May 31st, 2008 7:00 am:

    Yeah but there may be rats on the boat, which isn’t exactly uncommon.


  9. Tony Says:

    i dunno man, a zombie killer whale would mess you up


  10. Jinn Says:

    The other killer whales would eat it :P

    Besides, I highly doubt zombie infections could spread to fish…


    Michiel reply on May 30th, 2008 8:57 am:

    Obviously, it is not a virus or other infection, and in the story there were zombie goldfish and sardines.


  11. Fenrir Says:

    It all depends. I’ve always been of the opinion that whatever causes zombies is viral in nature, and must be transmitted. Dying without the virus will not leave you coming back as a zombie, and insects are supposably repulsed by zombified flesh, so one is safe from insectkind. Most plants would still be alive; only the forgotten house plants would be ‘at risk’ provided any death = zombification.

    Animals, though? Yeah, that’d get nasty. RE had the dogs and crows.

    Random question. If the brain is the only weak spot in a human zombie, and zombies eat human brains, why would one who has had their brains eaten be able to return as a zombie?


  12. Fenrir Says:

    Also, dead bacteria explode, thus not being solid enough to become zombies themselves.


  13. Da DjaPavlak Says:

    skippy you have hit the geek debate motherload (probably ranks just below Picard or Kirk) i follow the Zombie Survival Guide/World War Z path and by that the Solunum virus kills all the animals it infects.


    Stickfodder reply on June 22nd, 2008 2:28 pm:

    Its spelled solanum and just keep in mind that Solanum is a large, variable genus of annual plants and perennial plants, forbs, vines, sub-shrubs, shrubs, and small trees. The genus includes plants such as potato’s, tomato’s, eggplants.But remember Max Brooks is the son of Mel Brooks and a former SNL writer so keep in mind his books are works of fiction and don’t take them literally.


  14. morrogoth Says:

    1 flaw about the bacteria, your body absorbs them and shreds them with no traces remaining, and as for the mosquitos, they do not carry enough blood to infect you as a zombie, and the virus has limits, there will be people immune to it, and that it cannot evolve past its inital stage, so mass infection on a global scale is nearly impossible, but localized epidemics are the real concern.


    Michiel reply on May 30th, 2008 9:00 am:

    So, it is safe to say, it is not a virus.


    SKD reply on June 4th, 2008 3:55 am:

    Actually, in todays society, the zombie virus could potentially spread around the world fairly quickly. Assuming of course that the incubation period is longer than a few hours, ideally at least 24. And yes, mosquitos and other insects who feed off blood can spread the zombie plague. The main limitations to the spread of a virus on such an apocalyptic scale are incubation period and speed of mutation and adaptability, so immunity can be an entirely hit or miss parameter, look at the influenza virus for example. Every year the government decides which vaccine to use based on a best guess as to which strains are most likely to pop up. It is a constantly mutating virus but is usually only fatal to the elderly, those with compromised immune systems and occasionally the young. With treatment it is seldom a fatal disease to the average adult.


    Michiel reply on June 4th, 2008 6:16 am:

    Have you had your annual zombie vaccination? It’s not long until cold/flu/zombie season, so get yours today.


    Stickfodder reply on June 22nd, 2008 2:37 pm:

    Oh that would make a good shirt
    have a zombie standing in a “Uncle Sam” pointing pose with “Have you had your zombie vaccination?” written under it

    Snyarhedir reply on March 12th, 2011 2:17 am:

    Dude, I would so buy that shirt.

    jessy reply on September 8th, 2009 7:41 pm:

    Pfft…not enough blood? Haven’t you ever squished a mosquito? It would take a week at least but you’d turn and we’d effing shoot you…


    morrogoth reply on September 9th, 2009 11:43 am:

    dude, seriously, you’d have to a.) be living in a heavily mosquito infested area, b.) have an entirely low immune system. Watch Stephen King’s The Stand, now thats one fucked up virus. but in order for the z-virus/ z-bacteria to do the trick is as the movies say, being bitten, taking a drug made from the goo (return of the living dead: rave to the grave)Im not saying its not entirely implausible for it to be transmitted that way, hell the black plague was spread by fleas. Its just not a high option of spread on my list. but i want to be a acid/toxin spewing fat zombie, maybe i should fatten up?


  15. duna Says:

    just go and read Max Brooks book “World War Z”, it not about the zombie it about the people


  16. Da DjaPavlak Says:

    actually mike, read (or even skim through) the Survival Guide, tells you all you need to know

    and sorry for calling you skippy


  17. I Am An Evil Taco Says:

    I’m with you on the animals, assuming this is some uber-virulent super-virus, like a reverse necrotizing fasciitis. However, even the most potent of virulent zoonotic diseases would have a laughably low chance of spreading to insects. Diseases like malaria and sleeping sickness (and most famously the black death) spread via insects, but the insects themselves were unaffected.

    The worry here from insects would be 2 things, in my opinion.

    1: Mosquitoes, while HIGHLY unlikely candidates for zombification, would carry a risk of biting a zombie, carrying the zombie infection, and biting a human to share it, just like west nile virus.

    2: Fleas. See also: the bubonic plague. Same as above.

    This is a hell of a good point though, as zoonosis is the cause for a huge amount of the major modern illnesses. However, the caveat is with the glaring exception of the flu, most cross-species contamination tends to come from animals. It’s pretty rare for a disease to spread from man to animals, rather than the reverse.


    Michiel reply on June 2nd, 2008 4:49 am:

    Well as I have said before, it is not a virus or disease. I have no explanation… it is not the point. Whatever the cause is, it affects ALL dead things.

    Based on the scenario, and what everyone is saying about disease and what it affects and how, it is obvious that in this instance it is not a disease.

    Maybe it is magic, maybe cosmic rays, maybe evil pixie dust, maybe it is God. Who cares? Everyone dies. It’s my zombie apocalypse and I say everything is affected and everything will end up dead and/or zombified.

    And why do you assume the problem starts with people and spreads to animals? I think it hits all things at once. That is why the dead plants are zombies too.

    Face it, in my zombie nightmare, you are doomed, and no matter how clever you think you are, you’re dead. DO YOU HEAR ME? YOU ARE ALL DEAD!

    It’s my scenario and I’ll kill off who I want.

    Oh, and I am miraculously immune to the whole thing, now I can spend my time reading and not being bothered by the rest of the world. Now where are my glasses. (crunch)


    Craig reply on June 2nd, 2008 11:05 am:

    Twilight Zone… Nice :)


    SKD reply on June 2nd, 2008 8:55 pm:

    In your scenario it would be effectively impossible to survive even for you, due to the fact that there will be nothing for you to survive on. Within a month yours will be the only non-animated corpse on the planet. :P


    Smithy reply on March 23rd, 2009 5:38 pm:

    If you think about if the brains still there couldnt they get smarter cause the learning parts intact.


    morrogoth reply on September 9th, 2009 11:46 am:

    Mosquito’s dont bite dead things, they prefer living victims since the nutrients they derive from blood vanishes after death, and since zombies are not alive….


  18. PFC McCay Says:

    What I don’t get is why everyone always goes for the expendable weaponry.

    Yeah sure, with that handgun/huntingrifle/shotgun/m16 you can take them out from a (relatively) safe distance, but what are you gonna do when the bullets run out? You can only load so many magazines, and supposing you did find a chance to rest and had the skills to make your own ammunition, there’s only so much materials to use. Eventually, your supply is gonna run dry. Yeah, I’d take a gun too, but i’d save it for when I needed it, and be warming up the ol’ aluminum bat.


    SKD reply on June 2nd, 2008 8:47 am:

    Screw the bat. Get out your favorite medieval weaponry. Decapitation and dismemberment is a lot more efficient than bashing with blunt objects which were not designed as weapons in the first place.

    Swords and axes FTW


    Tony reply on June 4th, 2008 1:45 am:

    for the most part i agree but what if you’re dealing with a 28 days later type scenario where the virus is carried in the blood? you’d be hacking and slashing away, all the while getting splattered from head to toe with infected zombie gore. i guarantee at least a little would end up in your mouth or nose or eyes or something. best to keep a distance i guess. gotta love a raging geek debate.


    SKD reply on June 4th, 2008 3:42 am:

    In that scenario you are best off retreating into a sturdy underground bombshelter and living off your supplies for the next six months or so. Truly, in any scenario you are best off retreating to a sealed bunker for six months to a year. By that time most if not all walking dead would have decomposed at least to the point of immobility. :P

  19. Jon Says:

    Would it not just be possible to run up north. WAY up north, you know, the artic. Bacteria and other viruses don’t dfo al lthat well in the cold. Plus the fact that zombies do not create thier own body heat, they will freeze into pretty zombie popcicles. Or an endless supply of lifelike snowmen.


    SKD reply on June 4th, 2008 3:43 am:

    Better off in the desert, they decompose faster.


  20. paula Says:

    dunno ’bout the arctic being safe….. I DO rather like the medieval-weaponry idea: I want a morningstar!


  21. Insert Snark Says:

    Well, you could always drive your ass to Florida and demand NASA sends you up into space. Higly doubt that you’ll survive very long off of your supplies. But hey! Better than being zombie food.


  22. Imp Says:

    But but my mummy says that plants are ded they just sleeping. They get really dry to do that. lol
    Anyway it could be like Night of the Living Dead with Mars Venus or some other planet at some angle with earth and they will rise, but it was only until the next day I think. That’s why I got the clean room in the back.


  23. TheShadowCat Says:

    So, do zombie vegetarians eat zombie plants?



  24. themequeen Says:

    LOL! This thing made my whole day! Thanks!


  25. montyhaul Says:

    ‘a couple of undead squirrels filling their cheeks with the brains of a jogger’

    I lol’d


  26. Meghan Brianna Says:

    Well in the instance of swords, knives, and such, there is the lack of needing ammo. But what if you kill the infected with them and accidently cut yourself somehow. Then you’re screwed. I guess it really is natural selection and survival of the fittest. Who can use their weapons, their wits, be less clumsy, all of that. And to avoid getting blood in the eyes and mouth, wear those things doctors wear over their mouths and goggles. Sure you look ridiculous, but who cares, you’re alive and unzombified. Goggles may distort peripheral vision though, but everything has a hitch, you just have to pick which one you may can deal with best. The many types in the different movies, i.e. R.E.. 28’s, make things feel somewhat unpredictable and depending on which instance it actually was, plans would maybe need to be changed. Mosquitoes could spread it, I mean if fleas can spread the plague mosquitoes surely can spread the virus. But there is that thought to consider whether they would eat off infected flesh. Maybe not after they’re dead but the infected are usually still alive for a little period. The could get it then. Just look at it as nothing is safe and maybe you will be better protected for it.


  27. zombie t shirts Says:

    i never commented before but i just had to now. good site.


  28. Joseph Says:

    Go north. Fleas and mosquitoes have a hard time in artic temps. and furthermore there would be fewer and or slower zombies. Infected scenario zombies would get hypothermia and die most likely.
    so like Red vs. Blue says. Hello Juno.


  29. Snyarhedir Says:

    Oh, crap.

    Yes, we are all fucked, doomed, cursed and generally screwed.


  30. Brianna Says:

    Wow, we need a couple of kegs of beer, some munchies and some comfy chairs and this would be a total geek heaven!


  31. Brianna Says:

    I mean the discussion, not living in the actual scenario.


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