In 2016, Harvard scientists, seconded by professors from the University of Washington, wrote an article suggesting that, sooner or later, the world would be hit by a kind of “zombie apocalypse”
Is this really possible? And if it happens, what would the zombies be like? For some reason, one of the concepts that has been most exploited in fiction by the fascination they generate is that of the zombies.
Proof of this are the countless successful productions, such as the series The Walking Dead, the movie 28 Days Later or the book Wolrd War Z.
However, even though the scoop is the same, all the zombies are different; while those of the first are the most “classic” (living dead who can barely walk through decomposition)
The seconds, more than zombies, are ordinary people, with all their motor skills intact, but with immeasurable aggressiveness, and the third is a variation of the first two:
“Deads living decomposed, but with identical motor capacity, but without the fatigue of a living being”. So, the question would be: In case a zombie apocalypse happens in reality, what kind of creature will we face?
According to the research done by Harvard Steven C. Schlozman, the “zombies” could never be tireless killing machines, as they show most of the time in fiction, worse if their body is in a state of decomposition.
This is because, no matter what has caused such behavior, these creatures are still subject to physics and its limitations.
There is no organism, living or dead (or undead) that can maintain its activity without any energy contribution. Therefore, the zombies would eventually disappear by starvation, or by the work of decomposition.
From a scientific perspective, it is most likely that a living dead man has inferior abilities to those he possessed while alive, since the deterioration of the organism.
However, experts say that an infection of this type would not attack the physical organism, and would only destroy the thinking consciousness, so, if kept fed, they could maintain their physical strength or agility in the same state of infection. What is impossible is an increase in those qualities.
Another characteristic of zombies is gregarious behavior, which allows them to recognize and form groups. This option is not very reasonable for Schloman, because he assures that they are more likely to attack each other, unless their (infected) flesh is not useful, or that the virus only aims to expand, as it will attack an infected person. It would be useless.
Now that scientists have determined the possible “behavior” of these creatures, it only remains to know Is it possible for an apocalypse to happen? And the answer is yes.
In fact, although everything mentioned above is mere speculation (what it is), there is something very real; the “zombification” exists, although it is still only in the animal kingdom.
Michael Dickinson, in another line, says that as happens to small animals, the human body could also be susceptible to the attack of Toxoplasma gondii a parasite that controls the brain.
In the animal kingdom there are behaviors that are very close to that of the living dead, among them are the insects that are hosts of parasites, such as the nematomorphic worm.
These worms, in their adult phase, live in the water, where they place eggs that are ingested by insects. The eggs hatch inside the host and the worms and feed on the body until they reach the adult stage.
Upon leaving, the worm takes the “control” of the host, causing a need for self-destruction, to the point of making them launch into water, to death.
There are even more extreme cases, such as the fungus cordyceps (which is based on the video game The Last Of Us), which infects ants through spores, causing strange behaviors, such as the separation of other insects, throwing themselves from the heights.
In this case if you could talk about a perfect “zombie”, because the ant loses all control of their actions and mind, to death. Even after death, the insect can move parts of its body, such as the jaw.
In the end, as it happens in the game, the fungus creates mushrooms in the ants’ heads that release spores to infect other ants.
Although, in this case, we can be calm, because this case of zombification in insects is impossible in humans, first, because the fungus coexists with the ants to the point of coevolucionar together, so it would be more than a simple mutation so that affect humans.
So what would be the most viable infection? For experts, the simplest case of an infection that generates “zombie” behavior would be rabies.
A zombie infection would be known as “Anexic neurodegenerative satiety deficiency syndrome” and for this to happen, the frontal lobe of the brain should stop working.
In that section of our brain is where we control basic functions, such as appetite. Every brain would be controlled by the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex, where emotions such as anger are born and aggression is generated.
And rabies is a brain disease that can cause changes in the behavior of animals, ranging from coma, such as sudden upheavals (after the coma), attacks and indifference to wounds or the same pain.
The area of the brain that is damaged by the rabies virus is the limbic system, which includes the frontal and temporal lobes.(zombie apocalypse)
To this is added that the rabies virus is, and will continue to be, one of the most studied viruses in history, creating hundreds of vaccines that, in the end, have not served, or have generated mutations in the virus, so the possibility of a fatal error occurring is much more likely.
Either way, you could say that the most likely scenario is the movie 28 Days Later.zombie apocalypse
Highly aggressive infected people where their sole purpose is to spread the virus, attacking others until the lack of food and water leads them to die of starvation. But with a level of contagiousness so high that it could cause irreparable damage to humanity.
What’s your opinion about it? Do you think a true zombie apocalypse is possible? Do you think it’s an exaggeration of these scientists?