7 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Outbreak Would Fail (Quickly)

#3. They Can't Heal from Day to Day Damage

One advantage to having a fully-functioning central nervous system is that it also does a damn good job of letting you know you've been damaged. It does this by way of pain. Think about all the paper cuts, stubbed toes and nut shots you have suffered in your life. Now imagine they never healed, just sat there and rotted while you continued to rack up other paper cuts, stubbed toes and nut shots. Pretty much every wound you've ever had would end with an amputation. One thing we know about zombies from Romero and Fulci is that they are a clumsy lot, walking into doors and helicopter blades without a second thought about what kind of damage they are suffering.

While complete insensitivity to pain seems like an awesome superpower in theory; in real life, you wind up being more like Mr. Burns than Wolverine. Congenital insensitivity to pain is a neurological condition that some people are born with, meaning they don't feel pain. They can feel everything else, but the absence of pain means they accrue damage to their bodies but are unaware of it. Even with the ability to call for help, loved ones watching out for them and our coddling society, this can still lead to all kinds of terrible shit, like infected body parts and bitten off pieces of tongue.

All the dings and bangs zombies will suffer after tripping, walking off of bridges and stumbling around on dark cloudy nights will eventually leave them limbless, toothless and with every bone in their body broken. Seriously, in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse, just stay inside, watch all the episodes of 24 back to back, then walk out on your lawn with your Corpse Rake and tidy up (you will have to buy a Corpse Rake, however, if for some reason you don't already have one).

#2. The Landscape is Full of Zombie-Proof Barriers

The zombies' lack of coordination, along with the inability to see in the dark (we haven't had any infrared zombies yet, but holy shit! We call dibs on the idea) is going to spell the doom of countless zombies in any area outside of a parking lot. This is a group that doesn't know how to find roads or bridges. They just go wandering off aimlessly. Mountains, major rivers and canyons would thus quickly be home to piles of broken zombie rags stinking up the scenic views. Even if zombies had the foresight to not walk over cliffs or into raging rapids during the day, nightfall would result in most eventually walking into rivers, over cliffs and off of bridges, diminishing their numbers.

But even in nice, flat, paved cities, where it would seem like people would be extra-fucked, the landscape still works in favor of the living. History has shown that in most awful situations, people don't always act like the panicky idiots in a horror movie. In cities, people would likely congregate in the upper levels of high-rise buildings, where the invasion can be held at bay with simple security doors. Also, the streets themselves would keep the undead corralled in straight, easy-to-aim-down lines where they could be picked off by snipers, or just bored office-workers waiting out the quarantine by dropping office supplies onto the undead from the top floors.


"Do you think we can fit chairs through this?"

#1. Weapons and the People Who Use Them

As we touched on briefly above, if Homo sapiens are good at one thing, it's killing other things. We're so good at it that we've made entire other species cease to exist without even trying. Add to the mix the sheer number of armed rednecks and hunters out there, and the zombies don't even stand a chance. There were over 14 million people hunting with a license in the U.S. in 2004. At a minimum, that's like an armed force the size of the great Los Angeles area.

Remember, the whole reason hunting licenses exist is to limit the number of animals you're allowed to kill, because if you just declared free reign for everybody with a gun, everything in the forest would be dead by sundown. Even the trees would be mounted proudly above the late-arriving hunter's mantles. It's safe to assume that when the game changes from "three deer" to "all the rotting dead people trying to eat us," there will be no shortage of volunteers.

Plus, if we look at zombies as a species, they are pretty much designed for failure. Their main form of reproduction is also their only source of food and their top predator. If they want to eat or reproduce, they have to go toe to toe with their number one predator every single time. That's like having to fight a lion every time you to want to have sex or make a sandwich. Actually, it's worse than that: Most top predators are only armed with teeth and claws, meaning they have to put themselves in harm's way to score a kill. Humans have rifles.


Harm's way is about 4875 feet from the end of this.

The zombies have no choice but to walk into bullets. And all this isn't even counting all the other household hand guns in the world, nor the fact that zombies also have to contend with IEDs, Molotov cocktails, baseball bats, crowbars and cars that the general public will no doubt be using to cull their numbers.

And that's just from the civilian population; counting the military and police, we have another three million or so armed people, and instead of just handguns shotguns and hunting rifles, they have machine guns, combat shotguns, sniper rifles, assault rifles, sub-machine guns, grenade launchers and the occasional taser, not to mention the training to use them effectively. But why would they even bother? When they could just roll over swaths of zombies in tanks, blast them with cluster bombs and MOABs and mow them down with miniguns from the god damn Air Force that every zombie flick seems to forget about.

Really, even if zombies existed right now, the whole concept of a zombie apocalypse is just laughable. Now robots, on the other hand...

For more zombie-based research, check out 5 Popular Zombie Survival Tactics (That Will Get You Killed) and 5 Reasons You Secretly Want a Zombie Apocalypse.

And stop by Linkstorm (Updated Today!) to find out which columnist has the most trees mounted on his wall.

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