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Zombie Nation

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Zombies

by Patrick Sweeney   |  October 24th, 2011 75

ZombieResearch has shown that mankind is not completely prepared for the zombie apocalypse, so in order to better prepare you and your family, here’s a list of ten zombie facts you might not have thought about.

1. You can’t drown them.
They’re dead, right? So drowning them, or trying to, is a waste of time. I don’t know if they would simply walk along the bottom of a lake, river or moat, and lurch up the other side, but being underwater isn’t going to be a solution. Besides, who wants to risk a lake full of zombie carp?

2. They can still react.
Not think, really, but they can see, hear, and until the rot reaches their nasal cavities, smell. So, you can’t hide yourself and your location by simply stretching a tarp over an otherwise open window or doorway. You have to do better than that. They’re dead, not inert.

3. It’s not just infection.
Before the surge in zombie research, there was one commonly accepted origin of zombies: voodoo. So, the next time you are thinking of booking a cruise that stops in ports where voodoo is a commonly accepted practice, think again.

4. There are no pack zombies.
With no real social order, zombies don’t travel in packs. However, what catches the eye of one zombie is likely to ensnare the attention of the next one along, too. So, where there’s one, there are probably more. They just aren’t there together.

5. Endo or exo?
That is, are zombies endothermic or exothermic? For those who slept through the tech classes in school, do they generate heat? Simple answer: No, they’re undead. Well, most are. The viral zombies, the fast-movers who are amped-up corpses, have to be exothermic. But the shufflers are endothermic. So, in a cold snap, the shufflers are going to shuffle slower and slower until they freeze. Of course, at the next thaw… Meanwhile, the fast-movers will move a bit slower, but still move quickly.

6. They’re zombies, not terminators.
While a zombie can “terminate” you, they aren’t unstoppable death-dealing machines. Keep that in mind while you’re being “stalked” by a shuffler, or you spot a fast-mover reacting to your presence. Stay calm, and keep in mind the next fact:

7. The head is the goal, but there are ways to get there.
Since zombies don’t have firearms, they have to reach you to infect you. That means that if you remove the means of locomotion, you can run or reload. So, with a stout enough cartridge you can take a pelvic or thigh bone shot, drop them to the ground, and finish them off as they pull themselves towards you — they aren’t going to stop, remember?

8. Fire is bad.
Yes, unlike drowning, fire will kill a zombie, but that’s the meager good news. The bad news is, it won’t notice being on fire — they’re dead, how many times do I have to repeat that? — so it will simply spread the fire everywhere they shamble. Put down that Molotov cocktail.

9. The idea of zombies.
They entered our awareness, with that word, in 1929, in a novel. That same year, the stock market crashed, and the Great Depression began. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide that one.

10. Not all undead are zombies.
Fans of Buffy will be aware of that. There is more deadness walking the earth than just zombies. Vampires are dead. Mummies are dead. A lot of 401Ks are dead, and I know of at least one dead Plymouth Fury that still moves. They all need something different to kill them, and if you get it wrong, you’re toast. Or a zombie/vampire/movie of the week star.

There you go; ten things you might not have known, forgotten, or just didn’t care about. Get back to reading the CDC reports on viral outbreaks, and avoiding people with really hacking coughs.

  • ZMedina

    I don't know, "Walking Dead" had them moving in a 'pack'….

    • Kurt

      Think of it this way, picture the zombies as a bunch of metal bb's on a perfectly flat surface. Now place a magnet near them. They are all drawn towards the magnet, right? The bb's aren't a 'pack' either, but they, like zombies, are all drawn by the same thing, magnet for the bb's human's for the zombies, and therefore will move in a group, but not *as* a group.

      • Ben_OBrien

        Completely agree. That's about as spot-on of an explanation that I've ever heard.

    • shootbrownelk

      Right you are! They were pack-animals in "ZombieLand" as well…just like the Yellowstone Wolves!

    • Ozz

      On walking dead I think they had it right but I dont know if they really showed "packs"; From one part of the series they had an aircraft, I think it was a helicopter that flew over and all the zombies below were attracted to the noise and movement. This made them all move in the same direction at the same time, but I wouldn't say they wanted each others company or that they were trying to stick together.

  • Will

    Actually, "The Walking Dead" on AMC tries to update the idea of zombies. Think of the way it happened for vampires. There was the original Nosferatu, then came Dracula then came the newer Lestat (Ann Rice)…etc…Buffy/Angel, evolved to the 30 Days of Night and now we have the Twilight and Vampire Diaries vampires…all of whom don't resemble the actual vampires of lore. With Zombies we had the original Night of the Living Dead ones, toss in all of the updated variants that made them faster and some even had cognitive thought…and the more current one is the Walking Dead variant…which yes, yes they do travel in packs in that world. Basically, any set definition of any fictional monster will change most every decade…as long as they are still in the media that is.

    • crystal

      They are not traveling in packs in "The Walking Dead". I get what your saying, but have you seen the new season? They're (zombies) by themselves wandering around in the woods. The only reason you see them in so-called packs is because they were in a city, or traveling down that road, most of them died on.

  • breamfisher

    Are the "28 Days Later" creatures zombies? Because they could be taken out with a center-mass shot. Fast movers, too.

    • Will

      28 Days Later follows in the tradition of Resident Evil where there are no zombies…rather, they are "Infected". Basically, it is a plot point that makes it so the Infected can possibly be cured if the writers for the movie or game choose to do so…usually this is only done for one of the main characters.

      • breamfisher

        Yes, but Resident Evil "infected zombies" can only be taken out with a head shot, and are revenants which are slow shamblers, while 28 Days Later "infected" are amped-up, quasi-living (they starve to death) creatures that can be taken out with any lethal shot.

        • Scottbbo1

          the 28 days ones are the most likely to happen…more of a "Rage" virus than anything where in researching bio-weapons that induce the rage centers in the brain and it escapes a lab or is used by terrorist initially. victims are so overcome by rage that they cannot think, or use weapons they just want to kill with bare hands and teeth.

  • Frank

    And here I thought that they were attracted by the smell of a living being

    • myles

      they are thats why in the walking dead they had to cover oneanother in zombie guts.

  • John

    #11 you did not Know. According to AMC, Zombies can also hear.. A good reason to convince the wife to let you get that Silencer you always wanted :)

    • guest

      totally agree. That's what I used to justify the expense of my suppressor!!

  • Antonio

    #12 Despite their ability to see, hear and react, they continue to make bad legislative decisions.

    • roger

      Yes And they all need a shot to the head….

  • Guest

    They actually explained it in the comic for walking dead. They're attracted to noises and movement. So when one zombie is randomly walking somewhere, the noise/groans and the movement attracts other zombies which attracts more and so forth. That's why they seem to travel in packs.

    • adam estep

      NO GENUS THE noise of a dude farting at close range is the reason for that

      • ihatedouchebags

        if you sir are going to call someone a genius like a sarcastic douche, you should first learn to spell.

  • jonny

    All I know is that I want a box.

  • clowncar

    Funny how in the AMC 'world' they know how to kill the zombies -(heavy object-bats,pipes,Cricket bats even stones and gunshot to the head)- but you'll never hear the name 'Zombie'; AMC states it's, ah haha, cause they have never heard it anywhere and never will. Anyone else wonder why zeroing in Pawnshops/Wal-Marts has not been an active game plan of these ppl; go where the guns are guys! And why not setup the Undead to hear that foghorn in a can sound, and run into a canal,ditch or depression and fire 'em up w/ the molotovs ? Make sure you upwind though!

    • Crystal

      I agree with most of what you're saying, but that last part.. If you did that, it would attract them from miles a away and draw-in more than you could have ammo for. You're trying to conserve the most important equipment nessasary to survive if you get caught in a pickle. You would literally need a mass supply of ammunition, mines, grenades, ect. to attempt to take them all out at once.

      • TimKramar

        I agree with that point, that a tool for decapitating them would be more effective than something that needs to be reloaded from time to time.

      • Jon

        Walmart is already full of zombies

  • JRB

    Sorry guys, but why did you waste my time with this article???

    • Ben_OBrien

      JRB, why did you waste time commenting on this waste of time article?

    • Paul

      I totally agree !!
      What a waste of space for a totally disconnected and fictious subject.

  • mjgoulet

    I've totally missed the point of this article. I know it's just fun but what's the point?

    • breamfisher

      To have a little light-hearted fun, I'd imagine.

      • Rockmannw

        Light-hearted fun is correct. Also as Patrick states, "Zombie" is code for "Preparing for impending disaster". If you guys above thought the article was a waste of time, why did you keep reading it? and WHY in the heck would you bother posting a comment? Duh!!

  • It's not fair

    Some Zombies eat flesh, while others only want to eat brains…when did that happen? And it doesn't seem fair to have "fast walkers". Where do they get the coordination for that?

    • Bub

      Brains started under "Return of the Living Dead" which is NOT the same as the Romero canon. Romeros had ALL people who died come back, just the bites made it faster. And they wanted to go after any living person to bite/consume them. There was no cognitive transfer of the disease.

  • GGeier

    Zombies were the creation of Voodoo practitioners who used drugs to put their victims into a metabolic state where their bodily functions were slowed down, and their will was easily controlled by others. They were never dead. All other other Zombies are pure fiction, the product of someone's imagination, and don't exist, so if you find yourself attacked by a Zombie in a life threatening situation and have no other recourse, lethal force should be very effective. Since they move slow, but are under the influence of mind and body numbing drugs, two to the chest and one in the head should be both effective and warranted.

  • Jon Stanfeld

    The Zombie concept is mostly in fun, however In reality we are threatened with Viral outbreaks, Biological weapons, Natural disasters, and all forms of Human threats, foreign and domestic. The zombie Appocalypse is a metaphore for all dangers that could lead to a breakdown of society and social order. If you're prepring for the Zombies, You are simultaneously preparing for most other contingencies as well. So, Prepare we shall, Are You Ready?

    • A Lil Wacked

      That would mean that Wall Street is full of them during this occupation! Hah!

  • Hersfelder

    A range nearby always has a "Zombie Shoot" every Halloween…kinda like a fun-house but with Zombie targets you gotta hit in the head to score. No limit of caliber, no limit of rounds fired no time limit, they just count the number of Zombie head-shot hits….no prizes are awarded…just bragging rights and the opportunity to have a fun evening with good friends and good food (everybody brings a pot-luck type dish).

    • Andrew

      Where is this? Sounds great!

  • GGeier

    Another thought, if these fictional Zombies are truly dead, why would they have this insatiable appetite for human flesh? Why would they need sustenance at all? If they have a need to eat flesh they're probably not dead. I think George Romero came up with the notion that Zombies were also Ghouls. Up until then they were separate identities. I wonder if before being turn into Zombies if vegetarians would continue their dietary philosophies? Maybe a movie about the horror of hoards of tie-dyed grain eating Zombies devouring the fields of grain and vegetable produce in the agricultural areas of our Nation, thus threatening our food supply, could be made.

  • JagdtygerII

    But what about the Zombies in Congress, are they truly undead or just brain dead? But more importantly, how do we get rid of them? But as for regualr zombies, they are not a threat, they are simply obstacles to be overcome, it is the other living humans that are a threat, as they can think and some of them will think "I don't have to be the fastest runner, I just have to be faster than you" and shoot you in the leg.

    • TimKramar

      that's right, you don't have to be fast, just faster than the guy next to you.

      he's of no use to you anyhow.

  • John

    Antonio wins this hands down. Roger is a close second only because some of them need more than one shot! I got your back!

  • W Ned Livingston

    You guys forgot one of the main types of zombies, the possessed corpse type. Those zombies are the dead who, due to an inconvenient demon possession, become undead, then stumble about, terrorizing anyone unable to run faster than a two-year-old. The zombies who crave brains are from a specific series of films (Return of the Living Dead?) that is so campy many have copied it. The rest of the zombie world seems to be satisfied with any human flesh… and failing that, any raw meat… depends on how much of a purist the author tends to be.

  • Goetz

    I work the midnight shift in Detroit, I see the night of the living dead every night.

    • John

      It's not much better working the day shift anywhere else!

  • Raffi

    I was okay until the last comment about avoiding people with hacking coughs. My daughter has a hacking cough. Great.

  • Meatloaf

    Just remember, guns don't run out, only bullets. Stock Up

  • Frank Hunnicutt III

    Just case you get board with same old crowd. . .

  • Luke

    Why did Guns and Ammo waste time with this dumb zombie crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

    • Ken Smith

      Why did YOU waste time on commenting on this article then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

  • cat

    zombies are amazing,there so unpredictable and funny,they trip there clumsy,the runners are fierce
    yet there improving there abilities from watching,they can't swim but they don't have a problem walking in
    underwater,there quiet when they walk but you'd think they would be able to smell them ,considerationg the rot going on in there body

  • Jm870

    Ruger 10-22? Ammo is expensive…

    • Hades

      The ammmo is cheap 500 rounds for $20

  • Island shooter

    Come on its Halloween! Here's a question weapon of choice in defending against the zombie horde? My personal is A-12 with Kimber 45 as a side arm and do they make a Ruger 45 with 2 in barrel as a back up?

    • Meatloaf

      Did you mean AA-12 Shotgun, and Ruger makes a Super Redhawk Casull .454 2 inch barrel, the Super Redhawk Alaskan. Pretty much the same gun different calibers.

  • John

    There is a lot of truth in #10. There are a lot of undead who are not zombies and vice versa. Just look at Washington, D.C.

  • shootbrownelk

    According to the movie "ZombieLand"….Rule # 1 is "Double tap" even when using a toilet tank lid! I know that advise has always served me well when dealing with the "undead"! I however prefer an old Browning A-5 with an extension magazine and slugs…with my Ruger S.Redhawk 4" in .454 casull/.45 colt as my back-up!

    • jihgwt

      Thank God For Rednecks ! lol

  • scott

    Ok…overthinking this I know and not trying to dampen the fun of Zombies.. but here goes…. what I've never understood with the traditional Zombie lore / storyline… is if they are dead and they look the way they do because their body is rotting, wouldn't this walking terror actually be very short lived because the human body would just fall apart in very short order… maybe a few weeks max? They are still human right? Just already dead?

    Now in Walking Dead…. they do have some basic brain function that starts up after they die, as was shown in the last episode of last season. But they still do the whole rotting body thing.. which doesn't really make sense… and it still seems like that as long as you can wait it out a little while, all of the infected folks bodies will simply fall apart…

    But maybe its like the issue with vampires…. they are suppossedly dead, but their bodies heal. In True Blood, their blood is actually a healing agent as well. So I guess alot of these horror creatures don't really make much logical sense….

  • Garry James

    Maybe I'm just a traditionalist, but to me a proper zombie is not falling apart in bits and pieces, but just a fairly intact humanoid, devoid of all will, intellect and moral sense, like those seen in "White Zombie," "I Walked with a Zombie" and the Wall Street protestors.

  • breamfisher

    One thing folks seem to forget about zombies is that the chance for multiple targets in rapid succession is kinda high. Therefore, ease of follow-up shots is a factor to consider in selecting a firearm. In reality a .223, .38, 9mm, .45 ACP, or any one of the boring "standard" calibers will do. Even a .22 LR.

  • Devlin Francis

    y'all want a good interpretation of a zombie outbreak watch Highschool of the Dead (HOTD).

  • Devlin Francis

    As far as wep of choice I'd have an MP7, a Colt 1911, I'd have a long thought on bringing a rifle like the M14 or AR Like the Reme ACR of course the smart decision would be to bring guns that use the same rounds or two different types at most

  • Don

    Stop already. This stupid stuff has no place outside of a video game catalog.

  • John Z Sr.

    Come to a ZSA match and get ready, if the Zombies never really show up, at least we had some good SAFE fun shooting some friendly competition.

  • Michael Edwards

    Every weapon/gun is a certified zombie killer. Some are better than others but in the end they all do a good job on ZOMBIES. I have even installed a video security system in the event zombies get to my neighbor hood.


  • Taryn

    Since these zombies can attack in groups of hundreds or even thousands. And considering that %99 of the poplation has tuned into a zombie , there not enough bullets to kill them when a few hundred attack you @ once… There has to be a weapon of mass destruction, maybe if the govermenet would allow us to buy our AR 15's M4's with the granade launcher option, this could help allot but not be the utimate solution


  • tommyd89108

    The one thing that people that write about "the 10 things you don't know about zombies" don't know is that ZOMBIES are not real.

  • Certified Zed Killer

    #1 is incorrect, while you can't actually drown them, the lack of oxygen getting to the brain will eventually destroy the brain. So it's not that the Zed has to breathe, but it's brain does.

  • the_new_guy

    If anything, some zombies might become more alert farther into death, I mean yeah riger mortis would start locking up their joints and what not making the non-virals into the shufflers we all know and love, it also would cause their ear drums to start to solidify and harden causing it to pick up even more vibrations than a natural human ear. Lesson 1: Zombies will hear you before you can hear them.
    For the love of god, unless you have napalm or a flamethrower, do not try lighting a zombie on fire, all that is going to do is turn them into a undying suicide bomber and make your life living hell if you can't run fast enough.
    Lesson 2: Don't burn zombies unless you want to burn to death along side them.
    Viral zombies should be able to drown since they are more living than dead, classic undead shufflers on the other hand, can't drown, but will eventually have re:death from the water if it manages to prevent the remaining neuron impulses from being recived by the muscles, in effect creating a comatose corpse. And voodoo zombies it depends on how alive they are, but same concept.
    Lesson 3: For the love of god, do not go under water unless you wanna become potential zombie bate.

  • myself

    terrible, half of these are wrong

    • Arthur Monahan

      Like they can only die from being shot in the head, I think someone missed Return of The Living Dead. Hell in that movie those fuckers never wanted to die.

  • Anth

    So what you are really saying is that guns would be useless in the long run, as ammo would run out!

  • zombieknowlegde

    there are more things you need to know like what type of zombies there are and you don’t what ones there are until it happens but based on all the movies and games I have seen/played there are crawlers they crawl on the ground and claw you do death then there runners the typical zombie then clickers blind but relies completely on sound even the slightest sound can set it off and then there is the bloater big fat zombie throws fire balls also blind really hard to kill and they kill bye ripping your face in half

  • zombieknowlegde

    oh and the way its most likey to speard is a viral that shut downs the fear part in the brain so they will feel fire duhhhhhh

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