October 24, 2011
By Patrick Sweeney
Research 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.
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