Zombie Study Suggests We Were Right All Along (updated)

In what has to be one of the stranger stories on research I've seen, a doctor with a question mark at the end of his name released a study about what the best tactics would be for a society to emerge relatively unscathed from a zombie attack.
 
He said pretty much wipe them out, as quickly as possible.  There's some contention, but given that this is based on the old style zombie, the shambling, stupid, slow kind, it's interesting to note that even those slow guys could still kick our collective asses if we weren't stern with them.
 
There are parallels to other infectious disease vectors, but only to a point.  Still, the geek in my got a smile out of this, even if I think they're wasting humanity's time-- insofar as we haven't had a zombie outbreak yet :)
 
Finder's credit (also wasting humanity's time, yet renewing my faith in humanity's cheekiness simultaneously):
  
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8206280.stm 
 
UPDATE:
 
Interested in natural examples of zombies?
 
Here's a list of animals controlled by other creatures, and below is a video talking about a particularly potent type of infection particular to humans:
 
 

 
What's funny to me is that a lot of assumptions about zombies differ depending upon who you talk to.  Like any mythology, some ideas or presentations resonate with people more than others.  For the longest time I thought all zombies were brain eaters, but I realized the eating of brains was more something from Return of the Living Dead, rather than the famous Living Dead series by George Romero.  Romero's zombies were rarely the focus of his movies; they were more the particular disaster that affected the characters.  The bigger conflict was between the survivors.
 
21 Comments
22 Comments
Posted by ahoodedfigure

In what has to be one of the stranger stories on research I've seen, a doctor with a question mark at the end of his name released a study about what the best tactics would be for a society to emerge relatively unscathed from a zombie attack.
 
He said pretty much wipe them out, as quickly as possible.  There's some contention, but given that this is based on the old style zombie, the shambling, stupid, slow kind, it's interesting to note that even those slow guys could still kick our collective asses if we weren't stern with them.
 
There are parallels to other infectious disease vectors, but only to a point.  Still, the geek in my got a smile out of this, even if I think they're wasting humanity's time-- insofar as we haven't had a zombie outbreak yet :)
 
Finder's credit (also wasting humanity's time, yet renewing my faith in humanity's cheekiness simultaneously):
  
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8206280.stm 
 
UPDATE:
 
Interested in natural examples of zombies?
 
Here's a list of animals controlled by other creatures, and below is a video talking about a particularly potent type of infection particular to humans:
 
 

 
What's funny to me is that a lot of assumptions about zombies differ depending upon who you talk to.  Like any mythology, some ideas or presentations resonate with people more than others.  For the longest time I thought all zombies were brain eaters, but I realized the eating of brains was more something from Return of the Living Dead, rather than the famous Living Dead series by George Romero.  Romero's zombies were rarely the focus of his movies; they were more the particular disaster that affected the characters.  The bigger conflict was between the survivors.
 
Posted by Breadfan
I am fully prepared for the impending zombie apocalypse
Posted by Seedofpower

 Have you ever read the book World War Z?
 
If you haven't you must do so.

Posted by Breadfan
@Seedofpower said:
"  Have you ever read the book World War Z?   If you haven't you must do so. "
Greatest zombie book ever
Posted by natetodamax

Zombies can't run, swim, or climb. They can only walk, and that's it. Therefore, civilization collapsing because of the zombie apocalypse is unlikely.

Posted by Aaox

Zombies. Will. Die.

Edited by ahoodedfigure
@Seedofpower: I've heard of it, but my stack of books threatens to engulf me :)
 
@natetodamax: Depends on your zombie formula, man.  In some they don't need to swim, they just walk down through the water and up the other side.  And if there's enough of them, the ones underfoot make a nice ramp...
 
Still others are speedy and smart, though that sort of moves outside zombie territory, so we may have to lay down some kind of basic definition in this hypothetical scenario.  Me, I'd like to make them as clever as possible just to see how we'd do.
Posted by natetodamax
@ahoodedfigure: Zombies wouldn't be able to walk under the water because their bodies would rot away.
Posted by Seedofpower
@Br3adfan said:
" @Seedofpower said:
"  Have you ever read the book World War Z?   If you haven't you must do so. "
Greatest zombie book ever "
I couldn't agree more.
 
@ahoodedfigure:  You should stop what you are doing and go get it. I guarantee that you'll read it in a day.
Posted by Breadfan
@natetodamax said:
" @ahoodedfigure: Zombies wouldn't be able to walk under the water because their bodies would rot away. "
They are already dead walking corpses, how would their bodies rot away?
Posted by nixium
@natetodamax: I contest that. 
 
We float because our lungs are full of air. A zombie does not breath and therefore will sink very easily to the bottom. How would this cause its body to rot away? Maybe over time but if it walked along the bottom to the other side of the body of water it could emerge on the other bank unscathed.
 
Granted it couldn't cross oceans because the water pressure would probably crush the zombie's body.
Posted by Scooper
@natetodamax: It's all about the jump scares, that's how they get you.
Posted by ninjakiller
@natetodamax: This movie proves conclusively that although zombies cannot swim, they just walk underwater.
 
ZOMBIE VERSUS SHARK!
Posted by natetodamax
@nixium said:
" @natetodamax: I contest that.   We float because our lungs are full of air. A zombie does not breath and therefore will sink very easily to the bottom. How would this cause its body to rot away? Maybe over time but if it walked along the bottom to the other side of the body of water it could emerge on the other bank unscathed.  Granted it couldn't cross oceans because the water pressure would probably crush the zombie's body. "
If it was a small river or something, it's entirely possible for them to be able to reach the other side. I was talking about larger bodies of water. 
 
It has been quite a while since I looked through the Zombie Survival Guide
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@natetodamax: Since we're talking about made-up stuff, I'd REALLY like to define what you think is a zombie.  The newly dead wouldn't rot for a while and it depends on just how much water we're talking about.  I like to thing George Romero's zombies are considered classic, and they were actually pretty speedy in spots, got smarter over time, and negotiated water better than you'd think.  Globally we may be able to hole up in some places easily, but I don't think that's what the article was about.  It was more talking about civilization as we know it actually remaining intact. 

@Seedofpower: If I stopped what I was doing and went to get it, people would think _I_ was a zombie :)  Suggestion noted, though.  Have a friend who loves zombie fiction, keeps mentioning new ones he's bought and read.
Posted by mordukai
@Seedofpower said:
"  Have you ever read the book World War Z?   If you haven't you must do so. "
I think the Zombie Survival Guide  will be more appropriate in case there is a worldwide zombie infestation. 
Posted by Jeust

Uzis?
 
Granade launcher?
 
AK47?
 
Rambo's knife? 
 
Med Packs? 
 
Gorgeous female sidekick? 
 
ALL CHECK! 
 
Killing the infection one bullet at a time - that's my motto.      
 
Never been readier!!!

Posted by natetodamax
@ahoodedfigure said:
" @natetodamax: Since we're talking about made-up stuff
Stopped reading there. I'll be sure to save a bullet for you when the apocalypse comes.
 
Anyway, zombies couldn't get smarter overtime because they are dead. Their hearts are beating, so their brains wouldn't function and their intelligence would not increase. That's also why zombies technically don't bleed.
Posted by crusader8463

I seriously have spent a my fair share of time thinking of my game plan for a zombie outbreak. Laugh at me now but i will be the one laughing as my bullets go through your zombified brain!

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Is this study real? Because I would have totally funded it. Also, they cite Dead Rising as a source, which I find funny for some reason.

Posted by nixium
@natetodamax: Very true. 
 
What about larger bodies of water like the great lakes.  Take Lake Erie for example. It is only 92 KM or 57 Miles across North to South (source: 
http://www.great-lakes.net/lakes/erie.html) 
 
Why couldn't a zombie walk under the water in 2 days? 
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@ArbitraryWater: It's real, and almost apologetic about its real-world relevance.  I guess it's justified by its uniqueness, and that it uses formulae which could be attributable to real-world outbreaks.
 
@natetodamax: Thanks for creeping me out.   I think you still need to establish some sort of methodology for the guys if you want to pretend to understand them completely.
 
It still depends on the source of the zombies.  Since they technically CAN'T be alive, if they rot on their own they'll cease to be a threat.  You can't have something moving without muscles firing, muscles don't fire without electrolytes and other biology-stuff, it's all part of a chain.  We have to figure out what we assume is making them tick if we want to pretend to understand what they're capable of.  The brain may be the first thing to go in the LIVING, but these guys aren't alive.  They're UNdead, not dead.
   
If rotting is a problem, they'd never get out of their graves in the first place.  If degradation was a problem, they'd get weaker over time.  You don't need a big body of water to make a body rot; just ask a forensic pathologist.
 
My vote is space fungus, but I have no way to test it without catching a "live" one.  The fungus could replace the lost portions of the brain, growing a new purpose that reflects the old.  You have zombies going shopping when they're not trying to bite your arm off, you have them being taught how to use pistols.  Not sure what your sources are, natetodamax.  By all means, share it with the rest of the survivors before it's too late.