Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for . . .


Image courtesy: Angus

Zombie biology.

I got hooked on The Walking Dead and watched the first three seasons on Netflix. Now I am in withdrawal. I've read one of the novels (The Fall of the Governor, Part I) and ordered the first two of that series. While the television show was excellent, the book was just so-so. Plenty of carnage, but the writing wasn't the greatest. I've also read the first comic book by Robert Kirkland and would like to read more, but they are a bit pricey.

All this time in Zombieland has lead to some questions. Zombies are horrifying corpses in various stages of decay. They are literally falling apart. So in the zombie apocalypse, how long would zombies actually last? One website explains that a human body can become completely skeletonized in as few as 10 days to a month if exposed to heat and humidity. The setting of The Walking Dead, Georgia, certainly qualifies on both accounts. Yet there are plenty of fleshy zombies up and about several months after the initial outbreak. So what gives? Is this why many zombie movies and books focus on the first days of the outbreak?

The writers for the show might have known people would ask this, so they added a nice little twist to their zombie universe. The zombie "virus" is in everybody, alive or dead. So if a "normal" person dies, they still turn into a zombie even if they weren't bitten by one. So, in theory, this might explain the relatively fresh zombies, but from the way the story has unfolded, survivors are pretty rare. Or perhaps part of zombie biology is a slower rate of decomposition.

My other question is a bit gross, so if you are still reading, you may want to stop. Here goes: Do zombies poop? Their purpose in the afterlife is to gorge on living people (or in The Walking Dead, any living creature). They never get enough! So what happens to all that food getting jammed down their throats? Fans of the show may remember a scene in which a zombie tummy is unzipped with a knife to check that a missing child wasn't inside. Gruesome, I know. Thankfully, they just found a woodchuck. If that mess didn't move on through the rest of the digestive tract, then wouldn't the zombie eventually pop? And if they do digest this food, exactly how dead are they?

When all is said and done, trying to find logic in a zombie universe is probably an exercise in futility. Are you a Walking Dead fan? Have you seen other zombie fiction that deals with these issues? Need a barf bucket?

Congrats to all who made it through the A to Z challenge!

23 comments:

  1. Ha! I don't think they do. Their internal organs don't work. I'm assuming some meat they eat will squeeze out through whatever holes in their bodies it can!

    Visiting on behalf of Untethered Realms for the A to Z Challenge. (We did zombies today too!)

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  2. Great question! I've often wondered the same thing! Maybe they're not really dead after all.

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  3. It is interesting that the human body can keep certain viruses (like Strep) and also staff (like MRSA) in or on us for a long period of time. Sometimes it just lies dormant until ? whatever triggers it:) Interesting! I just followed your blog. Thought I did already:)

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  4. Hah! I like the way your mind works. But on another thought, it is so not right that I've only now found your blog on the last day of the challenge. No worry. I'll be back when I have more time to read previous posts. I'm now your newest follower. Congrats on finishing the challenge.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks! And hey, better late than never.

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  5. This is a profound question indeed. I'll have to find a zombie and ask it.

    Good job finishing the Challenge!

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    1. Thank you for being my 100th follower. (I'm following your blog now.)

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  6. Should I watch The Walking Dead? I'm a little scared of the violence! I don't like watching people get ripped apart or eaten or whatever...

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    1. No, no, no. The Walking Dead is great because of its compelling characters, but the gore and violence are extreme.

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  7. Oh dear, I just had breakfast.

    I love zombie movies, but haven't seen this show yet.

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  8. Oh, my. I don't want to think about this at this time!

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I will do everything in my power to visit commenter's blogs unless I've been abducted by aliens or my children get sick. (If my children get abducted by aliens, I will be very busy, of course, catching up on my sleep.)

Note: During the A to Z challenge, I may not be able to return all comments in a timely fashion, but I will do my best.