5 Reasons Zombies Are Physically Impossible | What the Stuff?!

Everybody’s got a zombie survival plan, but will you actually need it? This video explains 5 reasons that zombies don’t make any scientific sense.

Zombie article:

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Music attribution:

“Haunted” by Jahzzar

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The conditions of the zombie outbreak set in. Let’s say a space probe returns from Venus, explodes in the atmosphere and that somehow wakes up all the corpses on the planet. Doesn’t really make sense to me, but Romero said it, and I believe it. So imagine you’re a corpse, you’re just lying in your coffin, minding your own business, when suddenly you wake up with a craving for the moist savor of human flesh. That hunger you feel suggests your body is still subject to the laws of physics – namely the conservation of energy. If you’re going to be walking around, chasing survivors and moaning for brains, all of that activity costs your body energy. And for energy to be going out of your body, energy needs to be coming in. Normally, this happens when a living human body converts chemical energy from food in the process we know as metabolism. But an undead creature like a zombie has essentially already declared energy bankruptcy. Obviously corpses don’t have the working digestive system and metabolism to turn food into usable energy. A dead body has no metabolism, and thus it can’t do … really anything.

But let’s say we ignore the fundamental energy/metabolism problem, and we just grant that dead, rotting bodies are able to walk around looking for fresh brains. We immediately run into another huge obstacle: the weather. It’s easy to forget that living organisms spend a huge amount of effort protecting the insides of our bodies from the whims of the weather. Just one example: Thermoregulation. Thermoregulation means being able to keep your body’s internal temperature within a certain range, even if the temperature outside is a good bit higher or lower. Thermoregulation is a form of homeostasis, which just means being able to dynamically adjust variables to keep the internal conditions of your body relatively stable. Zombies, having none of these capabilities, better hope the weather is nice, or it’s lights out yet again. Without thermoregulation, sub-freezing temperatures would crystalize whatever moisture content is left in zombie flesh, destroying tissues — including the all-important brain tissue. So: No zombies in winter. Likewise, zombies in a hot, dry desert climate would quickly see their moisture evaporate, leaving them shriveled, desiccated raisin-corpses. But, let’s say you imagine your zombie outbreak in very hot, humid, jungle climate. Everything would be fine, right? Wrong.

Here we get to another problem. Have you ever seen what happens if you leave a piece of raw meat sitting out for a week in a hot, humid climate? That’s right: It’s swarming with flies and smells of rot… that is, if it’s still where you left it when you come back to check. Presumably, the same thing would have to happen to a zombie. Having no immune systems, zombies would almost immediately become infested with microscopic opportunists like bacteria and fungi, not to mention millions of insects – beetles, flies and maggots, and other carrion-eating insects. These efficient organisms can consume a given mass of dead flesh at an alarming rate. On top of that, you can count on vultures, dogs, raccoons and other large-scale scavengers to come looking for their taste as well. I mean, really, every zombie in every zombie movie should be dragging a train of scavengers large and small everywhere it goes until its bones are picked clean.

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