What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

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NikkThePixel
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What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby NikkThePixel » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:56 pm UTC

Hypothetically speaking, if there was a zombie apocalypse type scenario, how long would it last? what would stop it, and could humanity possibly survive it by living in cold areas?

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:06 pm UTC

What kind of zombies? You have to specify the rules that govern the zombies before we can possibly start to discuss questions about what those rules imply.
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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby Raidri » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:28 am UTC

A lot of discussion about this can be found in the book "World War Z" (not the movie!).

But as gmalivuk says it depends on the type of zombie and a lot of other factors and could range from days to decades.

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:37 pm UTC

According to iZombie rules, zombies remain mostly normal as long as they eat human brains every so often. If they remained a small enough minority, such zombies could coexist with us indefinitely without any major problems.

Figuring out the maximum stable fraction of zombies is left as an exercise for the reader.
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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby ucim » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:23 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:If they remained a small enough minority, such zombies could coexist with us indefinitely without any major problems.
Are you kidding? There aren't enough brains to go around as it is.

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:25 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:If they remained a small enough minority, such zombies could coexist with us indefinitely without any major problems.
Are you kidding? There aren't enough brains to go around as it is.

They canonically don't have to be good or even particularly non-rotten brains to suffice.
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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby ucim » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:24 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:They canonically don't have to be good or even particularly non-rotten brains to suffice.
Well, if they depend on canon, just wet their powder.

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby cphite » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:24 pm UTC

NikkThePixel wrote:Hypothetically speaking, if there was a zombie apocalypse type scenario, how long would it last? what would stop it, and could humanity possibly survive it by living in cold areas?


Slow undead zombies... Societal collapse would happen quickly, but more due to other people than the actual undead... I think, frankly, that most of the slow zombie genre greatly overestimates how quickly the living would be overtaken by slow zombies. I'd expect large pockets of survivors, especially in heavily armed and/or remote locations. However, life outside an established group would be brutally short. As for how long it lasts... according to most examples it'd basically be forever. Zombies keep on truckin' for a long time after it'd seem like they shouldn't be able to move anymore. As far as cold goes, it seems like it should slow them down or even stop them due to freezing... but then again, they're zombies so you have to take natural rules with a grain of salt...

Fast undead zombies... Societal collapse would happen far more quickly, and it would be much harder to survive in general. I still think you'd see pockets of survivors moreso than is typically depicted; but it'd be much harder to maintain them over time. Life outside an established group would be practically impossible unless you're very isolated. As for how long... basically the same deal as the slow zombies. Same with cold.

Infected people... Not really "zombies" persay but a common enough theme... these are folks with highly contagious infections that make them extremely aggressive. Society would still collapse, although perhaps not permanently; depends on whether the infected can be put down, and how quickly. Given that the infected can die from the same sorts of things as regular people, the overall apocalypse would be shorter - but that's relative. Any environment that's cold enough (or hot enough, dry enough, etc) to stop normal people would be presumably effective against the infected.

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:53 am UTC

cphite wrote:Slow undead zombies... Societal collapse would happen quickly, but more due to other people than the actual undead... I think, frankly, that most of the slow zombie genre greatly overestimates how quickly the living would be overtaken by slow zombies. I'd expect large pockets of survivors, especially in heavily armed and/or remote locations.

[Snip]

Fast undead zombies... Societal collapse would happen far more quickly, and it would be much harder to survive in general. I still think you'd see pockets of survivors moreso than is typically depicted; but it'd be much harder to maintain them over time.

We don't see nearly enough starving, besieged bunkers in zombie movies. Probably because starvation and illness aren't very dramatic or cinematically appealing forms of death, but still. One would expect to see re-runs of every other besieged city in history, where the tenants are in no danger from the outside as long as they stay within their walls and slowly starve as they run out of pets, leather, and elderly people to cannibalize.

That's a lot more depressing to watch than the end of the world or a trite "we're the real monsters" message, though.
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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:21 am UTC

In the case of slow zombies we'd adapt. Dismembering the dead would become the new death rite. You can't shamble if your legs are detached. Sooner or later some young 20 something innovator would recognize that the energy being created that allows dead bodies to walk, represents an income stream if only it can be harnessed. After a long period of research she sells the startup and joins the nouveau riche. Grandmas dead body becomes an asset instead of a liability.

Perhaps the funniest take on this was the movie "Death Becomes Her". While not truly a zombie movie it does represent an amusing take on what happens when the spirit can't die and the body can't heal.

And anything with an infection as virulent as that represented in World War Z the movie, 100 percent fatal in under 30 seconds and 100 percent communicable, starving wouldn't be the issue.

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby Hellaphunt » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:11 pm UTC

What really freaked me out in World War Z was that they could walk sea beds and ocean floors. It never occurred to me that that was completely plausible.

Can they walk through these large bodies of water, OP!
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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:07 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Perhaps the funniest take on this was the movie "Death Becomes Her"

I have to argue with you here, most vehemently.

That film was dire, and raised ne'er a titter. (Very good effects, shame about... everything else!) If I hadn't paid for a cinema ticket, and was there with a number of other guys and gals I'd known from the SciFi soc, I would have walked out. (As, it appears, would a number of the others. But many of us were being too polite. The other time, when we decided to go to a pantomime, was much better. If only we'd gone to see Buffy The Vampire Slayer, instead. Yes, even the never-to-be-contiguous initial film outing.)

Slight diversion, but I feel particularly strongly about this point....


Ah, something to be on-topic with...
Hellaphunt wrote:What really freaked me out in World War Z was that they could walk sea beds and ocean floors. It never occurred to me that that was completely plausible.
It has prior art! One of the original "<period of time> Of The Dead" films (Night? I'd have to look it up, I tend to get mixed up between the later ones, that blur a bit in my recollection...) had zombies 'crossing' the Hudson into New York or perhaps the Potomac into DC or... (...more blurring, I really can't claim to be the ultimate fan-expert, as you can probably tell by now).

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby HES » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:22 pm UTC

Wouldn't zombies be more likely to float? They'd certainly struggle against tides and currents.
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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby Hellaphunt » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:37 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:It has prior art! One of the original "<period of time> Of The Dead" films (Night? I'd have to look it up, I tend to get mixed up between the later ones, that blur a bit in my recollection...) had zombies 'crossing' the Hudson into New York or perhaps the Potomac into DC or... (...more blurring, I really can't claim to be the ultimate fan-expert, as you can probably tell by now).

Dawn of the Dead?

HES wrote:Wouldn't zombies be more likely to float? They'd certainly struggle against tides and currents.

They'd certainly be slow, but I think their emptied lungs might lend to their decreased buoyancy. A lot of fat begins to flee when you're "deceased", too.
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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:00 pm UTC

Hellaphunt wrote:Dawn of the Dead?

I checked, after posting. Land... (Who knew that "Land" was a time of day? Well, it is. So there.) And that means it was Pittsburgh and the Allegheny/Monongahela Rivers.

As for floating, I already supposed (and you've ninjaed me on this) that if you don't have to breathe (and don't have other enclosed cavities full of putrefying gas products) you can probably just use a trivial amount of ballast (heavy boots?) and 'wade' across the bottom of a non-rapid stretch of river. Crawl over/through soft silt, even, if it's so slow as to not self-scour to shingle/bedrock (and that applies to ocean-bottoms, too).

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby Hellaphunt » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:49 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:you can probably just use a trivial amount of ballast (heavy boots?)

They eat brains, not use them :P
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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:53 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:I have to argue with you here, most vehemently.
Just seeing Bruce Willis in his role was worth the cost of a ticket. But.........
Soupspoon wrote:As for floating, I already supposed (and you've ninjaed me on this) that if you don't have to breathe (and don't have other enclosed cavities full of putrefying gas products) you can probably just use a trivial amount of ballast (heavy boots?) and 'wade' across the bottom of a non-rapid stretch of river. Crawl over/through soft silt, even, if it's so slow as to not self-scour to shingle/bedrock (and that applies to ocean-bottoms, too).
My dive instructor would have found that thought amusing.

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby tomandlu » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:51 am UTC

I believe some modeling was done on 'classic' slow zombies, and the results were pretty much the same for any highly-infectious deadly disease - if you catch the outbreak quickly enough, containment is relatively easy; if you don't, you're fucked.

I think this might be the study(ies) I'm thinking of, although I didn't spot anything about initial containment with a quick skim.

https://physics.le.ac.uk/journals/index ... ew/956/679
https://physics.le.ac.uk/journals/index ... ew/965/683

Ah. I think it was an earlier study that dealt with initial containment.

http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h6423

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby speising » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:25 am UTC

I never understood how the spread is really supposed to work: The Z's hunger for yummy human flesh, don't they? So if a horde of them catch a human, they'll eat them, or a good portion at least. The rest of that unlucky individual may turn undead, but won't have enough of itself left to shamble themselves after the next uninfected person.

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby Hellaphunt » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:47 am UTC

speising wrote:I never understood how the spread is really supposed to work: The Z's hunger for yummy human flesh, don't they? So if a horde of them catch a human, they'll eat them, or a good portion at least. The rest of that unlucky individual may turn undead, but won't have enough of itself left to shamble themselves after the next uninfected person.
You might be thinking of vampires :twisted:
A zombie virus would be contagious, so humans needn't be bitten to convert.
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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby speising » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:54 am UTC

Hellaphunt wrote:A zombie virus would be contagious, so humans needn't be bitten to convert.

Depends on the route of transmission.

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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:14 pm UTC

Again, different zombie media has different details. You've got to pick your canon before you can declare how the condition spreads.
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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby Hellaphunt » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:36 pm UTC

True
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Re: What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse?

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:05 pm UTC



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