In the zombie film. The American drama “The Walking Dead” is the most famous. This is the first zombie-type TV series. It mixes the elements of blood, violence, and action movies. It has won the fanatical pursuit of countless fans.
In the play, the most terrifying characters are zombies. They have no thoughts and are slow to act, but there are a lot of them. Unless they get a headshot, they can’t be killed in other ways. They are like hungry monsters, searching for living humans everywhere, swarming up to bite and suck human brains. People who have been bitten will be infected by the virus and become zombies.
The zombies are terrifying and the plot is wonderful, but is this show scientific?
Can kill the zombies with a knife?
The hero Rick Grimes is trapped. A zombie walked towards him slowly. Gram was too nervous. Sweat dripped from his thick beard. Since the zombies began to spread all over the earth, he spent hundreds of days and nights of fear without time to shave his beard. In a hurry, Grimes took his knife and pierced it directly into the forehead of the zombie. The zombie died and fell, and the crisis was resolved.
This scene is not a special scene in The Walking Dead. In many zombie films, when human survivors run out of weapons and equipment, they often use more primitive equipment to kill the zombies, such as knives. But can zombie skulls be so fragile that they can be stabbed open?
The skull is the bony layer that protects the brain. Some areas of the skull are indeed very fragile-one area is the inside of the eye, which can be pierced by a pencil; the other area is near the ear, where the skull is only about 4 mm thick. It is the thinnest area in the entire skull. This is why a part of a motorcycle helmet is dedicated to ear protection, because the skull in that area is the most vulnerable.
But most of the skull is very “firm” and it is not so easy to split it with a knife. You’d better choose some heavy weapons, such as axes and crossbow arrows.
Of course, some people may say that zombies are not humans after all. They are dead and their bodies are rotting. Doesn’t this affect the hardness of the skull? In fact it is not the case. In human childhood, there are large gaps between the skulls, which are connected by soft tissues. At this time, a knife is used to pierce the brain tissue. But with age, the bones grow, and the gap between the skulls decreases. The adult skulls are basically united, and the soft tissues between the bones become calcified and hard. At this time, the main reason that the skull becomes fragile after death, such as surface cracks and volume shrinkage, is often exposed to the sun, but it also takes time. And as we saw in zombie movies, most zombies still have scalps to protect them.
What is the difference between biting and being bitten?
After many escapes from the dead, human survivors finally understood a truth: don’t be bitten by zombies. Because every zombie has a virus in its mouth, it can turn people into zombies. Even being scratched by a zombie will allow pathogens to enter the blood, and then people will slowly lose their humanity.
This plot is scientifically justified. In infectious diseases, some viruses in organisms can indeed not harm the host, but after infecting other organisms, they can cause fatal injuries. For example, doctors discovered a herpes virus in rhesus monkeys, which does not cause health problems in rhesus monkeys, but when rhesus monkeys bite humans, the death rate of herpes virus infects humans reaches nearly 70%.
However, in the second season of The Walking Dead, we know that everyone has actually been infected by the zombie virus. All the living people in the play are carriers of the zombie virus. If you die, you will become a zombie. Another very strange situation is that if you are bitten by a zombie, you will also become a zombie.
If you think about this problem from a scientific point of view, you will be confused. When animals are the host of a virus, they tend not to die from the disease. For example, a macaque that carries the deadly herpes B virus will not die from the herpes B virus. Similarly, if everyone in the play has already carried the virus, they should not die after being bitten by a zombie and re-infected with the zombie virus.
You might say that a zombie is essentially a dead body, and the dead body can carry deadly viruses, such as gastrointestinal pathogens, hepatitis, and even 36 days after human death, tuberculosis still exists in the corpse. As we all know, the mouth is a paradise for bacteria. Therefore, after a zombie bites a person, it not only infects the zombie virus, but also the deadly bacteria that the zombie infects during his lifetime. The mixture of these bacteria kills the bite.
However, if this is the case, the survivors in The Walking Dead may have to face more life-threatening situations. Because if a zombie has become a colony of deadly germs, in other words, they have become a walking corpse carrying germs, think about it in real life, when searching for survivors, rescuers will take special precautions. Make sure that they will not be infected. Then, in the play, the environment should be full of germs, and survivors entering any area where the zombies pass will be fatal.
This is just a short-term disaster
Later, when the plot of “The Walking Dead” developed, zombies have wandered the earth for more than 500 days and occupied most of the United States. The survivors were short of water and food and fell into a serious shortage of supplies. They began to murder and cannibalism, and human civilization collapsed. Maybe you also sweated for the fate of the protagonists. However, from a scientific point of view, the zombies may not have much combat effectiveness at all.
The reason why we can walk and exercise depends on the perfect coordination of muscles, tendons, bones, etc. However, in “The Walking Dead”, many zombies have broken bones and rotted muscles, and some zombies have suffered huge head trauma, and their brains seem to be completely Loss of function, any part of this loss, will make it lose the ability to walk.
Secondly, humans eat food in order to obtain energy to maintain breathing, reproduction and other activities. This process relies on our metabolism. Metabolism is a series of chemical reactions that occur in our body, but the zombies are already dead and they have no metabolic function. Even if zombies can eat human brains for energy, their stomachs cannot digest food.
Finally, a natural phenomenon that may allow zombies to exist for a very short time is decay. When the organism dies, bacteria will quickly decompose body tissues into gas and salt. This process produces odors, which quickly attract some bugs. Flies will fly first, and flies will lay eggs in the dead. Even, sometimes, when you are still alive, but your body tissues are dead, you will still attract them.
In “The Walking Dead”, zombies will rot faster, because the zombies in the film often appear in tropical areas. Therefore, unless the zombies send out a certain chemical signal to repel insects or clean up their odors, the zombies will eventually become a pile of scattered bones. The “zombie end” may just be a fast and terrifying epidemic.