Geekend: Zombie Halloween Special

David Wagner, Managing Editor | 10/25/2013 | 49 comments

David Wagner
There will never be a zombie apocalypse, but not for the reason you think. Nope, it isn’t because zombies aren’t real. A naturalist named David Mizejewski says it is because zombies would be easy prey for animals.

In this essay, he lays down a pretty good argument for why the “Walking Dead” style zombie would never stand a chance -- they’ll get eaten before they eat you. Zombies are essentially made of dead flesh and there are very few animals in North America that have too much pride to eat dead flesh.

Mizejewski focuses on bears and other large mammals as the first primary threat. He points out that certain types of bears aren’t afraid of living humans and love carrion. So they aren’t going to be afraid of zombies. A couple dozen zombies in town would be like opening up the “pickanick basket” for Yogi and Booboo.

And of course, you’ve got your carrion birds like vultures. But even seagulls have been known to pick at dead things on the beach. All those Speedo-wearing zombies on the beach are toast. All that would be left would be some bones, some sun tan lotion, and a tankini.

One animal Mizejewski doesn’t mention is dogs. If enough of us turn into zombies and we stop feeding our dogs, you know they’re going to go looking for food. Dogs love to gnaw on a nice bone. What frightens you more, being attacked by a zombie or becoming one and having your dog rip off your foot and run off to gnaw on it in your old bedroom?

You can argue that there aren’t enough mammals to shut down a zombie apocalypse before all the humans die, but Mizejewski saves the best for last: bugs. Yup, bugs feed on dead things and they can strip a carcass amazingly fast. I’ll spare you Mizejewski’s video in case you’re eating lunch, but you can find them in the link to the article.

And I have to admit, bugs are the trump card in this argument. In your average zombie movie a certain number of people become “infected” in an early outbreak and then they pass on the infection in ever-increasing waves as the few uninfected flee to safe houses and small government-run enclaves. Here’s the thing though -- as the zombies grow in number, they’re going to draw animals. There’s a point where the animals and bugs see a tasty new source of food. Pretty soon every zombie is fighting off predators at the same time it is trying to infect more humans.

Then it becomes a math equation. Can they infect faster than they are eaten? Sure, there might be millions of zombies, but there are an estimated 10 quintillion bugs. That’s a one with 19 zeroes, folks. A study of Pennsylvania soil samples estimated that there are 425 million bugs per acre of land. Think about that for a second. The average lot size for a house in the US is a quarter of an acre. In your house and in the dirt around your house over 100 million bugs are crawling around you. If you become a lurching undead mess with dead fleshing falling off of you, how long before a couple million of those bugs find you? We know forensics experts can tell time of death of a body by how many bugs have crawled in within a few hours of dying.

So what would a zombie apocalypse look like? Probably a cross between a terrible plague and a Hitchcock movie. A first wave of thousands or hundreds of thousands would get sick (probably including me). The rest of you would shutter yourselves in fear. And while you are cowering in your house with zombies pounding on your windows and doors trying to get in, you won’t have to reach for your shotgun. Because as you do, you’ll see thousands of sea gulls darkening the sky as they fly down ripping at the flesh of the zombies gathering to eat your brains. They’ll peck at them mercilessly while the zombies flail desperately trying to fend them off. Once the birds have had their way, millions of maggots, flies, and beetles will come to feast on what is left stripping the bodies to the bones. Those “lucky enough” to survive the infection will be treated to the show of natural recycling almost as if in time lapse happening right in front of them on a grand scale.

Almost makes you want to be one of the first to die, doesn’t it?

What do you think? Is that how it would go down? Would the animals beat the zombies in the game of eat or be eaten? Or would the animals that ate the zombies be infected, too? Would we be eaten by zombie bears? Would you survive? Tell us how, and comment below.

Oh, and before I go, if that’s all just a little too intense for you I thought it would be fun to play a little game. You know how zombie movies always center around a tiny band of survivors trying to survive the apocalypse? I thought it would be fun if we imagined the E2 community as that little surviving band in the movies. Of course, in a movie everyone has to have a character to play. We’re going to assign our parts randomly.

I’m sure you’ve seen this is social media. Go to the last story you commented on before this one. Find all the people who commented on the story before you (or after if you need extra people). Put their names into this list in the order their names appear.

  1. Is first to be infected
  2. Is always the one with the plan to “escape” to somewhere
  3. Owns the cool safe house in the woods with the stock pile of weapons and food
  4. Asks you to kill them when they’ve been infected
  5. Tells jokes at every opportunity to alleviate the horror
  6. Tries to see if a friend is “still in there” and reasons with a zombie. Gets mangled.
  7. Stands before recently infected zombie girlfriend/boyfriend, begging to infect them too, so they can be zombies together
  8. Captures a zombie, locks it in a lab, performs scientific studies on it in a way that may cause audience to actually feel sorry for the zombie

Post the list in the comments section and tell us what you think. Does it accurately describe them? Which editors fit the descriptions above? Tell us in the comments.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 5   >   >>
tinym   Geekend: Zombie Halloween Special   11/6/2013 8:19:13 AM
Re: Zombie apocalypse roles
Aww :( It'll be raining money before you know it...
kstaron   Geekend: Zombie Halloween Special   10/31/2013 1:18:15 PM
So do zombies have toxic flesh?
Thank goodness for the bugs that come to our rescue! I always figured that something in the reanimation process made the zombies toxic/unappitizing to most other forms of life so animals including bugs wouldn't eat them. We'd have to rely on the bacteria slowly digesting them. And maybe the occasional fungus.

I'd rather see zombies eaten by bugs than be the things the bugs (or zombies) were eating.
Taimoor Zubair   Geekend: Zombie Halloween Special   10/31/2013 2:58:46 AM
Re: Plants vs Zombies
The subject of your message contains my most favorite game I am BADLY addicted to!
Broadway   Geekend: Zombie Halloween Special   10/30/2013 9:32:54 PM
Re: Bugs are more scary
@Sara, I would add to your list: 3) tsunami; 4) nuclear bomb mushroom cloud.
Sara Peters   Geekend: Zombie Halloween Special   10/30/2013 7:24:10 PM
Re: Bugs are more scary
Two things I'd be very happy to never see in person: 1. zombie 2. tornado.
Nomi   Geekend: Zombie Halloween Special   10/30/2013 8:59:12 AM
Re: Bugs are more scary
@impactnow I am not really sure zombies exists but the other living creatures then humans and animals do exists. There are many real life encountes which can be quoted. But I prefer not to encounter one in my life  :)
tekedge   Geekend: Zombie Halloween Special   10/30/2013 8:14:10 AM
Zombie Halloween special
Good stuff for science fiction. You will make money for sure especially teens zombie books are the current craze... Happy Halloween.
impactnow   Geekend: Zombie Halloween Special   10/29/2013 1:12:08 PM
Re: Bugs are more scary
Maybe we should look at all the cities with bug infestations maybe Zombies are the sources of stubborn pests! :)
Sara Peters   Geekend: Zombie Halloween Special   10/28/2013 6:50:03 PM
Re: Bugs are more scary
@impactnow   Good point. Now there's another reason to stay away from zombies. Not only will they possibly eat you, they'll also be walking breeding grounds for flies and all other kinds of gross bugs.
Sara Peters   Geekend: Zombie Halloween Special   10/28/2013 6:46:42 PM
Re: Zombie apocalypse roles
@tinym  "It's both gross and comforting at the same time." If I had a dime for every time I've said that...
Page 1 / 5   >   >>

The blogs and comments posted on do not reflect the views of TechWeb,, or its sponsors., TechWeb, and its sponsors do not assume responsibility for any comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.

More Blogs from David Wagner
David Wagner   5/30/2014   21 comments
For almost three and a half years I have had the pleasure and real privilege to write the Geekend for you every Friday. Fortunately, that privilege isn't ending, it is just moving to our ...
David Wagner   5/23/2014   69 comments
Most of us have gone through the pain of losing a beloved pet. Maybe you lived a long and happy life together, and it died peacefully. Maybe it was tragically struck down by a car or a ...
David Wagner   5/22/2014   47 comments
It is a rare thing when you find me advocating for the government to get more involved in regulating technology, but when it comes to the Internet of Things, that is what I'm advocating. ...
David Wagner   5/21/2014   13 comments
E2 has long trumpeted the days when 3D printers would sit on our desks and print prototypes, consumer goods, and even body parts right from our desk, but a new cloud manufacturing company ...
David Wagner   5/16/2014   40 comments
With Disney's success with the Avengers franchise, geeks everywhere are being treated to an outrageously large number of TV shows and movies based on comic book superhero characters. For ...
Latest Archived Broadcast
We talk with Bernard Golden about accelerating application delivery in the cloud.
On-demand Video with Chat
Register for this video discussion to learn how tablets can provide true business usability and productivity.
E2 IT Migration Zones
IT Migration Zone - UK
Why PowerShell Is Important
Reduce the Windows 8 Footprint for VDI
Rethinking Storage Management
IT Migration Zone - FR
SQL Server : 240 To de mémoire flash pour votre data warehouse
Quand Office vient booster les revenus Cloud et Android de Microsoft
Windows Phone : Nokia veut davantage d'applications (et les utilisateurs aussi)
IT Migration Zone - DE
Cloud Computing: Warum Unternehmen trotz NSA auf die „private“ Wolke setzen sollten
Cloud Computing bleibt Wachstumsmarkt – Windows Azure ist Vorreiter
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Enterprise Efficiency Twitter Feed
Site Moderators Wanted
Enterprise Efficiency is looking for engaged readers to moderate the message boards on this site. Engage in high-IQ conversations with IT industry leaders; earn kudos and perks. Interested? E-mail:
[email protected]
Dell's Efficiency Modeling Tool
The major problem facing the CIO is how to measure the effectiveness of the IT department. Learn how Dell’s Efficiency Modeling Tool gives the CIO two clear, powerful numbers: Efficiency Quotient and Impact Quotient. These numbers can be transforma¬tive not only to the department, but to the entire enterprise.

Read the full report
The State of Enterprise Efficiency in the Virtual Era: Virtualization – Smart Approaches to Maximize Gains
Virtualization is a presence in nearly all enterprise data centers. But not all companies are using it to its best effect. Learn the common characteristics of success, what barriers companies face, and how to get the most from your efforts.

Read the full report
Informed CIO: Dollars & Sense: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Cut through the VDI hype and get the full picture -- including ROI and the impact on your Data Center -- to make an informed decision about your virtual desktop infrastructure deployments.

Read the full report
A Video Case Study – Translational Genomics Research Institute
e2 Video

On the Case
TGen IT: Where We're Going Next

7|11|12   |   08:12   |   10 comments

Now that TGen has broken new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions, the company discusses what will come next for it and for personalized medicine.
On the Case
Better Care Through Better Communications

6|6|12   |   02:24   |   11 comments

The achievements of the TGen/Dell project could improve how all people receive healthcare, because they are creating ways to improve end-to-end communication of medical data.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Are Now

5|15|12   |   06:58   |   6 comments

TGen is breaking new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Were

4|27|12   |   06:45   |   10 comments

The Translational Genomics Research Institute wanted to save lives, but its efforts were hobbled by immense computing challenges related to collecting, processing, sharing, and storing enormous amounts of data.
On the Case
1,200% Faster

4|18|12   |   02:27   |   12 comments

Through their partnership, Dell and TGen have increased the speed of TGen’s medical research by 1,200 percent.
On the Case
IT May Improve Children's Chances of Survival

4|17|12   |   02:12   |   8 comments

IT is helping medical researchers reach breakthroughs in a way and pace never seen before.
On the Case
Medical Advances in the Cloud

4|10|12   |   1:25   |   5 comments

TGen and Dell are pushing the boundaries of computing, and harnessing the power of the cloud to improve healthcare.
On the Case
TGen: Living the Mission

4|9|12   |   2:25   |   3 comments

TGen's CIO puts the organizational mission at the heart of everything the IT staff does.
On the Case
TGen Speeding Up Biomedical Research to Save More Lives

4|5|12   |   1:59   |   6 comments

The Translational Genomics Research Institute is revamping its computing to improve speed, storage, and collaboration – and, most importantly, to save lives.
On the Case
Computing Power Helping to Save Children's Lives

3|28|12   |   2:13   |   3 comments

The Translational Genomics Institute’s partnership with Dell is enabling them to treat kids with neuroblastoma more quickly and save more lives.
Tom Nolle
The Big Reason to Use Office

3|18|14   |   02:24   |   46 comments

Office and personal productivity tools come in a first-class and coach flavor set, but what makes the difference is primarily little things that most users won't encounter. What's the big issue in using something other than Office, and can you get around it?
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Mobile Security — A Use Case

3|4|14   |   04:27   |   16 comments

New mobile security solutions can accommodate a wide array of needs, including those of a complex university environment.
Tom Nolle
Killing Net Neutrality Might Save You Money

1|16|14   |   2:13   |   16 comments

The DC Court of Appeals voided most of the Neutrality Order, and whatever it might mean for the Internet overall, it might mean better and cheaper Internet VPNs for businesses.
Tom Nolle
The Internet of Everythinguseful

1|10|14   |   2:18   |   19 comments

We really don't want an "Internet of Everything" but even building an Internet of Everythinguseful means setting some ground rules to insure there's value in the process and that costs and risks are minimized.
Tom Nolle
Maturing Google Chrome

12|30|13   |   2.18   |   25 comments

Google's Chrome OS has a lot of potential value and a lot of recent press, but it still needs something to make it more than a thin client. It needs cloud integration, it needs extended APIs via web services, and it needs to suck it up and support a hard drive.
Sara Peters
No More Cookie-Cutter IT

12|23|13   |   03.58   |   21 comments

Creating the right combination of technology, people, and processes for your IT organization is a lot like baking Christmas cookies.
Sara Peters
Smart Wigs Not a Smart Idea

12|5|13   |   3:01   |   46 comments

Sony is seeking a patent for wigs that contain computing devices.
Tom Nolle
Cloud in the Wild

12|4|13   |   02:23   |   15 comments

On a recent African trip I saw examples of the value of the cloud in developing nations, for educational and community development programs. We could build on this, but not only in developing economies, because these same programs are often under-supported even in first-world countries.
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Is Malware Evading Your IPS?

11|18|13   |   03:16   |   4 comments

Intrusion prevention software is supposed to detect and block malware intrusions, but clever malware authors can evade your IPS in these five main ways.
Sara Peters
Where Have All the Mentors Gone?

9|27|13   |   3:15   |   38 comments

A good professional mentor can change your life for the better... but where do you find one?
Tom Nolle
SDN Wars & You Could Win

9|17|13   |   2:10   |   5 comments

VMware's debate with Cisco on SDN might finally create a fusion between an SDN view that's all about software and another that's all about network equipment. That would be good for every enterprise considering the cloud and SDN.
Ivan Schneider
The Future of the Smart Watch

9|12|13   |   3:19   |   39 comments

Wearing a bulky, oversized watch is good training for the next phase in wristwatches: the Internet-enabled, connected watch. Why the smartphone-tethered connected watch makes sense, plus Ivan demos an entirely new concept for the "smart watch."
Tom Nolle
Cutting Your Cloud Storage Costs

9|4|13   |   2:06   |   3 comments

Cloud storage costs are determined primarily by the rate at which files are changed and the possibility of concurrent access/update. If you can structure your storage use to optimize these factors you can cut costs, perhaps to zero.
Sara Peters
Do CIOs Need an IT Background?

8|29|13   |   2:11   |   23 comments

Most of the CIOs interviewed in the How to Become a CIO series did not start their careers as IT professionals. So is an IT background essential?
Ivan Schneider
The Internet Loves Birthdays

8|27|13   |   3:25   |   69 comments

The Internet has evolved into a machine for drumming up a chorus of "Happy Birthday" messages, from family, friends, friends of friends who you added on Facebook, random people that you circled on G+, and increasingly, automated bots. Enough already.