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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:31 pm 
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I don't mean to be stepping on anyone's toes or anything, and I hope that you take this thread for what it is, as I'm not trolling and I'm seeking an honest and open discussion about how close to a Hollywood-zombie our reality can actually experience. The zombies seen in most Hollywood flicks and shows are more fictional than "realistic" - rather, they're impossible, but many of you already knew that...

So, what would be a more realistic zombie?

- Slow vs fast zombies... if the bodies are "dead" then the flesh, organs, etc. begin to rot and is literally dead meat that will not function. The traditional dead zombies would be more plausible with slow zombies. However, different variations of "dead" seem to make it more plausible for fast zombies, such as a brain-altering virus or parasite that takes over the body while placing the host's consciousness in a vegetable state. Perhaps fast would be interpreted as having the same speed as the sprint speed of the human, or even faster if it's like a rage virus where the zombie is constantly filled with testosterone/adrenaline and is always hungry, and has a huge pain tolerance. Also, perhaps there's a synthetic, "permanent infection" caused by something like LSD such as that one guy eating someone's face off and being shot by police without "noticing".

- Zombies dying... again... If the zombies don't eat, they should be dead for good due to starvation, right? Some Hollywood portrayals of zombies still functioning with only the skeletal remains showing with whatever brain matter is left, turns me off. IMHO, 28 Days/Weeks Later went in the right direction with this, and starved out the zombies (and the virus part...).

And, there's the common theme about shooting the brain. It may be a surefire way of eliminating the function of the other organs since the brain controls everything, but what if you shoot the other vital organs? If humans need lungs to breathe to bring oxygen to the rest of the body so that they can function (e.g. the legs need oxygen to run, let alone walk), what would realistically allow zombies to fully function without any organs besides the brain?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:20 pm 
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Choppy Choppy wrote:
... how close to a Hollywood-zombie our reality can actually experience.


I've found that two drugs of abuse, in particular, can cause zombie-like stuff in people who are still living and breathing.

Methamphetamine tends to cause a zombie like appearance and even dull the wits a bit, depending on how long and how hard the person's habit is. http://www.facesofmeth.us/main.htm

The other drug is called "Boat" and I only found it around Trenton, New Jersey. People would smoke a cigarette that had been dipped in formaldehyde that had also been laced with phencyclidine (PCP). People who used it would become hallucinogenic, paranoid, and extremely strong / resistant to pain. It often took more than half a dozen public servants (EMS, police, etc) to restrain such an individual. In one unfortunate case, a person jumped from a second story window, landed and broke both legs, and then continued running from the police, oblivious to the pain of the leg fractures. In another, a person kept fighting after receiving multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, and only stopped when he went into cardiac arrest.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:28 pm 
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Neptune Glory wrote:
Choppy Choppy wrote:
... how close to a Hollywood-zombie our reality can actually experience.
I've found that two drugs of abuse, in particular, can cause zombie-like stuff in people who are still living and breathing.


So, it sounds like a permanent drug effect would cause a real-life zombie.

Maybe, then, the real-life scenario would be a bio-chemical warfare event where the air supply or atmosphere is completely saturated with an airborne compound that, when inhaled, will cause continuous exposure to its effects. Afterwards, prolonged exposure to the contaminated air would cause permanent brain alterations without any further exposure to the biochemical compound.

Or, another way to affect the mass population may be to contaminate the water supply with the same line of thinking as contaminating the air.

Plausible? Or, more plausible?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:18 pm 
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I personally find the thought of a re-animated corpse least plausable, the body has died the brain not far behind it without oxygen etc...

Now the virally/biologically or even parasitical induced/ridden zombie is much more plausable, with the advancements in bio weapons that we are not privvy to and I am sure are happening and the amount of tropical diseases there are yet undiscovered I feel this would be the most likely scenario.

Fast or slow, I dont know depends on the method of infection and what damage it does to the person.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:44 pm 
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I could see slow zombies being semi realistic as one could guess that maybe a viral/parasitic takeover of the brain doesn't allow the kind of coordination that we normally enjoy.
The "Zombie Survival Guide" also speculated that the reason a zombie could not be starved/suffocated is because the body was no longer replacing the oxygen/nutrients of the body and the body would just continue to go on without nutrients/oxygen because it was sort of rewired to just keep going until tissues and bones started to break down; probably nothing plausible scientifically to that though.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:00 pm 
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I think a chemically or biologically altered human would be the probable zombie. Unlikely you would have true reanimation from death.

I also think a more realistic 'zombie' would be the person (s) desperate to survive and never prepped. Think of the chaos that occurs in Contagion, coupled with the shear selfish survival instinct of most.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:13 pm 
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Posit that whatever has taken up residence in the brain stem/brain tissue can produce strong enough electrical impulses down the appropriate neural pathways to cause muscles to contact and you have a plausible zombie. The Body has died, the person is gone, and the corpse starts to rot but as long as the muscles can be made to contract with electrical stimulus then it keeps moving. As the body's level of decay increases the muscles ability to contract when electrically stimulated decreases and the zombie slows/weakens. Head shots simply destroy the parasite/virus or bacterial colony/fungal colony that's producing the electrical impulses.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:20 pm 
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A weponized variant of rabies making it faster acting would be horrific and may accomplish something like the "zombies" in 28 days, i.e. violent,aggressive and very dangerous.

Hollywood zombies need some plot complications. As noted so drugs can make people, violent, disoriented and basically immune to pain. They are still alive but may act like a Hollywood zombie.

As for the dead rising ... outside of divine intervention, it has not happened...yet.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:00 am 
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raptor wrote:
A weponized variant of rabies making it faster acting would be horrific and may accomplish something like the "zombies" in 28 days, i.e. violent,aggressive and very dangerous.


Something like this, for example?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... s-science/

But who would work on such a horrific project? Now, where did some of those damn ruskie scientists who were working on a smallpox bioweapon disappear to??? They seem to have disappeared off the face of the planet....

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:26 am 
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forget zombies as in the "walking dead", figment of some Hollywood directors fantasy.
now zombies as in the dying, the diseased, the addicted, the starving and the totally unprepared are another matter.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:54 am 
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raptor wrote:
A weponized variant of rabies making it faster acting would be horrific and may accomplish something like the "zombies" in 28 days, i.e. violent,aggressive and very dangerous.

Hollywood zombies need some plot complications. As noted so drugs can make people, violent, disoriented and basically immune to pain. They are still alive but may act like a Hollywood zombie.

As for the dead rising, barring divine intervention...outside of divine intervention, it has not happened...yet.

Yup, that's pretty much what I think too.
Although here's a more horrible but still plausible scenario. Biological weapon or some kind of fast moving pandemic virus that causes intense pain as the victims die. The victims stumble around basically incoherent , just trying to find relief and any contact with them( short of BSL-4 ppe) results in infection.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:35 am 
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I've given this some thought myself.

For a clinically dead person to "zombify", the cells of the body have to be getting energy somehow in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). To do that, the cells need to be getting nutrients from somewhere to make the ATP. Our cells usually generate ATP with cellular respiration. Our muscle cells can also generate ATP via lactic acid fermentation that kicks in when cells aren't getting enough oxygen (this is why you get sore if you work a muscle too hard, lactate builds up in the muscle cells). Anaerobic bacteria also use it. It is hypothetically possible that a human could be infected with anaerobic bacteria that could invade the cells of the body. Such bacteria could then take over ATP production from the mitochondria already in the cells, thus "reanimating" them. Hypothetically this could result either in fast or slow zombies depending on how many cells die before infection. The resultant zombie would still be reliant on the circulatory system to bring nutrients to the cells, however, so killing them wouldn't require head shots.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:48 am 
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DarkAxel wrote:
I've given this some thought myself.

For a clinically dead person to "zombify", the cells of the body have to be getting energy somehow in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). To do that, the cells need to be getting nutrients from somewhere to make the ATP. Our cells usually generate ATP with cellular respiration. Our muscle cells can also generate ATP via lactic acid fermentation that kicks in when cells aren't getting enough oxygen (this is why you get sore if you work a muscle too hard, lactate builds up in the muscle cells). Anaerobic bacteria also use it. It is hypothetically possible that a human could be infected with anaerobic bacteria that could invade the cells of the body. Such bacteria could then take over ATP production from the mitochondria already in the cells, thus "reanimating" them. Hypothetically this could result either in fast or slow zombies depending on how many cells die before infection. The resultant zombie would still be reliant on the circulatory system to bring nutrients to the cells, however, so killing them wouldn't require head shots.


Good post, this is worth thinking about some more IMO... Lets just talk about oxygen requirements for now, and ignore everything else (i.e. nutrients)...

The major reason that we use aerobic respiration is that it is just so much more energy efficient. It's like running an early coal powerstation versus a 21st-century nuclear power station. The energy in our cells is derived from gluose, which can be broken down anaerobically in the process of "glycolysis", which yields 2 ATP molecules per glucose molecule. In contrast, oxidative phosphorylation using oxygen as a terminal electron acceptor yields ~30. So essentially, oxygen multiplies energy production by a factor of 15. This is why it is used by pretty much every complex animal. They have actually discovered some very specialized multi-cellular animals that survive in extreme/anoxic aquatic enviroments without any oxygen. Nonetheless, the fact that *no* complex animal utilizes anaerobic mechanisms is a testament to how much of a challenge this is going to be when creating a "dead" zombie.

Of course, we can switch to anaerobic energy production for short periods, but this produces lactic acid, which is toxic and very rapidly (minutes?) accumulates, significantly lowering the pH in both the tissues and the blood. I'm not sure how long it would take of running an anaerobic system before the toxicity would completely disrupt normal cellular function. Another problem is that only muscles are capable of anaerobic pathways, so the brain will become rapidly starved of oxygen (like when drowning). However, this could be overcome by a parasite "importing" anaerobic machinery to the brain (like DarkAxel suggests). Moreover, it could import a more efficient mechanism of glycolysis, which might improve things to only 10x worse (???) than aerobic respiration.

This still leaves us with the key problem, which is that you simply couldn't run a mammalian system from 10x less energy. Of course, zombies do have one advantage: they can start to shut down lots of "non-essential" systems to conserve energy. However, even if we start to shut down things like the brain (20% of total energy requirements, but we are still going to need "basic" regions of the brain powered-up) and other internal organs, I still don't think we are going to be able to run the body from anaerobic pathways... At least, not for more than a few minutes (??? anyone know???).

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:24 am 
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Neptune Glory wrote:
Choppy Choppy wrote:
... how close to a Hollywood-zombie our reality can actually experience.

The other drug is called "Boat" and I only found it around Trenton, New Jersey. People would smoke a cigarette that had been dipped in formaldehyde that had also been laced with phencyclidine (PCP).
-Neptune


That is appallingly stupid. Holy jesus. Humans do the damnedest things to catch a buzz.

Anyway, my two cents on the subject at hand:
Z nation's take is ok in my book in general terms, (but I grumble at their subcategory zombies. I hate the video game influence on the genre in this regard.) I can get behind the idea of a rage filled, undecayed, essentially brain dead corpse that wants to run & jump and bite. Then an hour of running tears ligaments & it starts to limp, it gets stuck in a closet for two days, its bowels give way, a dog tears its belly open, it looses a leg & starts having to really lurch for its lunch.

Thinking, learning, or remembering zombies piss me off. (..........Except Bub.)
The undead brain decays- they're NOT going to start picking up new skills!

I like the D20 Apocalypse book's Viral Deathspawn a lot- but they're smarter than your average Z, & have a limited degree of self awareness.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:06 pm 
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Planning is great, but doing is what separates, the victors and victims.
So I designed, built and filmed the most complex ZOMBIE COMBAT SIMULATOR. You are likely to see.
Imagine multiple moving targets, that are just as tuff as a human skull. (A breaking presser of 85 to 100 psi)
moving at a person in multiple directions hoard style. And that person uses all manor of weapons to get them before they get you.
So you know that this is not just talk here is a link of the most resent simulation we did last October.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fAhV7h37C8

I am working, movie prop maker, my specialty is working with metal, which means I can and do make working replicas of medieval weapons. swords clubs spears ect.

Again not just talk here is a link of me in my workshop making a Katana, which is a very common request.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdOWRSBEZEs

IF you have any questions, if you would like to ask anything on the simulator or anything else feel free.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:36 pm 
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IIRC, the original zombies were victims of Haitian witchcraft where their deaths were faked, and they were later dug up. The shambling resulted from brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation while they were buried. I think a combined hypoxia damage with PCP style aggression and pain resistance would be the most likely "real" zombie scenario. Think ragers with no balance or coordination. The best vehicle, at least for z apocalypse, would be an engineered and weaponized bacteria or single cell organism capable of secreting the PCP like substance and feeding off of the O2 in the victims blood.

The host would only last a few days with a high energy expenditure, but low did and water intake due to the brain damage (liked remembering what a water fountain does). But, because the pathogen is definitely blood born and possibly airborne (remember, it has been weaponized), and because of the highly aggressive behavior of the host, spread within a dense population is inevitable. Also, because of the resistance to pain, the only thing that will stop one quickly is either massive damage to the CNS (i.e. a brain shot), or massive mechanical damage (ruin over by a truck). Traditional methods of exsangination and hypoxia will still work, but will take time. Possibly enough time for the host to get close enough to infect you. To put it in perspective, there was an experiment during the French Revolution that showed the brain continued to function for 11 seconds after decapitation.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:42 pm 
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Choppy Choppy wrote:

Or, another way to affect the mass population may be to contaminate the water supply with the same line of thinking as contaminating the air.

Plausible? Or, more plausible?

There is a saying in the hazmat biz that dilution is the solution to pollution.

It would take way too much of a chemical to reach an effective dose. Here are the two exceptions, a self replicating contaminant like a bacteria, or an algae that causes a toxin. The other is a reactant, this would be like Flint MI. Where the water was corrosive, but reacting with the lead supply pipes dissolved the lead, leading to lead (a teratagen) poisoning.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:51 am 
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Evan the Diplomat wrote:
Choppy Choppy wrote:

Or, another way to affect the mass population may be to contaminate the water supply with the same line of thinking as contaminating the air.

Plausible? Or, more plausible?

There is a saying in the hazmat biz that dilution is the solution to pollution.

It would take way too much of a chemical to reach an effective dose. Here are the two exceptions, a self replicating contaminant like a bacteria, or an algae that causes a toxin. The other is a reactant, this would be like Flint MI. Where the water was corrosive, but reacting with the lead supply pipes dissolved the lead, leading to lead (a teratagen) poisoning.


Instead of trying for a large area with universal coverage, convergence point of the population provide the low hanging fruit for anybody who wants to wage a NBC attack. Consider the number of times subways have been the targets of terror attacks resulting in mass casualties The Tokyo Sarin gas attack back in 1995 affected over 1,000 people. The Madrid bombing in 2004 killed 191 and wounded 1,800. A travel hub, like the subway, where security is low and the patrons are headed to all directions is like a big flashing "infect people here" sign for anybody intent on starting an epidemic.

Ironically, the "Avoid crowds" advice that pops up every time there is a (natural) epidemic, bombing, or mass shooting might also prove effective in avoiding a NBC attack.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:06 pm 
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The only thing in nature that I think comes close to the zombie germ is rabies.
lack of cognitive abilities higher aggression, transferred through a bight or other pathogens means. And any virus can mutate. And could lead to a mass pandemic. No walking corpses needing head shot to me stopped but, there is some over lap.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:47 pm 
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That's true. If it's a undead human then it should be as easy as a human to kill.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:54 am 
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Personally, I look to nature when I consider "realistic" zombies. Specifically two things:

Body farms. Go look one up, if your metabolism is no longer functioning and, as some portrayals show, your pulse has stopped, the zombies will quickly turn into something like that and be permanently disabled/in some sort of hibernation like stasis, though still a bio-hazard.

Leucochloridium paradoxum, a parasite that drastically alters the behavior of invertebrates to spread itself as part of its life cycle. Personally I think this is the most likely of all the zombie virus/disease methods: Not something that actually kills people, reanimates them, then hungers for brains but rather something that drastically alters the brain to continue its life cycle or reproduce. Basically the "zombies" would be living, breathing people, but under the control through chemical signals of a parasite, and these chemical commands may cause them to bite other non infected humans, but as a method of transmission rather than sustenance.

Also personally, I think the greatest enduring threat in an actual ZPAW would be contamination, rather than danger from zombies. Hell, within 12-14 days in warmer climates, if nature is allowed to run its course and you no longer blink or perform other protective actions, your eyes would be gone, an easy access point for flies and later, maggots, who would destroy them, leaving "zombies" to "hunt" by sight and sound. However, as the infected break down and decompose, they would contaminate crop lands and ground water, leading to the risk of secondary infection/transmission.

If I missed anything, I apologize, I'll back read later.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:12 am 
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Super toxoplasmosis that damages brains and the nervous system. Leaves the body intact to act as a carrier but mashes up the brain. First infection from a cat which was suffering from feline aids so was acting as a parasite propagation system.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:35 am 
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Here is an example of parasitic zombification. Must have taken a lot of life cycles for that relationship to evolve; luckily we human take much longer to mutate, Marvel Comics not withstanding.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:34 am 
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I believe a real zombie would move like a real living person. It all depends how it will be made and how far the brain will be revived. But it shouldn’t be that hard to kill. Also, it should decompose, right?


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