One of the central areas of interest for ZRS is the zombie lifespan. The theory being that if a rough threat timeline can be established – starting with reanimation, and ending with decomposition – then strategies and expectations can be adjusted accordingly, resulting in countless millions of lives saved.
It’s already been asserted that zombies can only be up and walking in the first stage of decay, known as the fresh stage. Once the body reaches the second stage, bloat, the brain has liquefied to the consistency of New England clam chowder. Unfortunately, because the rate of decay could be significantly slowed in the undead, the Fresh stage may not last just days as in human, but months, years, or even decades. George Romero’s Land of the Dead suggests as much.
One thing is for certain: If zombies don’t take a considerably longer time to rot than their deceased human counterparts, we may be in much less trouble when the undead rise than originally thought. Especially if it spreads very quickly.
Assuming that fresh stage decay takes two weeks to complete, it’s likely that by five weeks after outbreak there would be virtually no more Zombies anywhere. All you’d need to do is hide out in a safe place with enough food and water for a month, and you could emerge the leader of a new world.
Of course, if you’ve miscalculated and it’s longer, you might just find yourself in a pretty ugly spot once the rations run out and you don’t have an adequate escape plan.
How long do you think zombies last before rotting back into the earth?