Recently Zombie Research Society member Justin Bates took a look at what might happen to a zombie if its blood stopped flowing and became stagnant after death and reanimation.

Bates found that it’s likely impossible for the undead to present a credible threat to the living  if their blood reacts in a similar manner to deceased humans. They would simply not be able to move around well enough to hunt.

“The gravitational pooling of blood in a corpse is called livor mortis. It causes blood to flow towards the part of the body closest to the ground where gravity is most concentrated. As the blood accumulates that area swells and becomes discolored, stretching the flesh to the point of breakage.”

In the case of a zombie that stands up and seeks out prey livor mortis means that all blood inside the body would quickly move to the feet, bursting through the skin and destroying any remaining tissue. The undead menace would be literally walking on bones alone. And those bones, absent of the protective casing of flesh and muscle, would also break apart in short order.

So unless you believe that zombies are short creatures that awkwardly hobble around on leg bone stumps, more prone to falling over than eating brains, it seems clear that something is happening to undead blood to make it behave differently that it normally would in a corpse.


  1. really zombie blood

  2. Wearing a bandanna and sunglasses or some goggles would help, and doc cadevoures, they wouldn’t have to be alive, they could have severe bleeding in the final stages of dying from a bite, and it could remove a lot of it by vomiting large amounts before death and that could actually be the cause of death by zombie bite, blood loss to keep muscles intact

    Also the virus could easily loosen muscles and open pores to allow whatever blood is left easy access out of the body as to not damage it, and there are many other ways the body can excrete any extra blood as long they have control over a few organs while they are fresh or before the virus kills them

  3. So am I to understand that the zombie virus, not only has the ability to animate a corpse, but also to start up their entire circulatory system as well? That would mean that their lungs and breathing would also return. So if this is the case wouldn’t “killing” them be a form of murder, as they are a living breathing individual, merely infected with a deadly virus? I can see the point being made about the blood settling at the lowest point, but I also see that if the circulatory system is functioning that the body would be receiving the needed blood flow to keep it alive. If the body is being kept live, wouldn’t this stop the decomposition of the body, so that the zombie would be nearly indistinguishable from the living? As their skin tone would be nearly the same, their breathing would be nearly the same, their movements would nearly perfectly mimic the actual living. Traditionally zombies are shambling along, slowly falling apart, they are rotting, they lose arms, legs, and even lower torso’s (bicycle girl on walking dead) yet they don’t bleed to death, you can’t drowned a zombie as you would be able to do with a subject that is breathing, the only way to “kill” them is by destroying the brain, otherwise you would be able to destroy them by a more traditional means; shot to the heart, cut in half, drowning as was mentioned, etc. yet nothing but a head shot does the trick. Am I wrong on this? I had always believed that the blood merely coagulated or gelled within the body, or that it was even absorbed into the body as an “emergency food source” as it were to fuel the body until it can obtain another source, namely a living victim. Thoughts?

  4. Well I guess that would make them easier to kill and not as much of a worry. This totally destroyed my dream of a zombie apocalypse, KEEP THE BLOOD INSIDE THE BODY!

  5. I was wondering about the blood as a pathogen carrier. The movies and TV show humans hacking at zombies, blood splattering everywhere. Isn’t there a worry about the blood getting in cuts or scratches, in the mouth or eyes? If a bite can make one a zombie (saliva carrier), why wouldn’t blood?

    • Yes – it is commonly thought to be a highly contagious blood borne illness. Get any zombie blood or bodily fluid inside you ad you’re doomed. So don’t do like the movies do and hack a zombie up with nothing covering your eyes, nose and mouth!

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