Much has been written about a zombie’s need to physically feel the world around it in order to move (see: Zombie Survival Guide Error #2).  A recent conversation with hearing expert, Dr. Mark Johansson, further reveals that without working nerve endings, a zombie would be functionally deaf as well.

Johansson explans that in many respects we actually feel sound, just like we feel the ground under our feet, or an object in our hand.

“Tiny hairs in the ear pick up sound waves and translate them into electrical impulses that the brain can understand.  Without functioning nerves, a zombie would no more be able to hear than it would be able to stand, walk, grab or bite.”

It seems clear that concluding a zombie can’t feel simply because it doesn’t react defensively to its environment is a wildly incorrect assumption.  Miscalculations like that can lead to flawed survival strategies, and missed opportunities to discover new ways of defeating the undead horde.

Of course, if you don’t like the notion that zombies have feeling, you could always make the argument that they are deaf, blind and completely paralyzed.  Heck, I’d prefer them like that anyway!


  1. This theory is actually very true, but there is some what of a problem, if zombie outbreak happened, then there would be no problem. Military can do its thing, (now thinking about it, maybe even police) and there
    Would not be much of a point to prepare. There’s another thing, if zombies can feel then there wouldn’t be a reason to shoot it in the head. Although pros say that shooting one in the limbs they will keep walking. Plus the virus is supposedly to stop some functions in our body and brain (example- lets just say the ability to run) Although this can be a great discovery, I still see plenty of flaws in it.

  2. Since zombies are living-dead wouldn’t it have lots of dead cells… most media show zombies with decaying flesh and opened wounds, that would hurt for the living but they don’t respond to pain. So therefore not having the defensive/self-preservation reflex couldn’t you say a zombie doesn’t really feel, but that it just has active (neuron) pain receptors?

  3. LRAD?

    Anyway, I’m currently reading Zombie CSU and it talks about all this stuff. I highly suggest that everyone reads it if they haven’t already

    • Long Range Acoustic Device…it’s used for crowd control and other things of the like. Essentially it’s a dish shaped device that stands up right and can emit a 146 decibel tone which is supposedly higher than the human pain threshold. I guess it might do absolutely nothing except attract a ton more zombies rather than disable one. Obviously it wouldn’t kill but I guess my question boils down to is it possible to emit a tone loud enough to drop a zombie?

  4. This question is loosely related and I wasn’t sure where else to ask. But if zombies can hear and feel…what would an L.R.A.D. do to them? I’m unsure of what would happen if you had access to one and were to use it.

    • Great question. I think prevailing wisdom would suggest it wouldn’t do anything. It’s generally believed that zombies do not have any defensive reflex. So even if the LRAD “worked”, it would not stop them from coming no matter how much it hurt or how uncomfortable it made them feel.

      Although you might be able to configure it in such a way that it causes them to go deaf. That would be a big help to long-term survival, but probably wouldn’t do much in the short term.

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