With the release of The Return of the Living Dead in 1985, zombies underwent a radical transformation from mere flesh eaters to connoisseurs of the human brain. Since that time, the undead have continued to crave our grey matter in popular film and television shows including Warm Bodies and iZombie. But cracking through our skull is no easy task!
We’ve already covered the incredible jaw strength required to bite through a human skull. However bone density and gender also play an important role in surviving such an attack. According to research by Jesse Ruan, and published by the International Journal of Vehicle Safety, the average thickness of the human skull actually varies between men and women.
Skull thickness differences between genders are confirmed in our study … The next step will be to find out how these differences translate into head impact response of male and female, and then we can design the countermeasure for head protection.
The average thickness of a male skull was 0.25 inches, while the average thickness of a female skull was 0.28 inches. However, women generally have smaller skulls than men on average; and both slowly shrink after adulthood. While this study may lure women into a false sense of security, the results hardly matter when it comes to brain-eating zombies.
Despite the differences, a bike-helmet study in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics found that 520 pounds of force would be needed to crush a human skull. This is nearly twice as much force as human hands could possibly achieve; living or undead.
So, regardless of whether you’re a man or woman, unless the undead crack our heads against the pavement like walnuts, this essentially dispels the myth of brain-eating zombies.
For more information check out the original gender study by the International Journal of Vehicle Safety, the skull crush research by the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, or this informative video: “Comparing Male & Female Human Skulls” by Jason Madore.