Despite popular belief, the undead probably don’t prefer your brain to any other part of your living body.

In fact, the concept of a zombie craving brains is unique to the Return of the Living Dead film series, a semi-spoof collection of movies from the late 1980s and early 1990s. The famed zombie Tarman seen above is the first zombie ever to eat brains on screen. If you haven’t seen him in action chances are you’ve never seen a zombie eat brains.

The flaw in the “brain eating” myth is revealed through bite compression work done by researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the United State’s oldest technical university. They found that the human mouth is both too flat and too weak to penetrate a human skull. While an adult alligator registers a bite force of 9,000, the human jaw comes in at a paltry 300.

“Predators have long mouths that protrude out to allow them to use their full force when biting down on their prey. The human mouth is inset, and unable to open wide enough to get a good grip on anything larger than an apple.”

With a scrawny 15 pound fox scoring a 532 on the Rensselaer bite meter, almost doubling the human mark, it’s absurd to think a zombie could bite through the skull of another.

Other less popular theories put forth in Return of the Living Dead include: burning zombies spreads infection, zombies can talk, think and reason, zombies know how to use car radios, and any animal can become a zombie.


  1. zombies do not eat brain

  2. The inability of the human jaw to bite into a skull is independent of the amount of “hysterical strength” applied. The angle of the jaw and the strength of the attachment of the mandible are the factors in play. I would not rule out the occasional success of of a zombie finding a broken skull and consuming his find, however.

  3. You’re also assuming that the zombie wouldn’t attempt to break the skull case first, like a seagull breaks a clam’s shell. You never know what they may be compelled to do to get to their food on time. If they can handle something as complex as bipedal locomotion, they can probably figure to “crack hard thing before tasty comes out.”

  4. zombies wouldnt eat the brain bcuz like any disease it want 2 spread

  5. You seem to be operating under the assumption that the undead bites just as hard as the living, but since they are dead there is no reason for them not to use the full capacity of their jaw. They don’t care if they break a few teeth or even the jaw itself.

    • And you seem to be operating under the assumption that the “undead” actually exist… -__-

    • This might be true, like madmen who can’t control their strength, but consider that their jaws and teeth are kind of rotten.

    • You’re operating under the assumption that zombies would be smart enough to bypass all the juicy meat around the skull (not to mention the rest of the body) to go after something inside it, something it can’t see or perceive of existing with it’s diminished intelligence.

    • If an average human has a bite force of 300 due to the shape of the mouth itself your average zombie would still only be putting out close to 300-400, I don’t think a fox can crack open a human skull either with it’s 532.

      Even if it had somehow stretched it’s mouth open further by tearing through the cheeks/muscle that would only diminish the bite force by damaging the mandible.

      Which, since zombies don’t/can’t heal injuries would be a very very bad thing to do.

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