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.