As clear as the zombie process is on an external level, much of the internal workings remain clouded in mystery. ZRS Member, Marcus Barber, argues that we may be able to learn all we need to know about zombie physiology by doing a single, simple experiment.
In 1982’s horror classic The Thing, a band of arctic scientists are plagued by an unseen monster that infects the blood of its victims. Although clearly not the zombie virus, this alien life form holds many striking similarities, not the least of which is its proactive desire to continue to spread by infecting new hosts.
Barber wonders if zombie blood acts in a similar manner.
“I’m not suggesting that it can grow legs and run around like The Thing, but what if zombie blood courses through the zombie body, not because its being force-pumped by a beating human heart, but because it is empowered by the same willingness to live that causes zombies to seek out and bite the living in the first place?”
In The Thing, Kurt Russel, playing pilot R.J. MacReady, draws a sample of blood from each of his surviving team members. Because the invading organism occupies every living cell, one touch of a hot metal poker to the dishes of blood reveals who is still human, and who isn’t. Human blood just sits passively and accepts the burning, but the tainted, alien blood actively tries to get away from the heat, jumping out of the dish and scrambling across the floor.
If Barber is correct and zombie blood has this same desire for survival on a cellular level, then the MacReady Test could blow the lid wide open on what we know about how zombies work.
Now all we need is a zombie to test it on.