One disturbing theory that came out of last weekend’s zomBcon was that the undead may be much harder to kill than previously thought.

Several expert panels touched on the fact that crocodiles have extremely small brains, and are almost completely controlled by a tiny almond-shaped section known as the amygdala.  What they lack in overall smarts, they make up for in their superior focus and hunting ability.

If zombies likewise rely on their amygdala and brain stem to function, the rest of the large human brain in their skulls would be rendered nonessential.  Which means that an ax to the skull of an undead ghoul might not kill it, or even slow it down in the slightest.

In fact, a zombie driven by its amygdala could afford to lose a large percentage of its brain without showing any ill effects.  The entire head would need to be destroyed to neutralize the threat.

Just when you thought a single bullet to the skull would do the trick, looks like you better think again.



  1. Ok but maybe instead of shooting straight in to head and brain simpler would be shooting in cervical part of spine… it has two major bonuses first of all may cause decapitation if not it can cut spine thrue causing paralyse. Immobile zombie is not a major threat to us. I realise that shooting in neck is way harder then shooting head. But if we miss then we have high chance to shoot in head directly. Thats why I would take that option, especialy if you are haveing AK47 that has kick in uper parts of target when shooted in short series.

  2. A lot of the brain may be unnecessary, but you misunderstand the need for the entire pathway of the brain. Some pieces can be removed and the person can still live, but if you get a clean shot through the forehead your target is dropping.

  3. We are forgetting one important thing: A zombie is NOT a crocodile. It is unlikely the tha amygdala of the Undead is going to function in any analygous way to that of a reptile.

  4. Living in LA, I have had had a little experiance with gators. When you shoot them in the head they still die. The shot does not have to be that accurate. Past the eyes, before the neck………and a little common sense.

  5. I agree with Jeremy Woid.
    How did they jump to the conclusion that Zombie has crocs brain likeness? Based on what?

  6. If this be true (It’s absoloutley impossible, human physiology) but let’s say for fun it was. If they can’t “think” then… BUILD A GODDAMN FENCE. They will just mill about behind it, clueless on how to defeat this leviathan of a foe. Plus the arn’t edible, so you know, win there too. Keeps matinaence cheap.

  7. Anybody?? No? Okay, I guess i’ll say it then. A crocodiles brain is COMPLETE at roughly the size of an almond. A human brain, however is not. You need more than an almond and a brain stem to process visual input, use cognitive thought to determine human from zombie, and roughly twenty other parts to of the brain operating effectively in order to launch and co-ordinate a successful attack.

    Did anybody actually stop and think?

    Naw… I also have a feeling this entire article was based off of an earlier post of mine regarding E.M.F waves and the medulla oblongata

    • The article actually was inspired by two talks given at ZomBcon last weekend by PhD neuroscientists and an MD from Harvard. The neuroscientists built a 3D model of the zombie brain that will soon be posted here for download.

  8. Remove the head,remove the threat. Thats what I have always said.

  9. Several considerations are being overlooked here.

    1. Crocodiles have much tougher bodies than humans. The trauma a bullet, axe, or zither would do to a person’s brain would translate to damage to all parts of the brain, including the amydala. (This is overlooking the fact that the idea that the amygdala is solely responsible for the crocodile’s functions is ridiculous).

    2. Zombies likely do not require functioning brains, or any part thereof, to persist. Many a limbless horror has continued to shamble on long after they’ve stopped gushing, or even dripping, blood from the site of amputation. No blood means no replenished cations; no cations means no synaptic messages.

    3. Given that the shambling undead would likely be:
    a) prior departed, subject to a goodly amount of decomposition of their musculature
    b) recently departed, shortly subject to the effects of rigor and the destruction of muscle groups by gross movement
    It’s hard to envision a scenario wherein the undead CNS would be of any concern as they are clearly not reliant upon muscles to move.

    As always the smartest idea is to avoid engagement at all costs and remove the potential for locomotion by destroying supporting limbs. With any luck they won’t be picky eaters and will finish each other off.

    • I was at the ZomBcon talks, let me tell you from what I heard engagement should avoided at all costs! Max Brooks also demonstrated his personal close quarters technique, It involved him running the other way as soon as the zombie took one step towards him. If I have my way Zday will be a no contact sport! In order to survive you have to do just that, survive. It will be damn hard to anything else if you don’t.

  10. If that is the case (I’ll be the first to admit) it is truly frightening…however:

    A zombie (controlled by it’s amygdala or not) is going to have a REALLY tough time getting its hands on you with a face full of Remington 870 express backed up the trusty crowbar.

    “Keep your crowbar handy…”

  11. If it’s controlled by just the stem and you decapitate it lightly, so some of the head is still there, does that mean they’ll lash out at nothing for no reason if you don’t decapitate them properly?

  12. perhaps the best method be be to shoot the heart other vital organs or spinal cord. Nothing can survive without a heart or vital organs

    • sorry mate, the big idea behind zombification is that a shot to the heart or other vital areas is NOT fatal. This is one of the reasons the undead are so scary, they do not necessarily require these parts to survive as the rest of us do.

      • theoetically any organism, even undead would need a functioning heart to pump blood around their body, or else the cells wouldn’t get nutrients bla bla bla and would just eventually stop working. Even though yeah they’re decaying and dead, and it probably wouldn’t even kill them instaneously like a human, but it’d kill it.

  13. i do feel its important to note that a shot to the head can still take down a zombie even if its completely driven by its amygdala and brain stem. shot properly a round from a 22 can bounce around inside of a skull destroying large parts of the brain. And a larger caliber bullet can actually remove a zombie head entirely given the proper circumstances

  14. Unless the zombiefication is just a disease which causes the infected to crave flesh which therefore even remotely damaging the brain would kill the infected

  15. Wow. That’s just scary. So it seems like cutting its head off is going to be the all around best method of getting rid of it. The head might still be alive, but the body wont be going anywhere.

  16. Well… That does sound like quite a bit of a problem. If thats the case I will use my trusty tire iron.

  17. Break out the .45’s,shit just got serious.

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