Zombies are arguably the most popular and relevant monsters of the last fifty years, but they are also among the most misunderstood. Rumors and wild speculation have seeped into all aspects of zombie science, survival, and pop culture to the point of absurdity. Much of our time at ZRS headquarters is spent pulling our hair out about the bad information we constantly come across.
So we’ve compiled a list of the top six myths about zombies currently floating around:
#6) KATANA IS THE BEST ZOMBIE WEAPON
Famed samurai warrior Miyamoto Musashi wrote a classic treatise on military strategy called The Book of Five Rings in 1645. In it, he compared the traditional Japanese katana to a musical instrument, suggesting that it’s as illogical to believe you can pick up a sword just a few times and then engage in meaningful combat as it is to believe you can pick up a violin and play beautiful music. So, unless you’re a martial arts enthusiast who gets professional instruction on a regular basis, leave the trophy sword on its fancy black lacquer stand. Looking cool is cool, but staying alive is even cooler.
#5) I AM LEGEND IS A ZOMBIE MOVIE
I Am Legend is a film adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novel of the same name that provides a biological explanations for vampires. Though Legend’s filmmakers intentionally tried to cash in on the popularity of zombies by giving the vampires some of their qualities, make no mistake, it’s not a zombie movie. The creatures can leap over cars in a single bound. They magically climb on ceilings, they can scheme and strategize, and they sleep the days away in creepy clusters like bats. The plot pretends to hinge on a biological plague similar to Matheson’s, but repeated lapses in logic show little respect for that premise.
#4) BIG STORES ARE GOOD FOR LOOTING
Jdimytai Damour was a 270-pound Walmart worker who died on November 28, 2008, after being trampled by suburban Long Island shoppers looking to take advantage of early holiday discounts. Even the paramedics who unsuccessfully attempted to revive Damour were jostled by the aggressive crowd. If everyday citizens are killing one another just to get a better price on a flat-screen television, imagine what ugly behaviors will surface at big chain retailers when actual survival is at stake. If your zombie survival plan involves going to a place where you’ll likely run into other people, get a new plan.
#3) ZOMBIES ARE YOUR GREATEST THREAT
Humans are a much greater threat in a zombie plague than the undead horde itself. Zombies don’t possess a human’s ability to think, plan, plot, scheme, double-cross, negotiate, or cheat. Furthermore, zombies don’t know where you hide your essential supplies and wouldn’t be interested in stealing them even if they did. The seriousness of the human threat in a zombie outbreak cannot be overstated. We may not know exactly where the undead sickness will start or how it will spread, but one thing is certain–your fellow citizens will be the most dangerous thing you face in the early days of societal collapse.
#2) MODERN ZOMBIES EVOLVED FROM VOODOO
The modern flesh-eating zombie as we know it today evolved from vampires, not voodoo. From a factual, anthropological, dramatic, religious, or historic standpoint, there is no connection between the voodoo zombie and the modern zombie. It is as misguided as asserting that the protective cup that athletes stuff in their jocks when playing contact sports is closely related to a coffee cup because they share the same name. And then using that as justification to include a chapter on athletic equipment in an academic study of the history of the Peruvian coffee bean.
#1) ZOMBIES WILL EAT YOUR BRAINS
Despite popular belief, zombies don’t eat brains. Bite compression work done by researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that the human mouth is both too flat and too weak to penetrate a human skull. So zombies may prefer brains, but unless they’re using a giant nutcracker to pop open your skull, they would not have access to your brains. Furthermore, because it’s commonly believed that zombies can only be stopped by destroying their brains, if the undead eat the brains of their victims, then they are eliminating their own reinforcements. Makes no sense.
What other myths have you heard about the coming zombie threat?