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Why A Zombie Outbreak (Apocalypse) Will Never Happen

Why this could never happen.

Why this could never happen.


When people think of zombie attacks they typically think of half the world already infected and only a small band of survivors are holding strong defending the existence of man. This article will look into why a zombie apocalypse just isn't realistic. For this hub i will define a zombie as an "undead" being who walks around slow and aimlessly until they find food. The only way of infecting others is by biting. Ok, so let's start looking at why a zombie attack can't happen.


Many people fail to remember that zombies are actually dead flesh. And what does dead flesh do? That's right it rots.Flesh bloats when it is dead because bacteria produce gas. When it is hot out the bacteria reproduce more quickly causing more gas, and more bloating. Eventually what happens is that these bloated zombies can't take any more gas and actually explode from all the pressure sending rotten zombie meat everywhere. Pretty gross right?

Natural Predators

When a zombie outbreak occurs they go for other meat to infect. Why does everyone automatically assume humans are the only source of meat on the planet? Doesn't dogs, lions, gorillas, and every other animal on this earth have meat? Naturally some of these other animals might be subject to chomping on by a zombie. However, a lot of other animals like meat too. And isn't a slow moving brainless meat stick sound good to a pack of wolves or any other animal that likes to eat flesh?

Another reason zombies can't survive is because they have too many natural predators. It would probably be the easiest prey on land for something like a wolf or a lion. And not to mention, aren't vultures attracted to dead meat? While zombies wonder around aimlessly there'd be a vulture or two just eating it alive (or dead in this case). Coupled with another reason we'll get into later it'll be very hard for a zombie to stay alive to infect another person.

Where Do They Go?

Let's say that a zombie apocalypse did happen. It would be impossible for it to start on all 7 continents, so how would it go from one to another. Let's say the outbreak originated in Australia and the whole continent was infected... Now what? There would be no way for the zombies to travel to any other continent and spread the disease. Zombies can't swim an entire ocean, and unless they somehow learned to pilot and land planes to other continents they would be stuck on one continent. Eventually they would all die and all 6 continents would be untouched. Unless a zombie was hiding in a suitcase of a vacationer than there is no realistic way zombies can travel from continent to continent.

This is always an option...

This is always an option...

Biting Sucks!

A big reason why a zombie outbreak wouldn't spread is because... It wouldn't spread! Everyone agrees that the textbook zombie always spreads it's disease by biting. Well this is a horrible way to spread disease! When is the last time a human got rabbis from a squirrel and then infected half the population on earth? It never happened because biting is such a bad way to spread any disease. I've never heard of a disease spread by bite or saliva that actually did much harm. In fact I've never heard of a disease like that, that caused any harm! Why? Because this is a horrible way to spread disease.

Diseases that turn into epidemics always have something in common: the means of transportation. Big diseases that spread and form epidemics are carried by water or air. And the nasty ones are carried by both. Another reason biting is a horrible way to transport a disease is because we know exactly who has the disease. With airborne diseases anyone can have it and no one would know who it is. Well if we're looking in a crowd and we're trying to see who's a zombie and we see someone biting someone else... I think we have a winner.

Zombies Can't Heal!

Let's pretend that all of the previous factors were overcome and there was a small zombie outbreak. Think of all the damage that zombies take on a daily basis, tripping over sidewalks, walking into buildings, falling off of bridges, and getting shot... Now realize that they can't heal! Every scratch, bruise and gunshot adds up until they just can't function. Zombies could be one fall away from never getting up.

Another major factor is that they can't feel pain. Many people mistake this for being invincible. Just because a zombie doesn't feel pain doesn't mean a gunshot or a frying pan to the head doesn't do any damage. There is a more realistic situation that recently occurred that proves this. In Miami, where the "zombie" which was a man who was under the influence of some powerful drugs was found chewing another man's face off. When cops arrived they shot him once without him even flinching, this showed that he had superhuman strength, and could not feel pain. However when the cops shot him a second and third time the "zombie" collapsed and was killed. This shows that not feeling pain isn't always the best thing. What if you were in water while an electric current ran through it and you couldn't feel pain. You would basically be electrocuting yourself to death with no chance of getting out. This is why feeling pain is sometimes a good thing so you don't keep sitting on that sharp staple on your chair.

People like this is the reason we'd survive...

People like this is the reason we'd survive...

Humans Are Great Killers

When I say humans are unaturally good I mean it. Humans have drove other species to extinct without even trying! We possess weapons (that are completely available to the public) that would easily kill a zombie in one or two shots if placed correctly. Let's not forget about all the technology we possess. I would like to see a mob of zombies try to chew their way through a tank that's about to run them all over. We have pistols, rifles, machine guns, grenades, rockets, tanks, missiles... The list goes on and on. Basically if a zombie outbreak did somehow happen, military from around the world would easily put a stop to it.

Let's pretend that somehow an entire city was lost to the zombie outbreak. Almost everybody was infected and there's no point in trying to rescue anybody. Did someone forget we have nukes? If i'm not mistaken the U.S. flattened two cities in Japan during World War 2 with only 2 bombs. All it would take is for someone to give the order and we'd bomb the whole city, effectively wiping out any and all zombies in the blast radius. The fact is humans are great at killing things, and zombies are no exception.

Final Thoughts

While the idea of a zombie outbreak is very interesting, and to some people cool, there is really no chance it would happen. Even if it did all the previous factors explained why it wouldn't last. Most people don't realize an epidemic starts with one infected. It doesn't infect the entire world in a single day. Slowly, little by little more people would have to become infected, and it just isn't very likely. Humans are amazing at killing things and wouldn't let a little zombie outbreak change that. If you would like to continue with this idea and look at why Humans are the most dominant species on Earth, i made a hub here: http://ciccarone.hubpages.com/hub/Human-Dominance. If you have any comments about a zombie outbreak or have any counter reasons why a zombie outbreak could happen please comment below.


James on November 03, 2015:

Yes, good article but what if everyone in the world was already infected. Then everyone time someone dies they turn. So think about in 1 minute there will be 60 more zombies and in a hour there will be thousands. and less then a week there will be millions and that's enough to take down a military. Unless somehow the military bombs the zombies in time. Even if they are bombed it only takes another week for another million of them to come. The only real way to stop that is to find a cure.

eJAY on July 29, 2015:


Vanessa on March 28, 2015:

I agree with most of your points, except about the one in the "Where Do They Go?" section... If they don't turn into zombies right away, it would be incredibly easy to spread the disease through travel, organ transplants, etc.

Ryan on November 15, 2014:

Well there looking for flesh...they will simply eat themselves and they need energy to move there dead so they can't move and thanks for calming me down crack

free on October 14, 2014:

U should never trust the government

They cover up a lot. They have bunkers bigger than u think. If u really trust the government than ur an idiot. U think there going 2 help and give u food. When there in the rock bunker sipping on tea. . Think about it the world is going 2 end sometime. Man always destroys itself. If it is over population. It can be many things. What's better than making a virus and blaming it on something or someone. While people r dying and don't knoe what 2 do next. The government only cares about important people. Don't believe me do research

Mattyrott on August 25, 2014:

dasfdsad nailed it. I read this article almost 4 years ago (and more well written) on Cracked. You suck ciccarone. Shame sir. Shame.

dasfdsad on March 27, 2014:

Nice Job plagiarizing a Cracked Article.

what on March 26, 2014:

you spelled rabies wrong

the walking dead on March 22, 2014:

but maybe the government try to make, i don't know, a cure for cancer, but there is a mistake and create a zombie virus, or they make a virus for a biological warfare and there is an outbreak,then the zombies will become true.but i agree with you,the military will clean them up

Zombie hater on February 23, 2014:

Zombies blood would also freeze in the cold because once a human dies the layers in the skin that really insulate heat decomposes in about a day so the zombie would literally frozen in place

errrr on July 25, 2013:

Zombies are not a disease, zombies originate from voodoo and yes there has been both documented and researched "zombie revivals" but these are all of course widely disputed, this is not my argument and voodoo is not the type of zombies today's media and movies are making zombies to be, no what we speak of are the infected, and the things you say here are very incorrect about disease and viruses

You mention that the disease starts with one person and spreads very slowly, this is very very wrong, disease does everything in its power to be transmitted and who ever said the infected only transfer through bite, in today's media 28 days later the simple drop of blood into the eye from an infected crow transfers the disease, or in its sequel 28 weeks later when its transferred through a kiss with a carrier

Rabies doesn't have the rabid affect on humans, mostly because they die long before they can reach that level because our bodies shut down and go into a coma, many diseases will cause that reaction because our bodies naturally heal faster and fight stronger in a relaxed unconscious state, while this makes a great point for you that rabies wouldn't fit the description there are many hundreds of disease mutating everyday all the time, as seen with any plague that occurs, they don't appear out of thin air, it's a process of evolution which is very obvious and dangerous to us as a species

Now im not saying that i believe the infected will ever happen but i do see the possibilities that you seem to be trying to ignore or deny, but ignorance helps nothing but stupidity.

This is like saying there is no possibility of alien life because we have never seen them, though we know that there are uncountable galaxy with billions of stars to each, each star having planets. Of course there is the possibility but low probability we would ever see it, just like the infected, they have the possibility but a low probability.

Either way bad shit is bound to happen in the future and if today's population needs zombies as a reminder to get prepared in a manner of food, water and shelter then so be it, a constant awareness of your fragile life and the need to prepare for survival is an excellent thing for people, though there is no need for paranoia

anyway i know everyone here will rant on me and i don't blame you for ignorantly avoiding my points and instantly bashing the things you are in disagreement with

Anaise on July 12, 2013:

What if the disease was airborne and the pathogen spread to all the continents of the world?

EJ Lambert from Chicago, IL on June 28, 2013:

To me it's simple that zombies are a FICTIONAL creation. To this day there has not been a single report any sort of outbreak to that effect. However, in the idea of playing along what about the scientific advances we've made in biological warfare? I think a nice flesh and/or brain eating virus specifically tailored to attack zombies would be very possible.

Amie on June 23, 2013:

Ya think? Im tired of all these people thinking that zombies are real it. They are made up

Gracie on June 22, 2013:

Well of course a zombie apocalypse couldn't happen; zombies are a work of fiction

MobZombie on April 11, 2013:

Disagree, Almost completely. First of all we should note that animals have always steered clear of certain things. Thus the reason why we have to cover the taste and smell of medicine in pet food. Now im not saying every animal but a lot. Animals have a primal instinct to steer clear of infected and poisonous food sources. Yet again not entirely but its clear when you see how some birds and other mammals stay away from certain poisonous berries. So its not hard to assume that animals wouldn't feast on a disease ridden, walking corpse. Second, Its easy to see how it can travel all over the world. Just like a virus is spread through contact and fluid transfer. You might be under playing travel around the world. And lets not forget that no one has ever said its an instant thing. It has been shown as a series of conditional happenings. Such as death or the prolonged onset of certain symptoms. Even viruses don't instantaniously take over. Third, Lets talk about nukes. Lets assume that it is a contained incident. Why would anyone want to nuke any city of any size? That would do more harm faster than said outbreak. Bringing up what we did in Japan and not thinking of the short and long term affects its caused millions of people, some by the way not even close to japan, Due to the nuclear fallout that affected people around the globe??? Did we forget that. Also the fact that a nuclear bomb hasn't been used since hiroshima because of its effect. Its been on the table for many years and never used.

Al. on March 05, 2013:

All body movements are more than simply electricity they also run on chemical reactions.

A dead body can't replenish the neurotransmitters that carry information from the brain to the limbs. This is true in the meat industry were an electric current is driven to cow corpses to consume the chemicals that make the meat hard. Thereby rendering the mussels tender.

what_I_See on February 19, 2013:

Well logically if we use some of the methods a person can be a zombie it might not seem so illogical at all. Yes zombie by definition means dead person, but that coin is being rephrased because some of the latest discoveries could be changing that. For instance there is a parasite that literally invades brains and takes control of the host. Luckily it only infects small mammals, but a few evolutions and it might be able to take over bigger pray. Second a virus because of bio warfare could happen. This is seeming to become the biggest reason why this could happen. Current chance of this happening with technology we have. Probably 5% but as technology increases that percent will keep increasing

Though you are right how can it transfer from continent to continent. Unless it can be carried by human across the oceans or by some other mean you are right a zombie spread will only spread so far.

Random guy 96 on February 17, 2013:

Well i saw a zombie movie where it was airborn so like what would happen then? Ya we could kill all the infected but wouldn't more just get infected?

JohnC on February 12, 2013:

None of these arguments are valid if the "zombie virus" results in a form of corpse that does not rapidly decay.

All dead meat decays, I hear you say. Yes it does, but no dead meat can get up and walk either. If the dead person is animated, it could equally be immune to the normal decay and other limitations of death - such as movement and thought.

It does amaze me that many people actually believe that zombies are real, rather than a theoretical (albeit remote) possibility/myth.

James Robertson from Texas on February 01, 2013:

The "Logic" person has a valid point, actually a lot of points. The Walking Dead is just a show but a lot of what happens could almost be real. If this outbreak occurs it won't happen overnight. Just like we must incubate bacteria cultures, a virus that would kill someone and bring them back "reanimated" would require time to grow. And at the first sign of the virus we would take time to study it first, and the population wouldn't hear about it until it became a problem. That of course means hundreds of people would have already become "infected" and come back to life. And for all those skeptics out there, if you think the Government would try to cover up Aliens crash landing on Earth would they not try to cover up a person coming back to life, or even the possibility of them creating said "virus"? (not saying I believe Aliens crashed here, FYI, just an example)

Also these "zombies" are dead, so they no longer need sleep. That means that they can devote their entire "existence" to finding you and eating you. Now why they need to eat you is another situation all together but let's not get into that.

jc on January 28, 2013:

Do u really think the government is stupid enough to make a zombie virus that could end our world. So yea guys think again. -_-

ZAbeliever on January 17, 2013:

Good one, but there were a few mistakes. Many resourses have said that zombies only die if shot in the head. Also, they are dead bodies, and don't require oxygen. Therefor they could float in the water for days at a time. Austrilla is larger than America. Imagine if you will, millions of bodies floating in the water, and the coast guard finding them. Since they were just floating there, which required no energy, they are still able to bite. Said bite will make the bitten become the infected, which will eventually infect others. It's not that we don't have the firepower, it is that our military may not be ready for such a disaster. Just giving some thoughts, good one still

Jim on October 25, 2012:

Good read, but much of the zombie mythology suggests that we are all infected (perhaps by airborne or contact spread transmission). It is simply dying that causes the manefestation of the zombie caused by that infection.

That doesn't make them any harder to kill or avoid as per your rules, but it does mean that it would spread to everyone not terminated after death more or less. The zombies role in this scenario is just to attempt to feed. Their bites only result in a deep infection which kills the victim leaving them in a position to be resurrected a-la-mode by the common virus the whole planet already has.

I think a more likely scenario than living dead, is a rage virus that causes the living to attack each other...

collegeman2 from long island NY on October 18, 2012:

Cool hub. I agree that Zombies will never take over the world, but they will continue to provide a great external threat around which a great story can be told and fun things to shoot in games.

Logic on September 27, 2012:

This is interesting, but the entire article is based off of the assumption that every fictional book about zombies is correct. Yes biting is a bad way to transmit diseases, but it is far from ineffective, for examples we have the bot flies, tetse flies, mosquitoes, fleas. All of those insects have spread some very deadly diseases (bubonic plague anyone? perpetrated by fleas). In all likelihood the disease causing "zombism" would be originally spread by air or water vectors. And we're also forgetting here that no disease instantly affects their victims, they have an incubation period. So if Australia were infected, that would be a 24 hour (at least) period of unawareness of the disease, then the first would appear in a Sidney hospital, but no one would scream apocalypse until ~25 show up with the same disease. By that time, many will have flown away on business/vacation trips around the world. The majority of popular airports are in major cities, so let's say the disease is spread by a cough, you're in a city of 1 million+ people, there will be infections (with their incubation) time. So now we have a pandemic of a disease that no one knows how to combat, as study won't commence on it until A) someone running blood tests finds it odd B) noticeable amounts of people start dying from the same symptoms. Theoretically, the disease would not turn you into a zombie until well into it's lifespan (or rather your lifespan) so let's say a week. Then we'll have our first reports of either "primalized" or dementia stricken people with FEV (flesh eating virus) wondering around. Most will assume this to be a hoax, so there goes preparation. And if we assume that this disease is engineered (it almost has to be) then it will most assuredly "eat" the bacteria that would help with decomposition, there goes our "exploding zombies' safety blanket. At about a month in, it will be assumed by governments that too many have been infected in major cities to effectively help them, so here comes quarantines of all large cities (100k +) no one goes in or comes out. They will then begin systematically "cleaning and sterilizing' these restricted zones (napalm anyone?). Word of this will naturally leak out and then our "safe havens" will riot and turn on the government. From there we begin a spiral downwards back into bubonic plague times, "home and doctor" assured cures and mass panic will lead into further loss of life, causing people to lose trust in each other, and once that happens, we're done. Approximately 2 years in, all major cities will be decimated, survivors will either be in closely trusted small groups or on their own and then will slowly die from malnutrition. Approximately 5 years in, 99.9% of the human populace will be dead (infected included due to malnourishment). The .1% still alive will be spread across the globe and far in seclusion and near out of ammunition (for hunting, assuming this didn't infect animals as well) and will then either A) attempt to find groups for reformation of society or B) continue in seclusion and possibly create an inbred family that will die within 10 generations due to genetic errors.

In conclusion, abiding by fantasy books about super zombies that can't die, is a way to "debunk" a possible outbreak, but if we look closer, one group secretly engineering a disease could end the word.

biggame on September 26, 2012:

even if zombies wouldn't go after things like the neighborhood animals, its only source of food would then be humans. and humans would also be the main killer of zombies. so every time it needs to eat, it must face its top predator. and that would be like me or you having to fight a lion every time we tried to make a sandwich.

Adam Ruggiero from Minneapolis, MN on September 26, 2012:

Yes! THIS is the sort of well-researched, plausible arguments against the zombie apocalypse that I need to sleep better at night! I have never been so grateful for the ubiquity of bacteria.

Ciccarone (author) from In Your Computer on July 08, 2012:

@DonkeyKongKiller thanks for the nice comment.

@nochance thanks for pointing out the errors i'll fix it as soon as possible.

@josh3418 thanks for the comment haha and no problem.

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on July 06, 2012:

Cicc. this was an excellent hub! Thanks for reassuring me that there is no need to worry! LOL I was getting nervouse the other day about Zombies attacking me :) Thanks for this funny hub!

Chris Hugh on July 06, 2012:

I'm pretty sure zombies don't exist, but if I'm wrong, your Hub is reassuring. In any case, "An apple a day keeps the zombies at bay".

@nochance, if you were to read my Hubs and tell me my typos I would be so happy! There's always just one more typo. I could return the favor, too if you like. I'll message you too.

Chloe from Minnesota on July 06, 2012:

Very nice hub. You make lots of very good points and it's all very well articulated.

I do have a couple things to say. You spelled rabies wrong in the "biting sucks" section. And for the link to your other hub either use the link function in the text capsule to link to the word "here" in "I made a hub here" or a better suggestion is to cut that bit out entirely and use the links capsule which will allow you to put the hub's name and a short description at the end of your hub.

Good job, welcome to hubpages.

DonkeyKongKiller from Texas on July 05, 2012:

Very well thought out. All of these are very logical and I now agree with you that a zombie outbreak could never happen.

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