Zombies have taken over. They dominate television shows, movies and anything else related to pop culture and have become increasingly more popular as the years progress. Whether it’s a mob of zombies sucking the brains out of a helpless victim on the big screen or zombies terrorizing families on television shows, it is hard to ignore the gory entourage. Fans of zombie lore generally fall into two categories: those who are attracted to the popularity of zombies and see them as purely amusement and those who not only are amused by zombies, but can also see the possibility of fiction becoming reality.
The possibility of a zombie apocalypse is very real and terrifying; and most of the population simply wouldn’t survive. No one is safe. Now is the time to prepare and learn about the potential threat and to ensure--above all else-- survival. For hundreds of years zombies have conjured images of the reanimated dead, mindlessly searching for the next meal of human brains. While this may be true in Hollywood, zombies actually started out as mindless servants who worked on farms in Haiti, where voodoo was the main religion in practice.
Voodoo priests of priestesses are believed to use medicinal concoctions which can bring the dead back to life as zombie slaves, who were then worked out in the fields. This became such a problem in Haiti that family members would guard the graves of loved ones until they were certain the body had begun to decompose, as voodoo only works on the freshly dead. (Real Zombies, 1) At any rate, many people simply do not believe in the possibility of a single zombie, let alone a zombie apocalypse.
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The notion of a human being brought back to life as a blood thirsty creature does sound far-fetched, and as of yet there have been no documented cases of the typical Hollywood zombie. It is human nature to resist ideas that are so outlandish and terrifying, especially given the seeming lack of proof surrounding a zombie invasion. Normally, such things can be chalked up to a simple fad taking hold of the nation’s youth as a result of cinematic glamour and the growth of social networking.
Normally, most people would agree that the zombie craze will be short lived and would certainly not amount to the apocalyptic infatuation that seems to have taken hold of the populace. We always seek the rational, the explainable, the safe. Unfortunately, like history has proven time and again, inexplicable events can often change our views of what is rational and real. There is a very real and poignant possibility that we could be faced with a zombie infestation, and it could occur at any time.
The conditions are right. From a scientific standpoint, the ingredients for a devastating zombie outbreak are primed and ready, with some needing only a slight evolution of a bacteria, virus, or even parasites. Toxoplasmosa Gondii is a rather terrifying parasite that can only breed in the intestines of a cat. While that may not seem unusual, the parasite actually lives and grows on rats. In order to be ingested by felines, the parasites take over the rats brain and make it scurry towards where cats habitate.
What makes this even more horrifying is that over half of the human population are already infected with Toxoplasmosa and it has been scientifically proven to alter the personality of those who are infected. It would only take a few changes in the parasites to occur either naturally or in a lab before we become slaves to a parasite. Neurotoxins are second on the list. Neurotoxins are poisons(naturally occurring or man-made) that can be used to slow bodily functions to the point of being legally declared dead.
They can also be used to bring those people back in a trance-like state with no memory; essentially leaving them as a shuffling, mindless husk. One case in Haiti tells of a Clairvius Narcisse, who was legally declared dead by two doctors but was found 18 years later wandering around a village. A voodoo preist had been using neurotoxins to make Clairvius into a zombie to work his fields. Next is the virus that causes Mad Cow disease.
The virus turns cows into enraged attack animals, and when ingested by humans it manifests as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This disease causes hallucinations, lack of coordination, muscle twitching and rapidly-developing dementia that an turn intensely violent. Neurogenesis is also capable of creating zombies. Neurogenesis is the act regrowing brain cells, or entire brains.
This sounds great, but a lab who expiraments in neurogenesis has proven that is can cause the brain to die from the inside out; destroying parts of the rain that make us human first. It destroys the cerebral cortex and leaves only basic motor functions and instincts behind. Lastly are nanobots, which are microscopic, self-replicating robots that scientists have used to attach to viruses. These nanobots can survive even after the host dies. Now there are studies that aim to use nanobots to replace damages neural connections in the human brain. They can rewire your thoughts and survive after host death--what could possibly go wrong? (Wong,5)
In lieu of the overwhelming scientific evidence that supports the possibility of a zombie apocalypse, it is imperative that the human race be prepared for such an event. It is essential that we strive to get in shape and remain healthy not only for longevity, but also for survival. The reality of the situation is that, quite simply, one cannot possibly deny that science is constantly evolving.
There are weapons of warfare, both biological and chemical, that can cause mass dementia, insanity, and eventually death. Wiki,1) Is it so hard to imagine a weapon being forged that could enslave humans by destroying their minds and making them a mindless horde? Suddenly, the concept of a zombie apocalypse doesn’t seem so far fetched. While the vast majority may, thanks to the exaggerations made by Hollywood, not believe in the possibility of a zombie take-over, it is important to remember that anything is possible with the amount of technology that continues to constantly evolve.
By keeping in shape, memorizing escape routes at home and being constantly aware, human-kind may stand a chance against a plague of undead. The presence of parasites able to take over brain functions, neurotoxins able to control the body, miniscule robots poised to take over the brain and viruses able to reduce humans into demented, tortured shadows of a creature, it is essential that preparations are taken in the event one of those things should evolve. The reasoning is simple and appeals to human nature: it is better to be safe, than sorry.
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