X

Science Proves It: Walking Dead Can't Walk

Death does really unfortunate things to bodies, forensic consultant points out
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2013 1:02 PM CDT
Science Proves It: Walking Dead Can't Walk
Former sumo grand champion Akebono, far left, and other participants wearing zombie makeups, perform during a Halloween event at Tokyo Tower in Tokyo, Oct. 31, 2013.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

(Newser) – It's Halloween, so odds are you're going to see some zombies today. But fear not, because if they were real zombies, they wouldn't be able to shamble, feed, see, or really do much of anything, Rutgers professor and forensic consultant Kimberlee Sue Moran explains to the South Jersey Times. After getting freaked out by 28 Days Later, Moran decided to look into the science of zombies, and discovered that there's nothing to fear, thanks to autolysis. That's the body's self-destruct sequence, and it kicks in right after death.

story continues below

"You hear about friendly bacteria and probiotics all the time," Moran explains, "and they are friendly until the body dies, then they get a bit hungry." Decomposition sets in, and with it liquification, and within three days "the body would not be stable enough to run around." Besides, without blood and oxygen flow to the (also decomposing) brain, any vision or movement is impossible. The truth is, corpses break down pretty quickly, recycling into the ecosystem. And then, Moran muses, "you are kind of the living dead, in a way." LiveScience, meanwhile, tackles another Halloween mystery: Why witches ride brooms. Its fascinating explainer references poisonous plants, a woman who allegedly killed her husband in 1324, and the anointing of "hairy places." Read it here. (Read more zombies stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X