In addition to the rapture, a comet colliding with Earth or massive volcanoes simultaneously erupting, one of the most frequently discussed theories on how our world will end is a zombie virus outbreak that would quickly infect the whole population. The hype is emphasized by the Mayan calendar which prophesizes that humanity will be destroyed by the end of the fiscal year. However, there are valid arguments to combat the validity of most of the apocalypse theories. But let’s focus on the zombie apocalypse hypothesis for a moment and, more exactly, on the reasons that render its occurrence improbable.
1. The inefficiency of the virus spreading method
The method through which the “zombification” virus reproduce and is transmitted from the carrier to the victim is biting. From this point of view, the zombie virus is very similar to rabies and so far there hasn’t been a rabies apocalypse, has it? If a dog in your neighborhood is infected with rabies, it will not escalate to an epidemic of biblical proportion. And the explanation for this is pretty simple: biting represents an ineffective way to spread a virus, particularly for a slow, uncoordinated zombie that would have trouble reaching any person with average mobility. Unlike airborne viruses, the outbreak would be easily contained by eliminating the first infected victims.
2. The availability of the firearms
If you take into account the overinflated military budget as well as the number of firearm owners, you would quickly realize that a horde of zombies don’t have a prayer as long as you don’t run out of bullets. According to statistics, there are approximately 14,000,000 people who own at least one hunting rifle and have a permit for it in the U.S. alone. Give them the order to fire at will and every last zombie in the area would be pushing up daisies before the sun is down.
3. The instatement of martial law in outbreak areas
A zombie outbreak constitutes grounds for the military force to instate martial law, sealing off the area until the virus is under control. Therefore, no zombie or person suspected of being infected would be able to get in or out of the quarantine zone. In other words, the apocalypse is over before it even began, since the contact with the outside world is severed.
4. The vulnerability to temperature extremes
Dead tissue does not benefit from the ability to regulate the body functions in order to ward off the effects of temperature. In fact, if the zombie outbreak would take place in a warm climate, the humidity and heat would promote the development of the bacteria on the bodies of the zombies, causing them to bloat and eventually explode. On the other hand, in case the epidemic starts in a chilly weather climates, it would still be bad for the zombies because the cold would increase the stiffness of the gradually freezing tissue, hindering their mobility.
5. The naturally occurring/manmade barriers
Zombies are not smart, that’s a given. Their sheer strength comes from numbers, providing the epidemic somehow manages to spread successfully in spite of the overwhelming odds. However, as history has taught us so many times, the size of an army does not guarantee victory. For instance, if the survivors of the zombie apocalypse take the high ground while the streets are funneling the zombie hordes, snipers can easily pick them up and put them down one by one. Moreover, rivers, cliffs and rapids constitute perfect and deadly traps for the casually strolling zombies, especially during the night.
6. The high number of natural predators
First of all, let’s remember that zombies are sluggish, clumsy creatures only guided by the instinct to feed. That is exactly the reason why numerous animals like stray dogs, bears, wolves, etc. would view them as an easy prey and would devour the zombies in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, in addition to the animals, don’t forget about the maggots that develop on dead tissue, gradually consuming the flesh until there is nothing left.
7. The inability of the dead organisms to heal/regenerate
Even if the zombie is not killed during an attack, the wounds inflicted on it will never heal because the regeneration capability is not proprietary to dead tissue. With each wound, the hunting performance of the zombie diminishes, which eventually means it would die of starvation. In addition to that, the innate pain insensitivity of the zombies completely eliminates their self preservation instinct, meaning they will put their bodies in harm’s way without even realizing it.
8. The existence of disease control centers
One of the first global responses to every epidemic is the establishment of local disease control centers. Teams of scientists and military operatives are dispatched to the scene in order to evacuate the uninfected citizens, quarantine the ones afflicted with the virus and start working on a cure. Remember that the zombie virus is not the first one they’ve seen and there are procedures in place to ensure that the outbreak is immediately contained and dealt with.
9. The vaccine for the virus that would be developed
Based on the assumption that “zombie-ness” is cause by a virus, you can safely assume that a vaccine can be developed. It is entirely true that the virus will attempt to mutate in order to become resistant to the vaccine, but the scientists will also improve its capabilities to keep up with the infection. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that the apocalypse will not be related to a world epidemic.
10. The sheer fact that organisms cannot be reanimated
Probably the most reassuring anti zombie apocalypse rationale is the inability of dead bodies to magically return to life and carry on, in spite of the fact that all the organs have stopped functioning. It is ridiculous to believe that without the brain to coordinate the activity of heart, lungs, kidney, muscles, stomach, etc. the zombie would still somehow be able to walk around, see and hunt. According to medical science, if the body is dead for more than fifteen minutes than it cannot be reanimated because the brain suffers from irreparable trauma due to the lack of blood and oxygen.