Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why Do Zombies Crave Brains and Flesh?

You've probably heard stories about people craving weird foods. There is actually a show devoted to it on TLC called My Strange Addiction. Pregnant women are also famous for having some serious cravings to bizarre foods such as toilet paper and dirt in addition to actual foods such as meat, salt, chocolate, etc.
The gener
al theory surrounding cravings is that the body craves foods that are high in certain nutrients it is deficient in. Therefore a pregnant woman who thinks the soil in the garden looks tasty is perhaps deficient in phosphorus while the lady on My Strange Addiction that
eats toilet paper is probably just weird.
Now, as you may not know the brain is made up largely of fat, due to myelin, a fatty substance that surrounds nerve cells and insulates them to prevent cross talk with other cells. Fat is important in basic body functions, especially the functions of a zombie. Fat stores energy (which is important because we speculate that zombies burn a lot of energy very quickly), helps maintain body temperature, and cells need it to function (and since a zombie's cells can not undergo division it is imperative that they protect the ones they have).
Flesh is a really creepy sounding name for the skin, fat, and muscles of a human. Muscles are made up of protein which, as most people know, is a source of energy. The Zombie must consume flesh for energy. Things such as Red Bull or Monster simply cannot compete with the pure intense energy provided by Normals.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT an argument for cannibalism. College students, overworked coal miners and old people should NOT revert to eating their friends and family to keep going. A Zombie is more adept at burning human flesh than a Normal. Cannibalism is not socially acceptable.

Can Zombies Feel Pain?

This is probably the most important question we can ask, which is why we must address it so soon. When fending off a Zombie, it is imperative to know precisely what is effective.

The rules presented in the film Zombieland offer plenty of good advice. We are going to examine rule number 2, Double Tap. The rule simply states to never, never ever , EVER, shoot once and assume the target is dead. Always make sure the subject has been thoroughly defeated. Such as the subject of an infinite number of horror films, the target simply will not die, or be rendered incapacitated, by normal means.

From this we must see that a simple wound, lost limb, festering gangrene or severe splinter does not affect their ability to attack. The Normal is still chased by the Zombies until the zombie can be sufficiently destroyed. However, I am unconvinced that this means they cannot feel pain.

My theory is simple--a Zombie's hunger for flesh/brains is so completely absolutely ridiculously strong that is overpowers all other feeling. A Zombie's human body is trying to expel the virus from the body; the immune system is in such an overload that the body needs a constant source of nourishment. One rich in protein. The body craves it with such a burning intensity, that is overrules all other sensations of the body. We shall call it, the Jordan Hierarchy of Zombie Needs.

Now, Zombies have a tremendous need for flesh. TREMENDOUS. it is almost unfathomable how much flesh one has to devour until it starts caring for its safety. But we notice, the longer a Zombie has gone without feeding, the more desperate it gets. It sinks farther and farther to the bottom of the pyramid. The farther into a movie one gets, the more Zombies attack the heroes. This is because the Normal population has decreased exponentially, and fewer Zombies can feed. Fewer Zombies care about pain and their safety.

We know that pain must be felt because fire has an effect of Zombies. Fire may not destroy the entire body; it is still possible to move while covered in burns. Most people refrain from doing so, because it hurts like hell. Pardon the pun. However, if a Zombie is hungry enough, its deteriorated nervous system will forgo any thoughts of avoiding said pain and charge on forward to consume whatever it can.

Unfortunately, this shows us that a well fed Zombie has the ability to hide. THIS IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. A Zombie that can hide is a Zombie you night not see. More Normals will be wiped out at the beginning of the Apocalypse by hidden Zombies because they let their guard down. Once the Survival of the Fittest kicks in, and the Zombies have demolished the weak, the remaining Normals will have an easier time traveling (Zombies will not be able to hide), but will have to rely on the Double Tap.

The important thing to remember is this: Underfed Zombies = can't feel pain. So be careful!

The Definition of a Zombie

Before we ask any questions it is important to define exactly what a zombie is so that our answers can be more scientific. Traditionally, a zombie is deceased human that has somehow become reanimated. Movies such as Dawn of The Dead use this type of zombie. However zombies differ greatly from movie to movie. In some cases zombies move slowly, in other cases they move with super human speed. Zombies generally lack most higher cognitive functions however there are some instances in which zombies can use technology. In recent films such as 28 Days Later and Zombieland, zombies are humans that have become "undead" because of a virus. This differs from the traditional zombie because they go straight from human to zombie; they never die. So is a zombie dead, or alive? Does it matter when they are attacking you? YES IT DOES.

But we must wonder about the nature of this virus. A virus is a simple, essentially lifeless bit of DNA and protein. The proteins that encase the DNA, once they eject their DNA, become prions, which have been known to have malignant effects on the human form. We must question what exactly this virus will do to the subject. Will it simply deteriorate the human mind and body? Or will it do something more to the body, such as change the nature of cells in the human body?

To keep things constant in this blog we will be using a zombie prototype. For our purposes a zombie is a human that has become undead due to a virus. These zombies are slow-moving, lack higher cognitive function, and crave flesh. The virus attacks their nervous system making them aggressive, inhuman, and animal-like, no matter how it affects the body. Because zombies are still able to move and eat it can be assumed that their organ systems are relatively unaffected, which implies that they have a beating heart and blood flow (organs need blood flow to function.) However, it can also be assumed that zombies cannot create new cells which is why they begin to fall apart in many movies (limbs fall off, wounds do not heal, etc.)

With that in mind, we will now begin to ask, research, and answer questions we have always wondered about zombies. If you have a burning question about zombies feel free to ask.