To quote one of the science articles I found on this week’s topic: “Biology is really one big horror story.” And some of the links you find herein are pretty damn creepy, too.
From the voodoo Queens of New Orleans to the always classic Night of the Living Dead, zombies are a science fiction and horror staple. And I know what you’re going to say. “Tabitha, what do zombies have to do with science? Because that’s crazy talk.” That is sorta true, after a fashion. It depends on what part of science one looks at. Shambling, rotting, undead husks of humanity? No, of course those don’t exist. The reason why zombies don’t exist as we see them in culture is the undead part. No joke. Reanimation is the fly in the ointment, as it were.
Now, the virus part of the zombie creation equation has been done, and done, and done. Science says it’s possible to have zombies, but for a viral cause, it will most likely be in the form of a man-made bioweapon. Honestly, I love the concept.
If one is looking for a new row to hoe, however, we’ve got some ready made candidates for zombism already sharing our mud ball. And truly, I find the parasites a much scarier option for zombie causes.
The best part of the parasite angle, from my perspective at least, is the always possible threat of resurgence. Parasites are almost impossible to eradicate because of the wide variety of hosts available. Viruses are pretty easy to figure out once you know the hosts and vectors of infection. Parasites are alive in a way viruses aren’t, as well. Their capacity for evolution is a step above viruses and they multiply just as quickly.
Food for thought.
Science in the pursuit of Fiction