There are few things in life more permanent and guaranteed than death. Yet, that doesn’t stop us from imagining what life would be like if death was only temporary.
In AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead,” returning Sunday, June 2, at 9 p.m. EDT/8 p.m. CDT, reanimated human corpses roam the world, having avoided the permanent stillness of death only to devour the living. Now, we know zombies aren’t real, but reanimated corpses aren’t exactly a figment of the imagination. Scientists have been attempting to restore life to the dead for hundreds of years.
In the 1800s, physicist Giovanni Aldini became famous for his spectacular demonstrations of “reanimating” human and animal corpses by stimulating them with powerful electrical shocks. He would hook a battery up to dismembered humans or animals and cause the corpse to convulse as though it were alive. Audience members were awestruck, despite the fact the creature never actually came back to life. Aldini knew he wasn’t reviving the dead, but didn’t shy away from the possibility, and neither did the scientists who followed him.