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Scientists say: Hit Them Hard! Answered

It had to happen.

Scientists from the University of Ottowa have modelled the effects of a classical zombie plague, as part of a model in epidemiology.

They looked at what would happen if uninfected humans attempted to cure or quarantine zombies, and the effects of retaliation:

We show that only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all.

It looks like we might have a need for all those zombie Instructables after all!

PDF of the paper, via BBC story.



8 years ago

I question that graph at the top of page 139. How can the number of zombies keep increasing after time 4.5 when there are no susceptibles left? Zombies don't reproduce, at least not in any of the classic scenarios, and I'm pretty sure that the real-world equivalent (having rabies, apparently) precludes having children.

I question that graph at the top of page 139. How can the number of zombies keep increasing after time 4.5 when there are no susceptibles left?
They don't. With no food, they slowly die out, or they live forever. Who knows.

they dont die out... the reason they eat i because they dont feel full. once the virus takes effect all nervous systems shut down and the body no longer needs food to run, however, the brain still acts somewhat and thinks it needs to eat. since the body can no longer feel the brain doesnt know when to stop eating and will therefore keep the body eating until the stomach explodes. thats why its important to sever the head.

If they're hungry, why not eat each other though?

its just like an animal in the same pack. they all hunt with each other, they dont hunt each other. when the disease takes over the brain reverts back to its primal way of doing things.

I see...Zombies just got a little boring...

yep. when you actually go away from the hollywood view and look at the science of zombies it does get less interesting for some.

Well, I don't think any Hollywood zombie movie had the zombies eat each other, but I also don't think while watching said movie, any one was thinking, "Wait a second. Why eat humans when you can eat each other... Unless!" ect, ect... But you're right...To bad I like Hollywood better than some aspects of science.

I haven't read the paper, having a life, but if there is a lag effect that could be it, ie if there is an incubation period.

I haven't read the paper, having a life

if there is a lag effect that could be it

IE susceptibles stop being susceptibles before they become zombies, so there is a transient phase which isn't shown on the graph? Perhaps. "Dead bodies in radioactive barrels" perhaps, or "crazay guys boarded up in churches".

The whole thing is really an exercise in modelling the spread of diseases - there will be an incubation period, plus that bit of time between death and resurrection.

People will say "ohhh no he is not zombie he is human you cant shoot it" I have an axe :S

Axe foreva! Right next to the dual pair of machetes I keep under my bed...

"...he is human you cant shoot it" LOL, I have grenades, molotov coctails, RPG's and an IED proof military humvee. beat that and carry it all as well!


AR-15 on a 3 point harness in the front, Spas-12 on a two point sling hanging behind (takes only 3 seconds to get out and and fire one shot), and a Desert Eagle (.50 cal.) on each thigh. 600 rounds for the AR-15, 240 rounds for the Spas-12, and 70 rounds for each Desert Eagle.


One hatchet, two mini crowbars, a very large knife and a Ninja-to.

I think I'm set.

Ar 15 8 Lbs
spas 12 9 lbs
desert eagle 4.5 lbs * 2

600 rounds 223 20 lbs
240 12 gauge shotshells 25 lbs
140 rounds 50ae 10 lbs

I hope you don't need to be mobile.

I think he's nuts, also the ar15, although very similar to the m16, is not automatic, which is the biggest drawback. what about my list? how does it compare?

Okay, first an RPG 7? Why would you want an anti tank rocket?

My biggest complaint with the AR 15 and the M16 is price, they cost an arm and a leg, which the zombies will chew off you because you couldn't afford the AR 15's $1500 price tag.
Why two shotguns? You can fire only one at a time. Yeah sure you'll look cool, but zombies are notoriously hard to impress.
Lastly, the armor, a 22 will shoot clean through 1/16th aluminum.

Here's what I would want.
If I was hunkered down.
scoped bolt action .22 with subsonic rounds, allow you to feed yourself (cats, squirrels, rats, etc) without attracting too much attention. $150-300 Alternately a Gamo Whisper pellet rifle $250

Bolt action deer rifle with scope, let's you "reach out and touch someone".
Basspro has a scoped Remington for $399 in .270 or 30-06 right now.

If you want to save money a Mosin Nagant goes for between $100 & $150 and a 440 case of ammo is $100, Hey it was good enough for Simo Hayha aka "The White Death".

A 12 gauge pump shotgun like the Remington 870, NEF makes a chinese knockoff called the Pardner Pump for $220, real nice gun, almost bought one couple months ago.

Finally a 9mm Pistol, anything from as cheap as a Hipoint for $150 to a Glock for $500, personally, since I have a soft spot for Com Block I'd get a CZ 82.

Anyways, you can see, I can be WAY under the price for a single AR.15

If I had to be mobile, the shotgun and the pistol.

First of all, why would you go and buy the guns, its zombie uprising you fool! you'll be a zombie(or dead) before the 5 day waiting period is up! Price is not the object in this theoretical situation(a zombie uprising), nor is where one could acquire the weapons in question(RPG's aren't very sell-able in the US last time I checked)

I'll admit, I didn't know the price of the ar or the m16 because I don't really care for them too much, but a .50AE costs more then that for a less flashy version, and even more for the flashier ones.

I want an RPG because I like things that go boom.

If the zombies learned to shoot, I'd be screwed, just like everyone else, I know 1/16" Al isn't thick enough for most ammo anyway, but that wasn't the point in the first place, the armor was for bite protection(yet it would slow the bullets down before they got to me). If I was going after body armor to stop bullets, I'd go with Kevlar based options.

Now, if I was hunkered down, preferably with lots of cover, I'd want:
-first set up a perimeter consisting of craploads of ANFO on a dead-mans switch with Lots of shrapnel embedded(just in case, I zombify).
-scoped hunting rifle(good for long range ....'communication'
-a pair of automatic shotguns
-a pair of .50AE(2 in shoulder holsters) and 4 extra clips each
-assortment of grenades, claymores, cocktails, and rockets.

for mobility I'll throw in an IED resistant Humvee(the ones with the inch thick windows) with the tailpipe water condensation and filtration system http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2006-01/converting-tailpipes-water-fountains

Since your plan seems to come down not to preparedness but to wishful thinking, why don't you just wish the zombies away. Luckily Florida only has a waiting period on handguns, and not even that for CCW holders, otherwise it's a 15 min instant background check and you walk out the door with whatever you can afford. I will point out that is you wait until you need a firearm to buy a firearm you are not a fool, you are a dead fool. Although zombies may be fictional, natural disasters and their attendant breakdown in civil order occur with frightening regularity. BTW an up armored Humvee gets 4mpg and has a 25 gal fuel tank. That's not what I would call mobile.

Well, now that you bring on the buzzkill of a reality check on a zombie situation, my equiptment list is clearly not feasible in any real disaster situation.
Coming down to being prepared for a real disaster situation, I'd have a diffrent list entirely. Since I am prone to accidents, I'd have a bag full of first aid thats got all but a neurosurgeon inside. I'd also have 20 MRE's, a map and compass kit, some bottled water or a camelpak, this guys invention: http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_pritchard_invents_a_water_filter.html , also I'd have a typical survival kit(magnesium fire starter, flashlight, etc.), a machetti, an axe, a nice Ka-Bar knife, a small semi-auto pistol that packs a punch, possibly with a small red dot scope on top(with 5 hollowpoint clips and 10 clips of regular ammo), and an off the shelf 12 guage (with red dot sight)(with 100 rounds of buckshot and 100 deer slugs).

I didnt that a Humvees tank was that small, no did i think the mileage was that good, oh, and for the record, that Humvee moves a lot faster then you buddy, also it doubles as a safe hiding place from zombies, if legally available ammunition cant make it through those windows and walls, animated,rotting human corpses sure as hell couldn't make it through them.

I'd go with a similar setup, but instead of the AR, I'd go with an RPG 7(or better if better could be found) and a bag stuffed with as many refills as possible, I'd also strap some sawed off 12guages to my calves. I'd also fashion some basic armor out of 1/16" aluminum sheet (we can't bite that hard can we?) and if I have any room left, I'd have some homemade napalm, beer bottles, and a trusty zippo lighter. And If the zombies learn to shoot, I'm slightly better off then the others cuz I have armor.

According to what's his face's zombie survival guide they can't learn to shoot and an RPG-7 wouldn't be all that good.

Has what's his face been through a zombie uprising/invasion? I don't think so. One can't be too prepared when it comes to something of this nature. And yes an RPG would too be very good, lots of sh*t blows up around it

Good guns but being able to move is also a plus, might need to leave some stuff at home

I love zombie discussions, although nobody wants to play the devils advocate there. oh well, I guess no one wants to stick up for those poor saps who zombify.

Oh snap, I didn't realise there were other zombie instructables. I am making my own at the moment. Never mind, mine will be serious ;)

Goodness me, don't Stinkymum see that!

It's my bow tie!

Oh, I'm sorry. I knew you use to have a beard, so I didn't know if you grew a new, green one...
don't Stinkymum see that!
I'm sorry...?

Did you look at the link? Stinkymum knitted "me".

Wait, did you mean, "Don't let Stinkymum see that!"?
Did you look at the link? Stinkymum knitted "me".
Yes I do. I just didn't read it at all. No offence

It came back from the dead, after three days, not unlike another zombie..

Ummm...hold on there...dead, revived to life after three days....this wouldn't have been back in April, now would it?

Wait just a minute! I think I ate that guy and drank his blood back when I was 14!

Someone has posted this (again) on the internet, and it's spread like virus (as these things do). The BBC, like everyone else including us have been lazy and simply picked this off the internet. Of course, because we're not news sources it's OK for us to do it. L

Remember the great saying: "A zombie with no head is truly dead" But how to dress as a zombie? In a zombie apocalypse? Smart.....