Class: Homonus Zombus*
Origins: West African and Haitian Vodou, a George A. Romero film.
Zombies have been a popular pop culture monster since the 70s. Often depicted as a shambling, brainless corpse that feasts on human flesh, they terrorize the living with their insatiable hunger for brains.
Causes: the causes of zombification are as varied as your pop tart choices in a Super Wal-Mart. They are broken down into two main types, benign and malignant. Or, harmless, and Run For Your Fucking Life!
1. There is of course, necromancy. A Bokor (Vodou sorcerer) would revive a corpse then control it, kind of like a puppet. This type of zombie is relatively harmless, and will not cause bodily harm, unless of course, that is the goal.
2. The second cause is by using a neurotoxin, such as tetrodotoxin, mixed with a dissociative drug. While this generally does not cause death, the person would be put into a trance-like state, and then used as a slave to carry out menial tasks, such as working on sugar plantations. These zombies can be kept in a state of suspended animation for years. Zombie slave labor: the cheapest, most efficient form of labor. Take that robots.
Note: Unlike pieces of delicious, juicy bugs, zombie parts have not been evaluated by the FDA for nutritional value or harmful side effects, and therefore are not restricted or banned. However, most of Europe has strict guidelines on the amount of zombie parts that can be present in food.
3. Virus outbreak. There are a few types of virus that can lead to zombification. The most popular is a sort of super Mad Cow Disease– a virus that will hijack your neural system, make you mindlessly psychotic, and give you a raging case of the munchies. For brains. These are the most dangerous, and therefore should be avoided at all costs.
4. Nanobots, or as I like to call it, Sorcery 2.0. Some believe that in the future, nanotechnology will be injected into our brains, and a legion of humans will walk around as a mindless bunch of slaves.
5. This is the most important: zombie bites. Basically, if a zombie bites you, you’re screwed. Therefore, run like hell. And arm yourself to the teeth.
Similar Things of the Undead Variety:
Mummy: A Corpse that has been embalmed and preserved, whether intentionally or through incidental exposure to chemicals and the elements. Mummies can be found all over the world, but mostly in Egypt, China, and South America. The most common mummies are Egyptian cats. A risen mummy does not feast on human flesh, but encountering one can still be alarming.
Jian Shi: A reanimated corpse from Chinese mythology that kills by absorbing their qi. Could also be construed as a vampire, which, if you think about it, the two are not all that different. Both are undead, both crave things that begin with B, both… yea, that’s about it.
Ghoul: a Middle Eastern monster that consumes human flesh.
Revenant: A visible ghost or animated corpse that returns to terrorize the living. Always a dead loved one. Also could be considered a vampire.
Reavers: You want to know what Reavers are? Well, besides disgusting, scary, and basically your worst nightmare. Fucking space zombies. And space zombies are awesome, simply because everything is better in space. Until you come across them, then they suck. My theory is that they’re some sort of deranged love child between Buffalo Bill and Hannibal Lector that spent waay to many nights partying with Tony Montana. Officially, Reavers were former humans given a chemical agent meant to instill peace in the population, and like most drugs, 0.1% of the population had adverse affects and took to cannibalism, rape, and self- mutilation.
You ain’t fooling me.
*Totally made that up.
Tomorrow, I will discuss defensive measures. Which will come in handy when the zombie apocalypse descends.