Are there really zombies in the world?

Could there really be zombies?

In this section, our editors answer frequently googled questions.

As a fan of zombie films, I'm tempted to say: how great that would be! Finally action, get out of everyday office life, show what you can do in the face of the apocalypse and the pizza faces. Knives out and into the brains of the undead, which are too slow to catch you anyway.

But I'll let myself be carried away, let's get down to business. Those familiar with the hit series "The Walking Dead" know that zombies are the result of neurons firing around in the brain. According to Peter Cummings, a neuropathologist at Boston University and an advisor to the Zombie Research Society (yes, there is such a thing), this is nonsense, but the scientist points to European sleeping sickness, an atypical form of encephalitis. This attacks the brain and leaves the victims speechless. Abnormal eye movements and behavior changes as well as impaired motor skills can be other symptoms.

Monsters in myths or horror films always represent certain fears in certain time periods.

Okay, these are not real undead, people are still alive. But what about the fungus from the genus Ophiocordyceps? It penetrates its victims and takes control of the host's body in order to reproduce there. The Walking Dead! Granted, the host is an ant, not a human. Alright There are no zombies. And yet the undead live. Now, if I were to say that a zombie burst into the room where I write this and pelted me with his fiery breath, you could answer two things. First: "Hurray, serves him right, why is he writing about these stupid zombies!" Or second: "That's impossible, zombies can't spit fire!" You are right about the latter. Just as it is true that there are no dragons but they have wings and fire breath, or as we are sure that vampires do not exist but they can turn into bats.

Monsters in myths or horror films always represent certain fears in certain time periods. Frankenstein's creature for the dangers of an uncontrolled science, Godzilla represents the atomic contamination, vampires symbolize unbridled sexuality. In the current zombie hype, on the other hand, it is the fear of epidemics or other disaster scenarios or the question of what our society would then look like. There is also a scientific answer to that, by the way. American math students have calculated how quickly a typical film zombie epidemic would spread: After 100 days, fewer than 300 people would be alive worldwide.

Maybe you prefer everyday office life.

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