Top Five Ways to Discern Between Humans and Zombies

May 10, 2007 at 11:29 pm (Fiction, Undead, Zombie, Zombie Knowledge)

1. Movement and Obstacle Navigation.
If you watch a human move quickly through a room crowded with small tables you will notice him moving around the tables, moving over the tables, or moving the tables out of the way. Now, watch the same human after becoming a zombie run through the room. He may try to move around larger obstacles, but generally he will ignore them simply running through them taking the fastest route to the nearest human.

You will also notice that post zombification that the movements of the person in question will have become sudden and jerky. If you shout out Jimmy’s name, he will probably turn his head to look over at you. It will most likely be a fairly quick, and smooth movement. Now, standing in the same position relative to Jimmy after he has become a zombie, and call out Billy’s name. Jimmy will quickly look at you, same as he did before. This time his head movement will be sudden without the smooth start and stop a he had before being infected. Instead of standing there waiting to find out what you want, this time he will instead start running towards you as he notices you there. This sudden abnormal reaction is a good sign that he is probably not Jimmy anymore.

2. Appearance.
Normal uninfected people can appear like zombies, namely when they are drunk, high, beaten up, or have recently woke up. This is not always the best way to discern whether a zombie truly is a zombie. For example, a mans clothing may be raggedy, old, dirty, and worn, yet he may not be a zombie. However, if he has a large hole in his stomach and is still running towards you, or if he has recently had limbs violently amputated and is ignoring his wounds to attack you, this is a good sign he is a zombie. A normal human simply won’t have the ability to attack you if he is losing blood rapidly for some reason or another.

3. Sound.
Humans are articulate creatures. We like to communicate, and we do it primarily through sound. That basic human instinct is not lost on those previously dead. Though they lack the communication skills of a normal human their moans serve as an alert. It has been theorized that they use this to alert others to prey in the area to increase the chances of a kill. Their mass numbers make this unstealthy tactic quite potent.

Be warned, however, like all ways of determining if someone has become a zombie this has its flaws. Until the zombie knows you are there it will not moan. Therefore, you need other methods to decide if that quiet person in the distance is a potential zombie.

4. Smell.
Even if you haven’t had a shower in the last two months a zombie will have a stronger odor far worse in quality than your own stench. When the body dies it evacuates its bowls. Combine that with the blood, tissue, and other materials that make up a human body rotting on the zombie since its creation and you will have yourself an insanely foul smell strong enough to be noticed for hundreds of feet down wind.

It should be noted that due to their unique qualities zombies will not rot, and as such, zombies who have not had many meals may not smell particularly bad. Combined that with humans weak sensitivity to smell, and you can see why discerning a zombie by smell is not always the easiest way.

5. Touch.
I’ll admit if you are touching someone you want to be completely sure it is not a zombie. Unfortunately, this is probably the most accurate way to tell. Equally unfortunate is at the range required the potential zombie will probably be attempting to eat you making this fifth method nearly useless. Still, if you touch someone it should be obvious if it is, or is not a human. Human skin is warm, undead skin is cold. Human flesh is firm, zombies flesh is ‘squishy.’ Your fingernails will have a hard time pushing through human skin, while they will be able to easily puncture all but the freshest zombie skin.

(Disclaimer: Even if someone fits the criteria above for being a zombie DO NOT attempt to kill or harm said person. Instead, contact a hospital if they seem to be badly hurt, or the police if you believe them to be a threat. Chances are in this modern world they are not a zombie, and you don’t want to accidentally kill a human.)

*This is my entry in the ProBlogger.net Group Writing Project. http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/05/07/top-5-group-writing-project

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20 Comments

  1. Maile said,

    Haha. I love it. Thanks for the laugh 🙂

  2. ZombieJournalist said,

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  10. Turtle King said,

    I work with a lot of zombies. They try to eat my brain, but I won’t let them. LOL. Very funny post, I enjoyed reading it!

    Turtle King
    http://turtlesatwork.blogspot.com

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