Numerous people might be looking forward to the idea of a real-life zombie apocalypse, but it seems like it would not be the epic, gun-blazing, axe-smashing future that many are thinking of. As it turns out, if a zombie apocalypse does happen, human beings have just around 100 days before being completely wiped out. By the time the first 100 days of the outbreak are done, there wouldn’t be any settlements or groups of survivors like those featured in The Walking Dead. It would just be a couple of hundred humans scattered across the globe.
The rather disturbing findings were noted in A Zombie Epidemic, a study published in the Journal of Physics by a team of researchers from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Leicester University. According to the study, the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse would quickly spread through the globe and drive the human population practically extinct. After 100 days, the study predicts that there would simply be 273 non-infected humans on the Earth, and they would be alone and isolated.
With this scenario in mind, the 273 survivors would end up being outnumbered a million to one by the undead. Though the few remaining humans would most likely attempt to survive, the scientists in the study predict that it would only take around six months before the last few survivors are picked off by the horde of zombies. Thus, after only a little over three months, the human race would effectively be extinct, according to Sputnik News. The researchers further stated that a real-life zombie outbreak would be so severe that it would spread at a rate faster than the Black Death.
“Natural birth and death rates have been neglected since the epidemic takes place over 100 days, so the natural births and deaths are negligible compared to the impact of the zombie virus over the short time frame. We also assumed that a zombie will turn one person into a zombie each day with a 90% probability, meaning that each zombie is able to find a person every day. As the zombie to human ratio increases, this becomes less realistic.”
While the possibility predicted by the research points to a rather bleak and hopeless scenario, the researchers maintained that they utilized a legitimate mathematical model to predict the spread of the zombie virus. The model, called SIR, is conventionally utilized to study and predict the spread of contagious diseases.
“The SIR model is an epidemiological model that describes the spread of a disease throughout a population. This model splits the population into three categories: Those susceptible to the infection, those that are infected, and those that have either died or recovered. The SIR model then considers the rates at which infections spread and die off as individuals in the population come into contact with each other. We will use this model to investigate the spread of a zombie epidemic.”
Inasmuch as the odds are stacked against the human race in a zombie apocalypse, however, the researchers have stated that there might be a way for people to survive longer than the predicted 100 days. This is because the research predicted the spread of the zombie virus without accounting for the number of humans who would attempt to fight off the undead, stated the Daily Star. With this particular variable in consideration, however, the chances of survival among the survivors of the apocalypse increases significantly.
“We have also not included the possibility for the humans to kill the zombies. Including this may give the humans a better chance at survival,” the researchers stated in the study.
If humans do not fight back and all people do end up being infected by the undead, the researchers predict that it would take roughly 20 days before the zombies themselves die from starvation or thirst. This is, of course, if the zombies end up requiring sustenance just like any other living organism. Otherwise, once the human race is effectively wiped out, the world would simply be a planet filled from end to end with the undead. With the results of this study in mind, it would seem that the zombie apocalypse, if ever it does happen, would be extremely fast, terrifying and for all intents and purposes, hopeless.
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