By Rebecca Besser
If you’re anything like me, you’ve often wondered how zombies survive for such long periods of time without rotting away, being eaten by bugs, etc. I mean, logically, shouldn’t they only last an X amount of months after they’ve been turned into walking puss bags? I thought so, until I read an article about plant life decay being retarded around Chernobyl due to radiation killing “…bugs, microbes, fungi, and slime molds who nourish themselves by consuming the remains of dead organisms.”
There are elements required for decomposition in nature. And, when they are taken away, things work differently than they naturally would otherwise. The article addresses the changes made from radiation on the decomposition of fallen trees and leaves, noting that the trees and leaves that have fallen in the more radiation saturated areas are building up and not decaying like they should.
Radiation is acting as a preservative because it has taken out certain things that are found in nature, leading to unnatural longevity for dead organic matter.
Let’s apply that fact about how radioactivity works to zombies.
If something happened that had the right about of radiation at the same time as, or even causing, the z-poc, humans would have an even harder time surviving (because of possible radiation poisoning) and zombies would survive longer because of the absence of things that would inevitably cause most of their decay from nature.
Even if there wasn’t a nuclear war, we’ve seen how nuclear power plant meltdowns can cause serious damage. As another example, take the Fukushima accident. There was a lot of radioactivity in the area that will be there for a long, long time. And they had a lot of radioactive waste water just sitting around and leaking into the surrounding area and ocean.
What if a zombie had fallen into some of the radioactive water they had in the holding tanks? What if the zombie itself was the bearer of the radioactivity and it wasn’t the surrounding area? How far could that zombie travel from the contamination site before elements of nature could do anything in way of decay? Could the radiation act as a bug repellant? Would it stop certain types of microbes or molds from breaking down dead tissue?
This leaves a lot open for speculation, especially since once any type of apocalyptic situation occurs there will most likely be no one manning the nuclear power plants. How much radiation will the Earth and its inhabitants have to deal with when they all have meltdowns? Will it be enough radiation to lengthen the existence of zombies in the event that they are around?
These questions all give way to the kind of speculation authors love, because there are so many “what ifs” involved. But, one thing is for sure: If you have zombies in any kind of radioactive environment, they could last a long time before they even begin to decay!
* * * * *
The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!
Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!
#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!