This Is How Many Of Us Would Really Die In A Zombie Apocalypse
It’d be twice as deadly as the plague. ?
As much as I love to think I could shoot as mean a crossbow as Daryl Dixon, science suggests I probably wouldn’t survive a zombie outbreak — and neither would you.
A study published by student researchers at the University of Leicester last month examined how long it would take for zombies to reduce the Earth’s population to a couple hundred terrified survivors.
The researchers used a mathematical model that epidemiologists often use to predict how fast infectious diseases spread. Called the SIR model, it divides a population into three categories: those susceptible to the disease, those already infected, and those that have either died or recovered.
The students assumed that each zombie had a lifespan of 20 days and was able to infect at least one human a day. That’s a rate of infection nearly twice as contagious as the Black Death, which is estimated to have killed 30–60% of the European population from 1346 to 1353.
By plugging those numbers into the SIR model, the researchers came up with this totally terrifying conclusion: Over the course of just 3 months, a zombie outbreak would reduce the Earth’s population to 273 survivors. They also concluded that those remaining humans would be outnumbered a million to one by zombies.
But don’t lose hope just yet! These calculations assume that humans are constantly out roaming the streets for zombies to feed on. As if! After watching “The Walking Dead” and “Night of the Living Dead” even I would be smart enough to stay TF away from zombie-infested places.
The University also ran a second “more hopeful” study that factored in the rate at which zombies were killed. In this study, the zombie’s lifespan was increased from 20 days to a year; the study also took human reproduction into account, and assumed a 10% chance that each human would kill at least one zombie a day.
This study found that after 1,000 days (about 2.5 years) zombies would become extinct, and after 27 years humanity would have to fully recovered from the apocalypse.
Piece of cake!