A new study from the University of Leicester in England proves that a hypothetical zombie apocalypse could wipe the entire humankind from Earth in a just 100 days.

A British scientific team performed a peculiar investigation that resulted in the discovery of a disappointing fact: if the Earth had to face a zombie epidemic, it would take less than four months to erase humans from it. Or at least the vast majority of them.

If the Earth had to face a zombie epidemic, it would take less than four months to erase humans from it. Photo credit: The Mary Sue
If the Earth had to face a zombie epidemic, it would take less than four months to erase humans from it. Photo credit: The Mary Sue

The research group work was based on a series of logical assumptions like a zombie having a 90 percent chance of infecting a human per day. According to that hypothetic fact, by the day 100, there will be only 273 humans left on Earth. That means that the human race would be outnumbered by 1 million zombies per person.

The students from the University of Leicester presented their findings in the Journal of Physics Special Topics. They used what is called the “SIR model,” which is an epidemiological model that can show how a particular infection would behave and spread through the population.

Not everything is lost for humankind

The investigation team conducted several studies using different scenarios. In the first one, that says that humans would be wiped out in less than a year, few factors aren’t taken into consideration, which are the distribution of the population, the worldwide birth and death rates, and the inability for humans to fight with the zombies’ hordes.

In the first model, the population is equally distributed through the world without caring about the densely populated areas and rural zones. Also, in the first scenario, the team did not think about how pop culture (the popular TV show “The Walking Dead” or Brad Pitt’s “World War Z”)  “taught” people how to fight zombies, hypothetically.

In that case, without a doubt, the human race would become completely extinct in less than a year, according to the research team.

However, another study using the same SIR model was not so disappointing, regarding the chances that the human race has of surviving based on people’s distribution through Earth and the ability to avoid and fight zombie hordes. In this case, the team rearranged the SIR model to obtain more accurate results. They reset the infection rate probability and convert it into a variable, in a way where the number of zombies people could kill and the amount of babies that could be born during the apocalypse directly affect the surviving possibility.

To success on these calculations, the investigation group conducted a mathematical experiment using pre-established equations given by the SIR model, often used to calculate worldwide pandemics and epidemics.

The results were more hopeful this time, as the team discovered that in that scenario, the humankind has more possibilities of surviving. The team stated that under those conditions, the zombie population would eventually become extinct and the human race would recover, slowly but efficiently.

Dr. Mervyn Roy, a lecturer at the University of Leicester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Course Tutor of the scientific team, explains why the conducting of studies of this type are so essential to the professional preparation that every student should have.

“Every year we ask students to write short papers for the Journal of Physics Special Topics. It lets the students show off their creative side and apply some of physics they know to the weird, the wonderful, or the everyday,” Dr. Roy said after the release of the investigation.

In a curious note, a research done in the U.K. last year found that even when a third of British population was preparing for a disaster, most of them were not thinking on a zombie apocalypse. Professor Lewis Dartnell, a UK Space Agency research fellow based at the University of Kent, recommends that people should have in their emergency bags “a fire-starting kit, water bottle, small knife, rope, and food.”

Source: Alpha Galileo