They know where the horror is. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we like to call a real, live, undead fucking zombie. It's quite possible. That sounds great, right? Chances this could cause a zombie apocalypse: These five sacred buildings are straight out of a doom-metal video. Once in, they can shut down the part of the brain that resists (the cortex) and leave the brain stem intact. There's one called toxoplasmosa gondii that seems to devote its entire existence to being terrifying. You know all that conversy out there about stem cell research? All we're saying is that on an actual day on the actual calendar in the future, runaway microscopic nanobots will end civilization by flooding the planet with the cannabalistic undead. I have come to Oaxaca to take part in the Día de los Muertos celebration. If the whole sudden, mindless violence idea seems far-fetched, remember that you are just one brain chemical (serotonin) away from turning into a mindless killing machine (they've tested it by putting rats in Deathmatch-style cages and watching them turn on each other). Vast sums of money are being poured into nanotechnology. Couple that with the new ability to keep a dead body in a state of suspended animation so that it can be brought back to life later, and soon we'll be able to bring back the dead, as long as we get to them quickly enough. This bug infects rats, but can only breed inside the intestines of a cat. Take that how you will, but the full moon coming up this Halloween night is a hunter's blue moon. Chances this could cause a zombie apocalypse: You've got to wonder if the lab workers don't carry out their work under the unwitting command of the toxoplasmosa gondii already in their brains. Our fascination with zombies is mixed with fear, but if scientists could resurrect people successfully, it would transform society beyond recognition. Even less than they do now, we mean. A non-dead hand emerging from the cemetery ground soil at night. "Can?" If you don't want to sleep at night, that is. Why? So, imagine if half the world suddenly had no instinct for self-preservation or rational thought. Right? Science has its limits and, in medicine, death is its final frontier. Accessed December 17, 2012. Yes, the movie The Serpent and the Rainbow was based on this guy's actual science stuff. An island covered with decaying old dolls strung up in trees is pretty creepy on its own — even before you get to the dark origin story. Now, it should be more than clear by this point that our goal is to be responsible researchers. What is it? Notice how nano scientists went right for zombification, even at this early stage. David Wong is the author of the equally plausible horror novel John Dies at the End and the upcoming This Book is Full of Spiders, available for pre-order now. He was a Haitian guy who was declared dead by two doctors and buried in 1962. They will have added a new member to the unholy army of the undead. There will be 13 full moons in 2020. Hey, maybe you're one of them. We don't want to create a panic here. It turned out the local voodoo priests had been using naturally occurring chemicals to basically zombify people and putting them to work on the sugar plantations (no, really). How it can result in zombies: If you're comforting yourself with the thought that it may take forever for such a parasite to evolve, you're forgetting about all the biological weapons programs around the world, intentionally weaponizing such bugs. All rights reserved. Therefore, the last act of the nanobot zombie would be to bite a hole in a healthy victim, letting the nanobots steam in and set up camp in the new host. But, some sort of zombie apocalypse isn't actually possible, right? That's right; the nanobots will be able to rewire your thoughts. Thanks for connecting! © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. Technologist Ray Kurzweil (Google's director of engineering) believes that as the rate of technological change accelerates we will reach a state where medical nanobots will work inside our bodies to eradicate disease, repair DNA, and extend our lives. The movie The Serpent and the Rainbow, the upcoming Resident Evil 5 video game. From that point on we will be routinely able to swap bodies with self-organizing nanobots that link up to form virtual humans, or any shape presumably. Irreversible damage is usually caused within minutes. What are they? The victims can then be brought back under the effects of a drug like datura stramonium (or other chemicals called alkaloids) that leave them in a trance-like state with no memory, but still able to perform simple tasks like eating, sleeping, moaning and shambling around with their arms outstretched. Well, here you go, you creepy bastards. Zombies 101. Yet. Cryonics is a method of preserving dead bodies at low temperatures so that they can be reanimated and repaired when medicine is advanced enough to do so. So there. A landslide a century ago created this bizarre scenery. Why? All it takes is someone with resources and a need for a mindless workforce of totally obedient slave labor. Closer to the spirit of resurrection is the act of reviving dead matter. Although there are parasites that can change mental function, drugs can simulate zombie-like behavior, and reanimation is possible to some degree, it would take a highly-unlikely ‘perfect storm’ of events to bring all potential issues together, and create a real-life zombie. It's because on some instinctual level, all humans know it's just a matter of time until the zombies show up. All it takes is a more evolved version of toxoplasmosa, one that could to do us what it does to the rats. Well, not for long. We are our experiences, learned behaviors, our upbringing, and opportunities in life. There's more to the coastal town of Whitby than meets the eye. The parasite knows it needs to get the rat inside the cat (yes, we realize this sounds like the beginning of the most fucked-up Dr. Seuss poem ever) so the parasite takes over the rat's freaking brain, and intentionally makes it scurry toward where the cats hang out. Actually, yes. Michael Crichton's novel Prey, The PS2 game Nano Breaker. Halloween is here, which means now is the time to explore the creepiest places in the world. How it can result in zombies: What is definitely true is the story of Clairvius Narcisse. But, even if some evil genius intentionally distributed alkaloid toxins to a population to turn them into a shambling, mindless horde, there is no way to make these zombies aggressive or cannabalistic. What could possibly go wrong? With one bite, you're suddenly the worst kind of zombie: As seen in ... As seen in... How long until somebody tries this? We're betting somebody in the world, maybe North Korea, will have a working zombie by Christmas. There are books about it, the most famous ones by Dr. Wade Davis (Passage of Darkness and The Serpent and the Rainbow). Well, there was that one scene where they strapped the guy naked to a chair and drove a huge spike through his balls. We're hoping that part wasn't true. They found him wandering around the village 18 years later. Do the math, people. Raising the Dead: Zombie Science or Medical Possibility? Our culture is full of tales of the undead walking the Earth, from our religions to our comic books. The nanobots will be programmed to self-replicate, and the death of the host will mean the end of the nanobots. ... We're all mechanical animals of sorts, our locomotion made possible by the links between muscles, tendons, skeletal elements and much more. Our culture is full of tales of the undead walking the Earth, from our religions to our comic books. Right? What we weren't quite prepared for, though, was just how many terrifying churches made from human remains there were out there. So, you take a brain dead patient, use these techniques to re-grow the brain stem, and you now have a mindless body shambling around, no thoughts and no personality, nothing but a cloud of base instincts and impulses. That may be entering the realms of science fiction, but look at any of the concepts suggested by technological resurrection and it's one of the less outlandish suggestions. There are a number of life sciences and technology companies who believe bringing the dead back to life is a distinct possibility. What are they? We are more than just our DNA. Science has also developed chemical compounds to make it work more efficiently, but would that baby grow up to be us? First, let’s take a look at how the idea of zombies began. Yet, another brain therapy uses stem cells to cheat death. Particularly of interest to zombologists like ourselves is neurogenesis, the method by which they can re-grow dead brain tissue. Connect to your existing Cracked account if you have one or create a new Cracked username. Death is certified in most countries when the body's vital systems such as heart, lungs, or brain stop functioning. In fact, it's been done, and (allegedly) this is how: Create a mixture of the skin of a poison pufferfish, extract of the Datura plant, and the skin of a poison toad. We found out recently that if you try to leave a little kid in a graveyard late at night, he'll freak out. Chances this could cause a zombie apocalypse: Copyright ©2005-2020. Laboratories around the world. Life sciences company Bioquark is trialing injecting stem cells into the spinal cord of patients pronounced brain dead, along with a blend of proteins and added electrical stimulation and laser therapy. Goths, ghosts, vampires, and ruins: Whitby has them all. What are they? But challenging the idea that death is final is a Yale University experiment that succeeded in reviving the disembodied brains of pigs four hours after the animals were slaughtered. Resurrecting the dead using digital creation is an overriding theme–supercomputers putting people together from archived information, or advanced civilizations using micro wormholes to reach back into the past to copy people into the future. Say this disease spreads through blood-on-blood contact, or saliva-on-blood contact. Some day there will be nanobots in your brain. Chances this could cause a zombie apocalypse: They're already able to re-grow the brains of comatose head trauma patients until they wake up and walk around again. Researchers used a blood substitute to restore brain cell functions such as energy production and waste removal, and shored up the brain's internal structure. Parts of the brain restarted their normal function, but electrical activity remained dormant. Yes. The Halloween Hunter’s Blue Moon Explained, The Best Tools for Conducting a Paranormal Investigation, The Smith Mansion Is a Giant, Twisting House in Wyoming That Killed Its Owner, The Cecil Hotel Is Known as LA's Most Haunted for Many Horrifying Reasons, The Island of the Dolls Has a Murky and Terrifying History, Kaindy Lake Is a Ghostly Underwater Forest, These 5 Creepy Churches Are Decorated With Human Bones, This Haunting Coastal Town Inspired Bram Stoker's "Dracula", Rise of the Zombie Fire: Wildfires that Refuse to Die. Zombies have been a fixture of folklore and creative media for hundreds of years, but they've really sprung (or lumbered, if you prefer) into the limelight in the past decade or so. Think about it. It causes the brain to die off from the outside in. They smolder and retain their heat until warmer temperatures and dry conditions reignite the flames. Even if you offer to leave him a gun to protect himself. 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